Category Archives: Housekeeping

A Bit of Good News

Nothing earth-shattering, but CEI recently named me a senior fellow. I need to order new business cards, but other than that, not much will change as far as day-to-day policy analysis. CEI is a principled organization as well as a great place to work, and I am grateful that they have put up with me for more than a decade so far.


A Quick Note to WordPress

This website is powered by WordPress, which has provided an excellent hosting service for many years. This is a note I sent their customer service regarding an upcoming change to their editing interface. 

Please do not force migration to the new editor. The blocks system is non-intuitive and has no obvious reason for existence, because paragraphs.

Blocks are prone to accidental unwanted formatting changes at the click of a mouse, with no intuitive way to undo them. This has caused me to delete entire draft posts and have to start again from scratch.

The pop-up menus for each and every new paragraph/block are not only unnecessary, they obstruct other text in the post. This is more than a little annoying.

The new editor also works poorly with copy-and-pastes from Microsoft Word, requiring time-consuming re-editing for spacing issues–a special kind of tedium for longer posts.

Do not want. Please terminate the individual who came up with blocks and set fire to their home.

2018: The Year in Books

A tradition on this blog is a year-end roundup of short reviews of books I read during the year. It serves two purposes. One, it’s a reference for future research. It can be difficult to remember, years later, which book offers a certain argument or insight that is relevant to a current project. Two, readers hopefully get some good book recommendations.

I kept notes but didn’t publish last year’s list. Combined with this year’s pile, it’s a bit much for one post. So I’m trying something different. I’ll schedule a new review to run each day or so until everything is up.

Individual posts will also add more format flexibility; some books are more thought-provoking than others, so reviews range from a single sentence to several hundred words. Other books complement each other that I wrote joint reviews for them.

All reviews will be tagged in the “Books” category, so they can be viewed together.

I might continue this model for 2019 and future years, posting new reviews as I go. Or I might go back to one year-end list. I haven’t decided yet. Reader feedback is welcome.

Here are the lists for 2009201020112012201320142015, and 2016.


Today is my last day working at CEI’s Washington office. Next week, my wife and I are moving to the Chicago area. I will remain a CEI Fellow and work remotely.

Readers of this blog won’t notice many changes. I will continue to cover the same suite of regulatory, monetary, and financial issues I always have. I will merely be much colder when writing about them.

The reason for the move is family. We’re Midwesterners by birth as well as temperament, and much as we love DC, ten years away is enough. We’re looking forward to being closer to our families and, we hope, to starting a family of our own soon.

I would like to express sincere gratitude to all of my colleagues, especially CEI founder Fred Smith and his wife Fran, for whom I interned back when I was a grad student (and coauthored a paper). My boss and frequent co-author Wayne Crews has done as much as anybody to help build my professional career. Over the last year, I have begun to work closely with Iain Murray, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with and learn from him on a variety of issues. Lawson Bader has proven to be absolutely the right choice to succeed Fred as president, and CEI is soaring to new heights under his leadership.

It has been a privilege to work with them and all of our other colleagues for the last six years–and my privilege it will continue to be. Thank you all.


2,000th Post

WordPress tells me this is the 2,000th post here at Inertia Wins. Thanks for reading, and tell your friends.

Most Popular Posts in 2012

It’s year-end list season, so here are this year’s ten most popular posts:

  1. Regulation of the Day 221: Miniature Golf Courses
    Federal mini golf policy is surprisingly detailed.
  2. Regulation of the Day 212: Locating Your Newsstand
    New York City newsstand shut down for being located 4 inches too close to the curb.
  3. Hurricane Sandy Begins
    Probably only made the list because of the awesome picture.
  4. Regulation of the Day 91: Horse Floaters
    Rent-seeking veterinarians use regulation to put a long-time competitor out of business.
  5. Stubbs for Mayor
    Fifteen years ago, a tail-less kitten named Stubbs was elected mayor of an Alaskan town. He’s still in office, and doing a fine job.
  6. Lessons in Entrepreneurship: Lemonade Stand Edition
    Regulators continue to shut down kids’ lemonade stands, despite inevitable bad publicity.
  7. A Rational View of the Presidency
    Short writeup of Gene Healy’s excellent new e-book, False Idol.
  8. Regulation of the Day 223: Fred Flintstone Cars
    German auto engineer makes replica Fred Flintstone car; regulators forbid him to drive it.
  9. Regulation of the Day 129: Droves of Animals on Streets
    Under DC law, it is perfectly legal to herd cattle down K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue — if you follow certain old-timey regulations.
  10. Regulation of the Day 150: Toy Guns
    8-year old boy suspended from school for two years for bringing a toy gun to school.

I Saw Daddy Pat Down Santa Claus

If you’re a holiday traveler, you will appreciate this song. Click here if the embed doesn’t work.

In related news, due to holiday traveling, there will be limited blogging until late next week. A scheduled post or two will pop up in the meantime, but that’ll be about it. Thanks for reading, and see you then.

Hurricane Sandy Begins

This image might be faked. Not sure at this point.

The Eastern seaboard’s economy is being stimulated by Hurricane Sandy right now. Just thought I’d post a quick note to let everyone know that all is well so far at the DC-area Inertia Wins HQ. The schools, government, and subway are all shut down, and probably will be through tomorrow.

Mrs. Inertia and I are hunkering down and staying safe. We encourage East Coast readers to do the same.

A Good Month

September isn’t quite over, but it’s already been a record month for traffic at this blog, and by a convincing margin. Thanks for visiting, and tell your friends.


Gone Fishin’

I’ll be out of town on vacation for a few days, so light blogging ahead. I’ve scheduled a few posts to appear while I’m out, but that’ll be about it.

Regular blogging resumes on Wednesday.