Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Moonshiners and Mormons

I will be presenting a paper with another grad student and prof at this year’s Association of Private Enterprise Educators (APEE) conference in Las Vegas. Its entitled Moonshiners and Mormons: Garbage and Soccer Socialism in Utah.

It is built on the Bootleggers and Baptists (B&B) model of demand and supply of social regulation. Learn more here.

The B&B relationship is one of strange bedfellows. The analogy comes from alcohol probation. Baptists (or moral busybodies) use moral arguments to demonstrate the need for government regulation, in this case prohibition. The bootleggers support prohibition because it reduces their competition - two groups wanting the same thing for very different reasons. It’s the story of high-flown values and narrow interests.

We apply the Bootleggers and Baptists model to a case study of county-wide recycling (garbage socialism in Cache Valley) and a case study of a city seeking and getting a Major League Soccer team (soccer socialism in Sandy with Real Salt Lake). Each is a story of rent seeking, but the B&B model adds additional insights into local political dynamics. Also, we might be adding Provo’s internet socialism.
The B&B relationship helps to explain how self proclaimed conservative politicians can support these regulatory policies.
What are some other B&B relationships?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Craft and Tell

Derek left me behind while he went to D.C. to impress the folks at the Koch Foundation - so I made a wreath.

I think all the pom poms are meant to look like snowballs. I'm not so sure they do, but I like the little guys anyway. They are so soft and so fuzzy.

This little guy didn't make the cut. Poor lonely pom pom.

Derek, on the other hand, did. Congratulations, Derek!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

But Don't Take My Word For It

Derek has recently completed an application that, among other things, required him to identify the five most influential (libertarian) books in his life. This got me thinking, what non-libertarian (because I don’t read that stuff) books have left an indelible mark on my life? What books shaped and molded the person I am today?

Books from the Elementary School Years
1. Anne of Green Gables (the whole series)
In fourth grade I wanted to be friends with this oh-so-popular girl and even got asked over to her house once. Then one day I heard her say she thought A of GG was boring, and after that I just didn’t have much use for her.

2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Where to even begin? A rich orphaned girl from Barbados, a dashing young sailor, Puritans, Quakers, near death illnesses, and a witch trial. . . What isn’t romantic about a witch trial? The thought of it still makes me swoon.

3. The Westing Game
Blew my mind away. Trick endings? This book defined the trick ending.

4. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret
I hid this book by the side of my bed because I thought it had a swear word in the title and because it was all about puberty and something they called *menstruation*

5. Z for Zachariah
This was some sort of apocalyptic, nuclear aftermath book that I didn’t really understand, but it seriously freaked me out.

Runners up:
Ramona Quimby
Peppermints in the Parlor
The Chronicles of Narnia
This series about an itinerant family during the Great Depression
Anything about young girls dying of leukemia

If you were a library, what would be on your shelves?