Author Archives: Arnold Kling

The Case for Moderation

Stefanie Haeffele-Balch and Virgil Henry Storr write, Moderation does not necessarily mean adopting moderate policy positions. [Adam] Smith is not suggesting we compromise our political views and values. Instead, he is suggesting that we think about how we present these … Continue reading

Posted in Three-Axes Model | 2 Comments

Clarifying Two Terms

1. Interpretive Charity This is Jeffrey Friedman’s term. I think that it means trying to understand someone else’s point of view before criticizing it. It means trying to set up the strongest case for the opposing point of view for … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 7 Comments

Jeffrey Friedman on Public Choice theory

He writes, Public-choice theory rules out interpretive charity in advance. All that is left is the imputation of bad motives to one’s political opponents. . . .Actions may be objectively evil, but subjectively, everyone is doing what they think is … Continue reading

Posted in public choice | 14 Comments

Could Elite Colleges Expand?

In the course of the podcast with Russ Roberts, Tyler Cowen says I think that a Harvard/California could work. I believe normatively Harvard should do it. I see zero signs they are about to. It would mean a dilution of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education | 10 Comments

Tyler Cowen’s Philosophical Opus

He discusses it with Russ Roberts. I claim we should use an intergenerational discount rate of zero. That is, the distant future we should not discount at all. There’s positive time preference within a life, but over the course of … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 6 Comments

Renewable != Sustainable

Benjamin Zycher writes, there is nothing “clean” about renewables. There is the heavy-metal pollution created by the production process for wind turbines, along with their noise and flicker effects. There is the large problem of solar panel waste. There is … Continue reading

Posted in energy and the environment, Specialization and Trade Economics Intro | 16 Comments

Is the economy illegible?

In the model of the economy as a GDP factory, the most fundamental equation is the production function, Y = f(K,L). This says that total output (Y) is determined by the total amount of capital (K) and the total amount … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods, PSST and Macro | 9 Comments

Jean Twenge Update

She writes, Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, culture | 13 Comments

Intangible factors and research methods

A commenter writes, How do you square this: “…Nick Schulz and I tried to point out how much you miss when you ignore the intangibles in economics.” with this: “If you define self-interest broadly enough, then the statement “people pursue … Continue reading

Posted in Economic education and methods | 12 Comments

House Prices in the 21st Century

Alex Tabarrok writes, Over the entire 20th century, housing prices never once roce above 131, the 1989 peak. But beginning around 2000 house prices seemed to reach for an entirely new equilibrium. In fact, even given the financial crisis, prices … Continue reading

Posted in Housing and housing finance | 4 Comments