Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on basic economics

Here is a podcast on basic economics from Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse.

About the speaker:

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the founder and President of the Ruth Institute — a project of the National Organization for Marriage — which seeks to promote life-long married love to college students by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.

She is also the Senior Research Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

She is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World, (2005) and Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn’t Work (2001), recently reissued in paperback, as Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.

Dr. Morse served as a Research Fellow for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1997-2005. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester in 1980 and spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago during 1979-80. She taught economics at Yale University and George Mason University for 15 years.

The MP3 file is here.

Topics:

  • The study of economics is anti-postmodern – there is objective truth independent of what people think
  • The study of economics believes in fixed principles of human nature
  • Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses
  • Economics studies how people exchange resources
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade always believe that they will be better off
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade both benefit from the exchange
  • How incentives motivate people to act
  • Understanding supply and demand
  • Understanding how “free” government services are rationed
  • Understanding opportunity costs
  • How prices signal producers to produce more or less, and consumers to buy or not buy
  • Market-driven prices versus price controls
  • The role of substitution
  • The necessity of allowing failure in a free market

The requirements of economic growth:

  • private property
  • contracts
  • the profit motive
  • competition
  • free trade
  • entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation
  • the rule of law

If you want to learn more about basic economics, I recommend picking up a book or two by Thomas Sowell – the first book I usually give away is “Intellectuals and Society”, and then next “Basic Economics”.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A lecture on basic economics by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, former professor of economics at Yale University and George Mason University, gave a lecture on basic economics.

The MP3 file is here.

Topics:

  • The study of economics is anti-postmodern – there is objective truth independent of what people think
  • The study of economics believes in fixed principles of human nature
  • Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses
  • Economics studies how people exchange resources
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade always believe that they will be better off
  • How both people who engage in a voluntary trade both benefit from the exchange
  • How incentives motivate people to act
  • Understanding supply and demand
  • Understanding how “free” government services are rationed
  • Understanding opportunity costs
  • How prices signal producers to produce more or less, and consumers to buy or not buy
  • Market-driven prices versus price controls
  • The role of substitution
  • The necessity of allowing failure in a free market

The requirements of economic growth:

  • private property
  • contracts
  • the profit motive
  • competition
  • free trade
  • entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation
  • the rule of law

If you like this podcast, you can take a look at Thomas Sowell’s textbook on “Basic Economics“. Highly recommended!

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paul Ryan speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in May 2012

Since he’s the VP, I thought I’d post a recent long form video of Paul Ryan discussing economic policy. The introductions end at 6:30.

I recent blogged a few clips of Paul Ryan engaging with Democrats, in case you want to see him in action, as well

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Analyzing Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan for VP

The Wall Street Journal says that Romney wanted to pair up criticism of the Obama economy with Paul Ryan’s reform plan.

Excerpt:

Mr. Romney is signaling that he realizes he needs a mandate if he is elected, which means putting his reform ideas before the American people for a clear endorsement. He is treating the public like grown-ups, in contrast to President Obama’s focus on divisive and personal character attacks.

The Ryan choice also suggests that Mr. Romney understands that to defeat Mr. Obama he’ll have to do more than highlight the President’s economic failures. He must also show Americans that he has a tangible, specific reform agenda that will produce faster growth and rising incomes.

Mr. Ryan is well equipped to help him promote such an agenda. The seven-term Congressman grew up in the GOP’s growth wing and supply-side ranks as a protege of Jack Kemp. Far from being a typical House Republican, he was a dissenter from the Tom DeLay do-little Congress in the last decade. He began talking about his reform blueprint in the George W. Bush years when everyone said he was committing political suicide.

[...]In Mr. Ryan, [Democrats] face a conservative advocate who knows the facts and philosophy of his arguments. He is well-liked and makes his case with a cheerful sincerity that can’t easily be caricatured as extreme. He carries his swing Wisconsin district easily though it often supports Democrats for President.

This may be why, in his meetings with House Republicans, Mr. Obama has always shied away from directly debating Mr. Ryan on health care and spending. He changed the subject or moved on to someone else. The President knows that Mr. Ryan knows more about the budget and taxes than he does, and that the young Republican can argue the issues in equally moral terms.

In moral terms, just like Arthur Brooks of the AEI urges conservatives to do.

The conclusion of the article explains Romney’s strategy:

In his remarks on Saturday in Norfolk, Mr. Ryan also hit on what is likely to be an emerging Romney theme: leadership that tells Americans the truth. “We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice,” he said. “What kind of country do we want to have? What kind of people do we want to be?”

The underlying assumption is that at this moment of declining real incomes and national self-doubt, Americans won’t fall for the same old easy demagoguery. They want to hear serious ideas debated seriously. The contrast couldn’t be greater with a President who won’t run on his record and has offered not a single idea for a second term.

In choosing Mr. Ryan, Mr. Romney is betting that Americans know how much trouble their country is in, and that they will reward the candidate who pays them the compliment of offering solutions that match the magnitude of the problems.

Another editorial in the WSJ agrees that Ryan is there to provide a positive agenda.

Excerpt:

Mr. Ryan provides the crucial shift in emphasis, the opportunity to go on offense. We will now have a focus on, and explanation of, the choice between stagnation and renewal. This is what Mr. Ryan excels at—not just crafting ideas, but explaining them in a positive and serious way. This ability is why the congressman—despite his supposedly extremist reform blueprint and budget (says the left)—has continued to win a district that in 2010 went for Mr. Obama.

[...]The first pitch to… voters came with Mr. Romney’s introduction of Mr. Ryan on Saturday, in which the campaign made clear it intends to use this pick as a way of underlining the intellectual poverty of the Obama campaign. Mr. Romney spoke of Mr. Ryan’s “integrity,” his “seriousness,” his “intellectual leadership,” and his refusal to “demonize his opponents”—traits for which Mr. Ryan is well-known.

The introduction was designed to highlight the Obama campaign’s own relentless smear attacks, and its focus on the trivial. This is the first sign of Mr. Ryan’s influence, since the strategy is clearly modeled on the congressman’s own history of winning on ideas against opponents who resort to cheap attack.

My own view of this pick of Ryan is that he is exactly what the country needs. When you contrast Paul Ryan with a typical Democrat like that Georgetown feminist student who demanded that the taxpayers provide her with free contraceptives, then we win.

My previous post on Paul Ryan has some clips of him engaging with Democrats. He’s very, very good at it.

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Who is Paul Ryan? What are his political views and positions?

Let’s see whether Paul Ryan has what it takes to push the Tea Party agenda in a debate situation.

Paul Ryan vs Barack Obama:

Paul Ryan vs Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:

Paul Ryan vs Tim Geithner:

Paul Ryan against MSNBC leftist Chris Matthews:

Paul Ryan can really debate economic issues – he is the Chair of House Budge Committee, after all. The focus of this election will now be on the economy, where it belongs, and the Democrats will be forced to discuss specifics.

Not only can he debate, but he explains our economic situation well:

He can explain this stuff to you and I. He can explain this stuff to Democrats and Independents.

By the way, Paul Ryan has a perfect score on the pro-life issue, and he has even written about his pro-life views on his Congressional web site.

Here is an excerpt in which he contrasts the Supreme Court decision on abortion with the Supreme Court decision with racial discrimination:

Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court—charged with being the guardian of rights—has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it “disqualified” a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results.

The first time was in the 1857 case, Dred Scott v. Sandford. The Court held, absurdly, that Africans and their American descendants, whether slave or free, could not be citizens with a right to go to court to enforce contracts or rights or for any other reason. Why? Because “among the whole human race,” the Court declared, “the enslaved African race were not intended to be included…[T]hey had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” In other words, persons of African origin did not “qualify” as human beings for purposes of protecting their natural rights. It was held that, since the white man did not recognize them as having such rights, they didn’t have them. The implication was that Africans were property—things that white persons could choose to buy and sell. In contrast, whites did “qualify,” so government protected their natural rights.

Every person in this country was wounded the day this dreadful opinion was handed down by this nation’s highest tribunal. It made a mockery of the American idea that human equality and rights were given by God and recognized by government, not constructed by governments or ethnic groups by consensus vote. The abhorrent decision directly led to terrible bloodshed and opened up a racial gap that has never been completely overcome. The second time the Court failed in a case regarding the definition of “human” was in Roe v. Wade in 1973, when the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake. At what point in time does a human being exist, the state of Texas asked. The Court refused to answer: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” In other words, the Court would not “qualify” unborn children as living persons whose human rights must be guaranteed.

Who wrote that? Scott Klusendorf? No – Paul Ryan!

He actually opposes focusing only on fiscal issues at the expense of social issues – this man is a man who social conservatives can get behind.

He is also solid on national defense.

Excerpt:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave a speech Thursday to the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington. If one is looking for clues as to Ryan’s interests beyond chairing the House Budget Committee, a speech, as he put it, to “a room full of national security experts about American foreign policy” would merit attention.

…Ryan delivered an above-the-fray talk on the subject of American uniqueness (a less loaded term) and the myth that American decline in inevitable. He posited, “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power.”

Ryan contends that the debt crisis is not a bookkeeping problem or even simply a domestic problem; it is about maintaining our status as a superpower and about American values.

[...]He plainly is not with the cut-and-run set on Afghanistan. “Although the war has been long and the human costs high, failure would be a blow to American prestige and would reinvigorate al-Qaeda, which is reeling from the death of its leader. Now is the time to lock in the success that is within reach.” Nor can he be accused of wanting to “go it alone.” “The Obama administration has taken our allies for granted and accepted too willingly the decline of their capacity for international action. Our alliances were vital to our victory in the Cold War, and they need to be revitalized to see us through the 21st century.”

As for China, he bats down the idea that we should go along to get along… He’s clear that China has “very different values and interests from our own.”

And finally on defense spending, he rejects the sort of penny-pinching isolationism of Jon Huntsman or Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.).

I have blogged about Paul Ryan continuously over the life of this blog – probably second only to Michele Bachmann. Definitely more than my other favorites Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal. I think it’s telling that Romney chose one of my 4 favorites.

So we are basically getting a full spectrum conservative (social, fiscal, defense) who can debate calmly and confidently, and with the support of evidence. Ryan also has a solidly middle-class background. I now predict a Romney-Ryan victory in November.

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