Monthly Archives: November 2015

Adam Martin on Democracy

His talk is here. He says that voice tends to be less democratic than exit. Even though everyone has a right to vote, political influence tends to be highly concentrated. I tried to make the same point, probably less well, … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought, links to my essays | 5 Comments

Do You Really Believe That?

The Washington Post writes, Most [of the Paris terrorists] had already been flagged as potential security threats. But so had tens of thousands of others — 20,000 in France alone — and the plotters were careful not to stand out … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 31 Comments

What is the whole story?

Jon Gabriel writes, [Arizona] Gov. Ducey came up with a clever plan to draw $2 billion over a decade from the state trust lands—a constitutional set-aside, established at statehood to promote public education, that currently holds about 9 million acres … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 2 Comments


Cato’s Marian Tupy has praise. In 1970, the first year for which data is available, Singapore had the third freest economy in the world (behind Hong Kong and Canada). Singapore maintained a high degree of economic freedom over the next … Continue reading

Posted in Libertarian Thought | 11 Comments

Ricardo Hausmann on Specialization and Trade

He writes, a market economy encourages specialization: We become very good in a narrow set of skills or products, and exchange them for millions of other things we have no clue how to do or make. As a consequence, we … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Specialization and Trade Economics Intro | 2 Comments

A Comment from Deirdre McCloskey

She writes, I did not treat Doug, whom I have known and have loved since 1967, as an “enemy.” That is a strange way to characterize my scientific criticism of his views on so-called “institutions.” I merely think Doug was, … Continue reading

Posted in institutional economics | 14 Comments

Assortive Mating Questions that are rarely asked

A commenter writes, What I don’t understand, is who did upper middle class women marry in the Mad Men era, if the men married their secretaries? 1. The distinction between upper middle class and lower middle class was not as … Continue reading

Posted in Four Forces Watch | 8 Comments

Accrual Accounting for Government

Jeremy Liss writes, By using an accounting method known as cash-basis accounting, legislators project future spending without having to consider billions of dollars of long-term financial commitments, leaving many budgets balanced in name only. The Federal government also should have … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities | 6 Comments

Two Thoughts on Douglass North

1. Deirdre McCloskey treated him as an adversary. 2. I cannot think of any other Nobel Laureate who produced anything as significant after winning the Nobel Prize as Violence and Social Orders (My most recent essay about that book is … Continue reading

Posted in links to my essays, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | Tagged | 3 Comments

On Refugees

Alex Tabarrok writes, Even 4-year-old Syrian orphans are too dangerous to welcome to the United States, says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. What sort of man turns away desperate orphans out of fear? Four-year-old orphans aside, it is not unreasonable … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 25 Comments