Showing posts with label links. Show all posts
Showing posts with label links. Show all posts

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Highly Linkable

It has been too long since I shared things worth reading...

Scott Sumner explains just how rigged it all is in America, and how despite this the American free market still keeps making it better.

The difference between science and Science! begins with some simple yet important facts--take chemistry for example.

How long until smart phone phobia is behind us? Someday it will be fodder for the Pessimists Archive.

Better post this take down of Elizabeth Warren by Tyler Cowen before her candidacy (thankfully) fully flames out.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Render Unto Caesar

I just filed my tax return, so it seems like a logical time to post on taxes.

The current regime (a Democrat-Republican alliance co-opted by many special interests (law-financial planning-accounting industrial complex, real estate industrial complex, big farm, big charity, and on and on)) has us running in circles.

On the one hand they giveth: corporate tax rate cut and increase in standard deduction--the two true highlights of the 2017 Trump tax reform.

On the other hand they taketh away: tariffs, which are just taxes on U.S. consumers, and threats of escalations in complexity and burden, +70% top rates and wealth taxes to name a couple.

I continue to find actual tax policies (basically everywhere) and most general discussion about tax policy to be a strong indictment of where we are as a society and how (un)critically we think. As an alien visiting your simple planet, I find it quite humorous how unsophisticated and corrupt the whole of taxation is and has always been. It is a Baptists and Bootleggers conspiracy combining the dumb with the evil.

As an example, an awkward tension exists between where implied tax levels are (the amount needed to pay for all the obligations and expenditures currently in place) and the current, explicit tax level actually in place (higher than commonly believed, but not high enough). The Republicans/conservatives cannot admit the Democrat/progressive proposal for very high rates is necessary for the very spending they are a partner in. Likewise the Democrats/progressives cannot admit the Republican/conservative fear of high taxation smothering future wealth is well placed.

There is hope. There are great ideas being well communicated and lurking in the forest. Examples:

Scott Sumner says tax luxury not wealth or income.

John Cochrane takes Krugman, et al. to task for lending support for some recent nonsense and he follows it up with a good discussion on the effective property tax rate.

Tyler Cowen warns that the Warren Wealth Tax won't be as popular (or desirable) as Democrats believe.

Related to all this is the UBI, and if you don't realize the relation, you aren't thinking critically enough. Arnold Kling offers some thoughts, and note the abstract of this recent paper (HT: Tyler Cowen).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Highly Linkable - Q&Q Edition

Nat Eliason asks: How many of these psychology myths do you still believe (or did until reading this post)? There are several I want to be true and perhaps they are at some level--just not to the extent originally purported or popularly presumed.

Scott Alexander asks: Is science slowing down?

Arnold Kling asked for readers to share their favorite Klassic Klingisms: They did not disappoint.

Scott Sumner asks: How should we think about the theft of intellectual property? and Can we handle the truth?

Bryan Caplan asks: How is immigration like nuclear power?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Highly Linkable: Counter-Conventional Wisdom Edition

Trying to get back into the swing of blogging and just beating the 90-day hiatus limit . . .

Looking through my saved articles for future linking, I notice that just about all of them can be labeled "counter-conventional wisdom". Here are a few that, yes, have some age on them in the world of "that's so yesterday's Twitter", but I think they have value enough to be shared.

David Friedman, whose latest book is on my to read list, wrote about attending a Jewish wedding which got him thinking about what I would call modernity-biased myths about the past. I particularly like the Columbus myth.

You can't go very long discussing cryptocurrencies with a skeptic before they bring up the supposed Tulip Mania of 1600's Netherlands. But as I believe I've posted (or intended to) before, this is a myth. Hat tip to Tyler (of course).

I know I've posted before regarding our new puritanical age. I'm in good company with Matt Ridley who makes the case for today's "Millennials" being new Victorians. Yet again the young kids these days are not fitting their own (or the perennial young kids these days) stereotype.

This example of all common sources being wrong by Scott Sumner is a great example of a common view that unfortunately does not get scrutiny or challenge by the watchdogs or fact checkers.

Economics as a discipline itself needs more heresy (and reversals such that the heterodox becomes the orthodox). Arnold Kling, never shy to challenge along these lines, offers four contentions.

Sticking with Kling, he outlines five myths clouding health-care policy in the U.S.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Partial List: Twin Peaks - Wax & Wane

Partial list of peaks...

Some I predict we are in (or recently passed):
  • Garage, driver, and long-haul truck driver
  • Oil, et al. price
  • Professional stock picker
  • Bank (traditional) - regulation and innovation are to "blame"
  • Farm (agricultural land use) - see here & here
  • Storage unit

And some I predict we are not:
  • Local truck driver and this
  • Oil, et al. quantity
  • Index investing (true, pure passive even without the growth of factor-based, which is active)
  • Bond price - relatively low rates as far as the eye can see
  • Reality TV
  • Zoning - the Complacent Class isn't done yet "protecting" us from new ideas and FOOL is all about
  • Authenticity - the desire for this is just building and its continued strength is evidenced by the concern so many have that it is going away.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What's Ahead for Stocks - precise predictions

Seriously?!? You clicked thinking you'd find some nonsense about, say, money about to [do something in regards to] "the sidelines", or perhaps you wanted to know how many technical indicators were crossing arbitrary thresholds. Oh, maybe it was an insider's take on smart money that you sought. But what would make the traders behind it "smart", how would I know what "they" (in unison? all on the same side of each trade?) were doing, and if I did, why would I share it?

Markets recalibrate constantly to new information. They also recalibrate constantly to changes in the weighted-average risk appetite of market participants. Did something change over the past couple of weeks? Of course, there is always something changing. But what?...

John Cochrane offers a great post for that question. Short answer: nobody knows. It cannot be known.

But what if we're in a bubble? Yeah, about that... Scott Sumner has two recent posts on that topic and more. He suggests we not be so sure about labeling past prices bubbles and lower the status of pessimists (I agree). He also suggests we should not offer explanations for events for which we are ignorant (I agree).

The standard advice is still the best advice:

  • Set your asset allocation as appropriate for best achieving your goals and personal constraints.
  • Get broad (very broad) diversification . . . cheaply.*
  • Go for lunch.
  • Check from time to time (not minute to minute) readjusting if needed to more appropriately fit your current goals.

*There are LOTS of investment options out there. The links show just two--albeit, two very good ones for achieving broad, cheap diversification. Also, maybe this.

Highly Linkable - How Are *We* Doing?

This links post is comprised of several items I believe are linked together in theme or subject matter. See what you think...

First Don Boudreaux points to a great website and corresponding TED talk by Anna Rosling Rönnlund. The project is a photographic-based exploration of how people compare. The within-country and among-country comparisons highlight what wealth and poverty look like. Notice the similarities, notice the differences, and notice on what factors these things do and do not seem to correlate.

Steven Pinker makes a strong case that The Enlightenment Is Working--"Don’t listen to the gloom-sayers. The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues." Let's suppose you conducted a survey every year for the past two centuries asking people simply, "Are you better off today than last year?" My guess would be the average and very typical response would be hard to distinguish from 'basically no improvement'. YET, the improvement over that time span for all of humanity (not just the average but for EVERY cohort) is dramatic and undeniable (once you look at the evidence). Why might this paradoxical result occur?...

Part II of Russ Robert's The Numbers Game is an examination of economic progress which suggests answers to the prior question above. The subtle yet very dramatic, counter-intuitive lesson, Simpson's Paradox, is awesome. To be sure, Simpson's Paradox would not answer my hypothetical, but it relates to how we misperceive small but compounding change and growth. Also, don't miss the first installment of Russ's video series.

But wait, aren't there too many people (or soon will be) for all this good news to continue? Steven Landsburg explores this issue in this video. He starts where everyone should start but often does not by asking "How would we know?" I believe he makes a very strong case that the answer is 'NO' we don't have and will not have "too many" people.

Tyler Cowen pointed to a couple of posts by Katja Grace who ponders 'Why did everything take so long?' The first and second both cover how and why progress is so difficult.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The 2017 Tax Reform

There may not be another area of public policy where the distinction is greater between how non-economists (the general public, politicians, journalists, and practitioners in the area (in this case tax lawyers and accountants)) and economists evaluate policy than exists in tax policy. Who should you pay attention to? I will let the rest of this post hint at my answer.

Here is a sampling for how economists look at taxes centering on the most recently enacted changes to the U.S. Federal Tax Code. I've indicated the major takeaways for each and tried to keep this as low wonk as possible. Trust me; it could have been a lot deeper in the weeds.

Scott Sumner notes that there is more good reform in the recent changes than what probably was expected, by no means is it all progress, and that three natural experiments come out of the package. He also has a post discussing misconceptions in tax policy where most people don't understand that to tax someone you must reduce that person's consumption. If you don't reduce it, you haven't taxed that person--period. He also points out that distortions are always an important part of evaluating tax policy.

Steve Landsburg echos Scott's take and adds his own points including how the recent reform is genuine improvement and still far, far from the ideal.

John Cochrane is always worth quoting on tax policy. I'll limit myself to a few. First, here is how he sees the public role for economists discussing tax policy. Here is a long, but very rewarding, analysis of how to craft a good tax regime and what makes it "good". He calls out a fellow economist, former colleague and friend Austan Goolsbee, for not thinking like an economist. And he reminds us that the distributional effects of tax changes are never what the public and media expect.

Rawls' Veil of Ignorance is a useful philosophical approach in many cases and a good tool for guiding tax policy. How tax changes happen to affect you should not guide what changes you support. Humility is another quality tax reform should respect. The risks of unintended consequences are orders of magnitude higher in tax policy than in other aspects of political economy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Highly Linkable - "progress" report edition

Let us begin with all the answers: The Cato Handbook for Policy Makers - it reads like stereo instructions for solving public policy problems.

Tyler Cowen has a new book, The Complacent Class, this short video is a good introduction. He suggests you can turn the book into winning advice. And perhaps it offers a unique explanation of Trump.

More from Cowen: Let he who cannot assimilate cast the first stone.

The Trump Rally? Scott Sumner cautions against the conventional view.

Dollars, Taxes: It is that time of year again. One of the promised blessings of President Trump is tax reform. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, the version we will get is anything but ideal. Cowen explains. And Scott Sumner points out what economists know about taxes that the general public doesn't.

Do we need a national health policy? Steven Landsburg strongly suggests the question is silly on its face and requires more and different thought than what is generally offered.

One area of public policy Trump is offering no progress on is Social Security along with its ~$11 TRILLION of unfunded liability (i.e., debt in addition to the official national debt). Regardless of the chances, Bob Murphy has thought through a first-step solution to be considered before the inevitable changes to the benefit formula: Let people opt out. 

Speaking of letting people make decisions for themselves (and why shouldn't we given that they are in the best position to make good decisions as it concerns themselves), a surprising thing happened to an Ivy-league professor when she did a study of check-cashing businesses by working at one. She changed her mind about the business's virtues. (HT: David Henderson)

Scott Alexander kindly suggests some groups of people who we don't have to hate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Highly Linkable

First of all, it is settled--I will be inviting Alton to my Super Bowl party next year.

But I'm not inviting Adam because he ruins everything--in this case debunking 13 things that aren't true.

Carol Anne, they're out there.

Speaking of scary things, the news isn't so calming. I find Bryan Caplan's advice to be a sound counter to the tide of common opinion. 

The most I'll allow myself to speculate is that the supposed momentum issue in today's politics of a desire to look inwardly to protect what we have and regain what we've lost will be soon enough revealed as a chimera based on delusion. As Scott Sumner says, absolute poverty dwarfs relative discomfort as a material issue. (BTW, thanks again to Scott for his time in OKC and his nice comments at the bottom of that post).

If you want evidence of how phony the President's argument is and the unlikelihood of lasting "reforms" brought by his administration, look to this illustration of just one widget's journey through a supply chain that spans all of the NAFTA countries. (hat tip: David Henderson)

Alas, fear of Trump ruination continues to grip many. I recommend more advice from Bryan Caplan--embrace limited government!

Trump's own ruination appears more likely to me. I am just surprised by how fast it seems to be developing (perhaps this is wishful thinking). In fact I fear it will all be but wishful thinking that meaningful, good reforms will come from this Republican government. Perhaps Congress will be compelled to tell The Donald "You're Fired!" in short order and a President Pence can then be the signator to healthcare reform, corporate tax reform, and perhaps even major tax reform that can be bundled with climate change (externality) reform. It is amazing how simple and achievable these solutions can be--and accessible when presented by John Cochrane.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Highly Linkable - Philosophy Edition

Rounding out our series of link posts to get us caught up we have this. Enjoy!

Begin with Bryan Caplan making a claim against animal rights. The brilliant Mike Huemer then replied. Caplan counters. Then Huemer. Then Caplan. Then . . . you get the picture. By the time I got to this one, I was surprisingly receptive to Huemer's position. But I think Caplan edges the stronger case. I learned something. Perhaps you will too.

And now two from Scott Sumner (Who incidentally was the keynote speaker at CFA Society Oklahoma's annual dinner held last week. He did a fine job as is no surprise.)

In the first you may be surprised at what "primitive culture" he is aiming his argument.

In the second we see how the possibility of surprising information makes all knowledge subjective where a probability spectrum rather than two realms (certainty and uncertainty) delineates what we know.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Highly Linkable - Pure Economics Edition

We continue catching up on links with three on economics. Every one of these contains a large degree of counter-conventional wisdom. Something for which I am a sucker.

First is John Cochrane being interviewed by Russ Roberts on Economic Growth and Changing the Policy Debate. I very much like the way Cochrane's perspective and approach to this topic is hopeful, straightforward, and wise.

And I could say the same about George Selgin's strong rebuttal to the conventional wisdom that the fed has been holding down interest rates.

Mike Munger challenges the assumptions many might make about how a free-market thinker would approach an issue of business interest versus a group that technically doesn't own an interest--I say "technically" and probably should say "by being robbed".

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Highly Linkable - Science! Edition

This is a special episode of highly linkable. Following my hiatus, a backlog of links has developed. I am breaking them down into a few groups to keep it organized. As always, extra credit if you follow and complete all links in a particular post. This one is focusing on Science--both the science version as well as the Science! version. Hence, there is a mixture of politics, public policy, and economics in all of these. Enjoy!

Starting with the small stuff, Juan Enriquez suggests Wise Reprogramming of Life and asks What Will Humans Look Like in 100 Years.

Now that the simple ones are out of the way, let's get just a bit controversial by diving into Climate Change first with Megan McArdle telling Global-Warming Alarmists, You're Doing It Wrong and second with Hooper & Henderson pointing out a A Fatal Flaw with Climate Models.

We've discussed in the past the predicted continued rise in crop yields. Read this to see how robots will help aid the process. (Beware: economic ignorance alert at the end. Next time someone says "there are no stupid questions", direct them to the one that concludes this article).

This EconTalk interview, "But What If We're Wrong", with Chuck Klosterman is quite rewarding. Of course I would like it. I have a perpetual New Year's Resolution on just that concept.

Matt Ridley supplies a great addition to the growing wisdom that dieting is not about reducing fat. Notice the echos to Chuck Klosterman in the article.

Sticking with weight-loss for a moment, check out this piece from Vox on "The science is in: Exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight".

But maybe Vox is wrong. Scott Alexander challenges them on another topic, EpiPens.

I could have inserted these two short posts from Arnold Kling anywhere here. The first is his thoughts on Earth Day. The second is a quick econ lesson on organic farming.

And that all brings us to discuss science versus anti-science including just how false that comparison really is. First Reason asks if Republicans or Democrats are more anti-science. Second John Tierney discusses The Real War on Science.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Highly Linkable

I want to go to there.

For those of you pondering in your apartments 'why should I read in my shower when I could listen to a podcast in my tub', this edition of links is especially for you.

First of all, EconTalk has been on a tear lately. Three gems:
Marina Krakovsky on the Middleman Economy
Jayson Lusk on Food, Technology, and Unnaturally Delicious
Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything
Second, Bejamin Powell joins Free Thoughts to discuss Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy.

Third, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick shares how Uber plans to kill Big Traffic. BTW, Lyft is getting in on the carpool action as well.

Now for those who prefer to click and read the way nature intended:

Kavin Senapathy writing in Forbes suggests we not get too excited about the prospects (and promises) of microbiome makeovers.

Leave it to Grumpy to throw cold water on the magical promises coming out of the Sanders for Tsar camp.

So a science professor claims to have discovered a hidden value accruing to certain members of a particular profession, and a history professor is pretty sure he knows how much several groups of people in a profession should be paid. Luckily, Andy Schwartz is here to disagree.

Phil Magness draws interesting parallels between failed economic modeling and failed climate modeling. The money paragraph (HT: Arnold Kling):
In a strange way, modern climatology shares much in common with the approach of 1950s Keynesian macroeconomics. It usually starts with a number of sweeping assumptions about the relation between atmospheric carbon and temperature, and presumes to isolate them to specific forms of human activity. It then purports to “predict” the effects of those assumptions with extraordinarily great precision across many decades or even centuries into the future. It even has its own valves to turn and levers to pull – restrict carbon emissions by X%, and the average temperature will supposedly go down by Y degrees. Tax gasoline by X dollar amount, watch sea level rise dissipate by Y centimeters, and so forth. And yet as a testable predictor, its models almost consistently overestimate warming in absurdly alarmist directions and its results claim implausible precision for highly isolated events taking place many decades in the future. These faults also seem to plague the climate models even as we may still accept that some level of warming is occurring.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Highly Linkable

Thank God they don't make 'em like they used to.

Watch this and be sure to watch the last "magic" point about a 52-card deck which starts at the 14:06 mark.

Tucker Max offers great advice on why he stopped (and you should stop or not start) angel investing.

This is not a top ten ranking for a university to aspire to.

Steve Landsburg brings his always valuable counter-conventional perspective to Serial: Season One. It is as hard for me to argue with his logic as it is to accept his conclusion. I believe he is right, but I also believe he has introduced an implied simplifying assumption(s) that ignores principles of justice and that may reduce or even reverse his conclusion. I think these principles could impact the model in both a practical sense (given the iterative and complex/diverse nature of the world of crime and punishment, including these principles might get us to better outcomes) and an ethical sense (it seems problematic to have low thresholds for high severity crimes). I might also quibble with his standard of proof and his philosophical position that a juror should be trying to reach a state of belief rather than my philosophical position that a juror should be trying to validate that the prosecution "undoubtedly" proved its case.

Let's look in on how the nation's first experiment with a $15 minimum wage is going--"Look Away . . . I'm Hideous!" Wonder how the guy who wants to take this model nationwide would react? And keep in mind Seattle's cost of living index is about +20% above the national average. How would this minimum wage sell in Peoria, Illinois, to name just one low-cost-of-living place?

Finally and while we're mentioning The Bern, don't miss Reason's take on Charles Koch's friendly letter to Bernie.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Highly Linkable

Let's begin with a few on immigration (I've been saving these; hence, the late dates on some):
Alex Tabarrok made the case for completely open borders in The Atlantic.
Bryan Caplan continues to fight the good fight. Here are some points he didn't have an opportunity to make at a workshop but did get to share with us, fortunately. And don't miss his speech at the Open Borders Meetup. 
Found this advice on idling cars in the cold helpful and attractively counterintuitive.

Let me take a moment to sing the praises of Comedy Central's "Drunk History". If you haven't watched it yet, start now before finishing this sentence . . . too late. I can think of three ways it is awesome:

  1. It is a better way to learn history than traditional approaches because you remember and enjoy it; therefore, you stick with it longer. In that sense learning is a lot like exercise--the best method is the one you will stick with and the one that will stick with you. 
  2. It tells stories that our traditional, state-driven history instruction won't tell. 
  3. While it is uproariously hilarious to listen to the various drunk narrators describing history, it is also a pretty insightful take on history in a meta sense. Namely, history is vague and uncertain. We should be careful not to be too confident that we've got it figured out precisely.
Tyler Cowen's interview with Chris Asness is extremely rewarding. A few of the money quotes:
"There’s no investment process so good that there’s not a fee high enough that can’t make it bad."
"High frequency trading [which he doesn't engage in] has made the world more just and fair, particularly for small investors."
"This is not Lake Wobegon. We can’t all beat the index. It’s actually a precise mathematical identity."
On superheros: "Even the most insane billionaire cannot afford a hundredth of what frigging Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne have. It’s infuriating. ... I’ve done well. I’m not the most insane out there. But if I wanted to go build a Batcave at my house, it would take approximately 600 times my wealth, and everyone would know about it."
Speaking of rewarding, George Will always delivers as he does here on Michael Bloomberg's potential entry into the presidential election.

And lastly, Scott Sumner on economists who lack an imagination. (I agree in all four cases, and there is no contradiction between that and my other strongly held views.)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Highly Linkable

Let's start with a trip out of town. Got your playlist ready? Sherman, to the Way Back Machine!

Read Jeffrey Tucker's sensible, thoughtful perspective on terrorism and its two great horrors.

Speaking of terrorism, here comes Adam to ruin everything. (HT: KPC)

A top candidate for the most disruptive technological breakthrough of the the next two decades is driverless (or less human driven) cars. The Atlantic has a good discussion of the two approaches driving this disruption.

Scott Sumner summarizes much of what is misunderstood in thinking about monetary economics. This is a bit wonkish, but keep in mind this: getting monetary policy correct is very probably VASTLY more important for your well-being than who wins the next presidential election. The combination of [insert the major candidate you are most opposed to] and good monetary policy is >>> [insert your favorite major candidate] and bad monetary policy. It is not even close.

The Market is a beautiful wonder, and the benefits of free exchange are truly immense. Consider as Cato at Liberty's Chelsea German points out discussing Andy George's projects how expensive a suit or perhaps a simple sandwich would be if we didn't have market exchange. When we limit The Market, we should do so with careful concern and minimal impact.

Assuming we cannot find a strongly compelling reason to prohibit an exchange, a good rule is: If you may do it for free, you may do it for money as Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski point out. This would include some outcomes that we might at first glance find troublesome but upon further inspection would analyze to be quite beneficial (albeit counterintuitive) as Liberty Street Economics points out when considering payday lending.

One of the key ways the market works its magic is through the price system. An effective market needs an effective price system. It is a remarkable method of capturing cost. Substitutes for that system are quite inferior as in the case Arnold Kling points out discussing locavorism.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Highly Linkable

So Jay Bilas of ESPN and Oliver Luck of Cosa Nostra the NCAA debated paying college athletes at an event hosted by FIRE. Andy Schwartz imagined what it would be like with a toddler included. Andy's version is right on the money--so to speak. And here is the actual debate.

Been traveling on the road again; hence, been listening to make productive the time as I go down the highway. Here are a few that stood out for mentioning:

Russ Roberts (EconTalk) interviewed Michael Matheson Miller on his film Poverty, Inc. I love the line: "Poor people are not poor because they lack stuff. Poor people are poor because they lack the institutions of justice."

James Altucher (The James Altucher Show) interviewed Brett McKay, creator of the site The Art of Manliness. I knew of the site (and liked it a lot), but I didn't know McKay was from Oklahoma and graduated from OU--as did I. I loved the discussion on minimalism.

Trevor Burrus and Aaron Ross Powell (Free Thoughts) interviewed Berin Szoka on net neutrality vs. Internet freedom. Admittedly, this one gets a bit too wonky for some, but I found it insightful. I loved the line: "The fundamental problem here is the FCC is writing rules that have real harms because they ban practices that could be good for users or for a variety of other reasons in order to deal with largely phantom problems."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Highly Linkable

Never eat a bad meal again says Todd Kliman. And don't miss this link in the article.

Scott Sumner on NYC's regressive property taxes and the residential building worth as much as many cities' entire residential markets.

Perhaps they should try rent control? Oh yeah, that is acutely harmful for the poor as well as Megan McArdle points out. In other news local area hospitals are considering blood letting as a cure for cancer.

Of course, public schools play a big role in distorting property values. The performance at NYC's private charter school Success Academy may bring some changes to that.

Think you understand Richter? Think again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Highly Linkable

Aziz Ansari says we're lookin' for love in all the wrong places and in the process channels his inner economist.

This is an awesome new project on Hayek by Don Boudreaux. Be sure not to miss the short videos.

Life is getting better, one thread at a time . . . Project Jacquard by Google.

Alberto Mingardi argues that locavorism is anti quality and anti quantity of life.

Charles Murray wants us to fight (federal) city hall. Arnold Kling dissents insisting exit rather than voice is the answer.

"Scott Alexander" breaks down the California water problem very well and offers some good ideas for solutions.

John Cochrane takes to task Richard Thaler and behavioral economics.

"Minimum wages are great . . . except for us," says LA County union leaders.

Scott Sumner explains how people get confused about monetary policy thinking of it as credit policy. No matter how much cash Apple acquires, it cannot conduct monetary policy.

Bryan Caplan has a simple request: unlock the school library.

I find counter-conventional wisdom delicious--in this case literally so. As illustrated in this Bloomberg article, barbecue impresario Meathead Goldwyn can tell you everything you are doing wrong on the grill (for me it was several things and counting). And he applies science and logic to the process. Bon Appetit!