Checking in

26 07 2011

After a day of marathon driving and a minor detour through Leeds, AL to visit the astounding Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, I’ve made it to Auburn and checked in to Mises University. The Mises Institute’s facility here is absolutely beautiful and filled to the brim with fascinating people, an incredible library, and bits of Austrian Econ-related ephemera. Of course, I haven’t had much free time between classes, socials, and the kareoke. Compared to the other conferences and seminars I’ve attended over the past years, Mises U is probably the most rigorous both academically and logistically. I’m going to post some pictures of my long haul down south as soon as I have a few hours free.


A summer (mostly) sans politics

18 07 2011

Whether taking on an internship, holding down a summer job, or simply lamenting the lack of employment opportunities for young people without college degrees, nearly every college student I know relishes the freedom and diminished responsibilities of summer.

Of course, the escape is never complete – in a few short months, we’ll all be back cramming for exams, writing papers on books we barely read, and…lamenting the lack of employment opportunities for young people with college degrees. Still, it’s refreshing to tune out for just a bit.

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Ah, Summertime

14 07 2011

Classes may have been over for a few months now, but as usual, I’ve got many (probably too many) plates in the fire/irons in the air/what have you. But I’m trying my damnedest to bring my ability to execute a project in line with my ability to conceptualize, and these days, that means spending most of my spare time working on the Packard.
After spending too many years as a two-ton turquoise paperweight, I decided that this summer would see the Packard’s resurrection. So far, I’ve gotten everything taken apart—which is, of course, the first step towards getting everything put back together.

Oddly, the more parts I took off, the more intimidating the whole project became

I’ve chosen the Woodward Dream Cruise as my deadline, which gives me…a little over a month to get everything in order. It’s a pretty optimistic timeline but I’m outsourcing some of the repairs and tackling others myself. In order to take on some of the repair projects myself, I’ve turned the garage into a mini-shop complete with a stationary air compressor (no tools though,  yet) and soon, a MIG welder. Sure, it’s an investment, but with the price of labor these days, I’ll save money after completing just a few repair jobs myself. Plus, at the end of the summer, I’ll have invaluable mechanical experience and a garage full of tools. Pretty good deal in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »

Hoping for the Unexpected

7 07 2011

It’s been just over a year since the Obama Administration kicked off Recovery Summer ’10 to great fanfare. Despite the media hype, the “recovery” has fizzled. Hundreds of billions of dollars of stimulus and innumerable silly and wasteful programs (Cash for Clunkers?) later, we’re still sitting at an unpleasant 9.1% unemployment rate. Clearly, something didn’t work quite as intended.

The stimulus’s failure to stimulate has come as quite a shock to the Fourth Estate. You’ve seen the headlines: Unemployment unexpectedly higher. Turnaround unexpectedly sluggish. Breadlines blocks long, unexpectedly. “Unexpected” has been so overused to describe our current economic situation that it borders on self-parody. Check out this helpful “Unexpectedly” Compilation at Pundit Press if you don’t believe me.

But now for a bit of truly unexpected news: academics are beginning to realize – or at least admit publicly – that our most recent attempt at government-driven recovery via stimulus has flopped. Ed Morrissey’s coverage at Hot Air is worth a read, because this phenomenon is significant.

In an intellectual and political landscape where economic thought is still dominated by the interventionist policies of Keynesianism, the admission that those policies have failed on a grand scale should send shock waves though academia. Moreover, as Morrissey notes, Stanford economist John Taylor shoots down the argument that the stimulus would have worked wonders if only it had been larger – a form of backpedaling made popular by the likes of that intrepid fool/partisan hack, Paul Krugman.

Now that our intellectual betters have admitted what many of us knew to be true all along, it would be wonderful (and delightfully unexpected) to see academia shift towards the free market policies that will actually revive the nation’s economy. Here’s hoping.