Saturday, April 6, 2013

Highly linkable

I'm back from my unintentional hiatus. Now that my bracket is busted and other things have been put to bed, at least for a while, I can get busy with a lot of blogging that has been on my mind. To begin, let's get some good links in.

Megan McArdle takes just six minutes in this Cato Daily Podcast to very effectively explain what insurance is and what it is not and why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in the camp of confusion. The all-too conventional wisdom is that insurance is about a transfer of expense, but this should obviously be nonsense. How could a redistribution scheme be a profitable endeavor? Insurance is rather a transfer of risk.

While we enjoy the excitement of March Madness, let us not forget the madness that is the non-free market of college athletics. Dave Berri has a column on Freakonomics asking simply, "How about a free market for college athletes?"

Speaking of Freakonomics, if you'd like a scary example of how quickly a consortium of "experts" can slip into technocratic thinking and tyrannical behavior, listen to this Freakonomics podcast on fighting obesity. There was a strong vein of Kling's oppressor-oppressed narrative running through these progressives.

John Cochrane explains why boogeyman-like fears of genetically modified organisms (plants, foods, etc.) is not only misplaced, anti-science, and anachronistic, but it is also very bad for the poorest among us. GMO just ain't the big, bad wolf.

Finally, Stephen Landsburg makes a point in principaled agreement with me by showing in two videos how magnificently wealthy we are.