When Perfect Correlations Dissolve Into Dust

– January 22, 2020

Statistical relations can be tenuous, and statistics can be fishy. Perhaps with time, Harvey’s yield curve relation will go the way of pedestrians and South Dakota lawyers — a near-perfect correlation dissolving into dust.


The Market Process Is Not an Intoxicated Ass

– January 20, 2020

Assertions such as those made by Cass are easy to offer. Dreamers, dirigistes, and demagogues have done so since the dawn of the industrial age.


State Capacity, Economic Growth, and Reverse Causality

– January 14, 2020

The problem is that, from a research perspective, there are important reasons to keep off the state capacity bandwagon, even if doing so would be ideologically congenial.


New and Improved Economics? Don’t Believe It

– January 14, 2020

The New Yorker’s January 13th, 2020, issue features a full-page ad for Richard Robb’s new book, Willful. At the top of this ad we read in large, two-color print that “Willful is a breakthrough in economics,” and near the bottom is a blurb from Nobel-la …


How to Teach the Benefits of Trade

– January 7, 2020

In an environment that constantly presents us with pessimistic reasons why things cannot be done, turning a paperclip into $225 of pizza in less than two days proves that opportunities to make everyone better off exist all around us if we just take the time to observe and act.


Private Governance, Not State Capacity

– January 6, 2020

Economist Tyler Cowen has released a provocative essay with, I hope, the opposite of its intended impact. State Capacity Libertarianism, which he deems the only “smart” path for libertarians and classical liberals, is as conventional in its thinking as …


There Is No Such Creature as The People

– December 31, 2019

Among the most important advances in the social sciences of the 20th century is Kenneth Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. The full explanation of this theorem first appeared in Arrow’s 1951 book, Social Choice and Individual Values. As explanations go, th …


In Defense of the Quid Pro Quo

– December 30, 2019

It is not the occurrence of quid pro quos that are a problem in society. It is all a matter of whether they are free and voluntary


The Demolition of Keynesianism

– December 22, 2019

The talents of economists have been conscious­ly or unconsciously prostituted in the interests of political expediency.


Gift Giving Is Better for Society than Economists Think

– December 20, 2019

Remember that when Scrooge fully understood the joy of the season he became a full-fledged member of a truly wealthy society built upon compassion, trust, and strong fellowship.


Economies Are Not Intelligently Designed

– December 19, 2019

Taking this evolutionary thinking seriously leaves an agenda for economists that goes well beyond demanding the end of the state.


Socialism and the Green New Deal are Economically Impossible

– December 4, 2019

The marginal decisions and calculations necessary for rational economy do not go away even under a “moral equivalent to war” to defeat global warming.