COVID-19 Prompts the Question: Why Value Human Life?

– March 7, 2020

Have you noticed how philosophical COVID-19 is making us? The possible presence of imminent death of so many – true or not – is causing a reassessment of fundamental issues.


Warren Got Specific, and Everything Fell Apart

– March 6, 2020

Her approach took the centrist consensus of the last couple generations to a logical limit only a lawyer could find and ended up with something not that far from Sanders’ socialism.


A Case for Corruption

– March 5, 2020

Suppose you live in a country with nationalized communications companies, indifferent and intermittent service, and extremely slow maintenance and repair responses. But you have an idea that is likely to produce tens of millions of sales, and quickly.


There Is No Way You or Anyone Can Fully Understand the Economy

– March 3, 2020

The economist’s main value to society lies in his or her ability to reveal that which in the economy typically remains unseen. This function of the economist is explained most famously by Frédéric Bastiat. But also, of course, this understanding of the …


Kenneth Arrow and the Odd Form of Dictatorship He Helped Create

– February 23, 2020

It may be time to reconsider some of the foundations of economic theory. When we do, Arrow’s prominent role in the history of economics should be reconsidered too.


Cuckoo for Marginalism

– February 21, 2020

When I was a kid, I would ask my mother if she likes this cereal, that song, or this soft drink.  She would often reply in her droll way: “I wouldn’t want a steady diet of it.” I came to conclude that this really meant that she didn’t like it. …


The “Paradox of Thrift” Myth Is Back, Again

– February 20, 2020

This is nothing but the classic case of the damage of a little learning: the overwhelming majority of people who study economics at all take a single economics class, espousing a single economic perspective, which leads to the pervasive spread of pernicious ideas.


Neoliberalism and Intellectual Turing Tests

– February 11, 2020

Is neoliberalism libertarianism? Is it a form of market-oriented technocracy? Is it a form of elitist ideology favorable to markets? Is it a justification for a rent-seeking elite? It’s unclear exactly what it is.


How the Coase Theorem Solves the Problem of Wolves

– February 10, 2020

Making it possible to imagine creative ways to compensate the losers in policy initiatives can make policies more effective, more fair, and more politically viable.


Say’s Law versus Keynesian Economics

– February 9, 2020

There’s no more important principle in political economy to get right – and avoid getting wrong – than Say’s Law.


All Hail Statistics!

– February 7, 2020

Yes, statistics can deceive — think Mark Twain’s apocryphal claim about lies and damned lies — but statistics can also give nuance to our worldviews.


Creativity Is the Driving Force of the Market

– February 3, 2020

Creativity cannot be planned. While this observation, so stated, sounds trite, it is a fact ignored by those who call for the government to superintend commerce.