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EconLog Library

How the Profit Motive Makes Discrimination Less than Otherwise

Because I have a cottage at Minaki, Ontario and am originally from Manitoba, I’m on a newly formed members-only Facebook group of Manitobans with cottages in northwestern Ontario. (I confessed to the organizer that I’m now a Californian and he said that was alright.) Why such a group? Because Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, has taken measures against freedom of movement that make my governor, Governor Newsom, look positively libertarian by comparison. Ontario has...

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Miguel Perez: A “Bad Student” Makes Good

Miguel Perez sent me this email, entitled “the curious case of my education.”  Reprinted with his permission. Hi, I am sharing my case with you, because I feel it epitomizes some of your points against current education. I was born in Spain, in 1988, went to public school and it was a disaster. I was diagnosed with severe ADHD, and was unable to finish middle school. I came to China, where I faked my high school diploma to get into college. I studied Chinese...

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Tulsa Under an Economics-of-Politics Lens

One hundred years ago today, on May 31 and June 1st, 1921, white mobs descended on a prosperous black enclave of Tulsa, Oklahoma, dubbed “Black Wall Street.” The original purpose was to lynch a black man who was in custody after being accused of raping a white woman. The riots that followed, in which armed black men also (understandably) participated, ended up with hundreds of black residents killed or injured, and the burning and looting of most of the neighborhood...

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How do deficits matter?

Tyler Cowen directed me to a Ross Douthat post on people with intellectual influence: Scott Sumner/Stephanie Kelton: Because market monetarism and modern monetary theory arguably stand in the same relation to our “no, really, deficits don’t matter” policymaking era as Milton Friedman did to Reagan-Thatcher neoliberalism. I’m flattered that Douthat believes that I’ve been influential, but I worry that people might misunderstand this claim.  As far as I know, my views...

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Knowledge, Reality, and Value Book Club, Part 1

In the Preface for his new Knowledge, Reality, and Value, Mike Huemer engages in some humorous megalomania.  In response to the question, “Why read this book?,” Huemer states: The author. I’m smart, I know a lot, and I’m not confused – which means you can probably learn a lot from this book. You probably won’t learn too many falsehoods, and you probably won’t run into too many passages that don’t make sense. All accurate.  Huemer is very smart, does indeed know a lot,...

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Francesco Ferrara and the nirvana fallacy

My pinned tweet (the tweet that keeps on your profile page, on notorious social media) reads as follows: Be advised that “markets” do not vote, they have no direction, no leader. They only function to attribute a price to things. If you threaten not to give back whatever you borrowed, the lender will demand a higher yield. If it deems your threat to be credible, it will not lend you anymore I am used to angry answers, from time to time. People love to find “markets”...

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How Many Pinocchios Should Glenn Kessler Get?

You know, Nazis were the National Socialist Party. Just like the Democrats are now a national socialist party. Now Kessler would have been on good grounds had he challenged her second statement. The Democrats are nationalists to some degree, although probably somewhat less than Republicans and way less than the Nazis. They’re also socialists to some degree, more so than Republicans, but way less so than the Nazis. But that’s not the route Kessler took. Instead he challenged her first...

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A new model of the macroeconomy

As you will see, the title of this post is half joking and half serious. I’ll try to explain both halves, starting with the joking part. My brand new model of the macroeconomy is called the NS/RO model, which stands for nominal spending/real output.  The model shows how equilibrium output and the price level are determined.  The key insight is that changes in nominal spending have a short run positive effect on real output, but no long run effect. The following graph...

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Failure to Launch and UBI

A tough problem that many young people have in their late teens and early- to mid-twenties is “failure to launch.” They have trouble stepping out on their own and taking responsibility, whether it’s about money, jobs, studying, or a few other things. I was talking about that with a friend recently; he has a friend in his late twenties who, in his estimate, is “failing to launch.” Various government policies have played a role in making it last longer. One is the huge...

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Knowledge, Reality, and Value Book Club Starts Monday

My Book Club on Mike Huemer‘s new intro philosophy textbook launches Monday.  And I’m pleased to announce the Huemer himself will be joining the discussion. After I write the first post, you can direct your comments to either of us.  I’ll be responding later in the week.  Huemer will respond separately. While the book is 346 pages long, it’s so readable that you can easily be done Monday if you start now!

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