Monthly Archives: November 2003

Friedman and Keynes

A fascinating essay on “Economic Principals”: bq. Milton Friedman’s nemesis was the clinician Keynes, the trickster who wrote The General Theory. It is to Keynes that the author of Capitalism and Freedom eventually will be compared.

Press urges Bush to drop the steel tariffs

The reaction from the East Coast press, at least, seems to be fairly uniform. Samuelson in the “Washington Post”: is representative bq. tariffs have probably cost more jobs among steel users than they’ve saved among producers. Gary Hufbauer and Ben Goodrich of the Institute for International Economics, a think tank, estimate that tariffs preserved 3,500 […]

Quiggin predicts the ‘end for WTO’

meta-creation_date: 12 November, 2003 JQ has apparently “convinced himself”: that the WTO’s rejection of the US steel safeguard action could spell “the end of the line” for the Organization. bq. As I’ve previously mentioned, the WTOmade lots of enemies by overreaching itself in the 1990s, on the assumption that big-country governments would always back it […]

No thaw for China, Taiwan in WTO membership

A curious fact about WTO: you don’t need to be a country to join. The basic requirement is sovereignty over a customs territory. That is, you have to be able to set the tariffs and local taxes of a defined geographical area. So ‘customs territories’ such as HongKong [once UK, now China] are welcome as […]

Why the USA ‘lost’ the steel case

meta-creation_date: 11 November, 2003 Here’s the nub of the matter. If you’d like to wade through the full decision, you’ll “find it(download pdf file from WTO, 1043kb)”: on the WTO site (document number WT/DS248/AB/R of 10 November, 2003) The WTO Appellate Body upheld the principal finding of the dispute panel: that the United States authorities […]

Cheques all cashed

Murray Sayle’s gossipy, bitchy “review(link to the UK Spectator magazine)”: of a new book that picks over the carcass of the nationalist/comunist/unification wars in China in which Soong Mei-ling—”dead(link to Guardian obit)”:,3604,1070635,00.html only last month—played a small, if memorable, part. Sayle sums up the Generalisimo with a sour recollection bq. General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, […]

Ethics of witholding information

It turns out to be surprisingly common. According to the October Harper’s index bq. Percentage of U.S. doctors who say they have not told patients about a treatment because their insurance didn’t cover it : 31 In major public hospitals, the provision of expensive medical treatment to public patients drains fixed budgets. In some cases, […]