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Tag Archives: Bryan Caplan

The Importance of Play

I loved Amy Willis’s interview of co-blogger Bryan Caplan. The questions were on target and Bryan’s thoughtful answers showed what a good, caring father he is. The interview went far beyond home schooling and got into how to be a good parent. I made notes at the time, but didn’t time stamp them. So I don’t remember where in the interview Bryan said this, but it was clear that he understood the importance of play and joy in his children’s lives. It’s important, not...

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Lorna Collier on the Universal Basic Income

Lorna Collier wrote a post on the Universal Basic Income that appeared yesterday. She interviewed me for it, but didn’t use anything I said. That’s alright because she took the arguments I made, fashioned them into a short op/ed by me, and gave me veto power. So the op/ed by me in the piece faithfully reflects my views. She did quote other people saying the same things I said: the huge expense of a UBI; the huge tax increases required pay for it and still leave us...

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Bryan’s 20-20 vision.

On the first day of 2020, Bryan Caplan won his EU bet (that no country would leave the EU by December 31, 2019.)  That gives Bryan a record of 20-0 in his public bets.  What should we make of that record? The odds of someone correctly predicting 20 consecutive coin tosses is more than a million to one.  Not all of Bryan’s bets are even odds, but a look at the list suggests that the average bet is close enough to even odds that the 20-0 record is truly extraordinary....

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Review of Open Borders

You might expect that I, as an immigrant and as an economist who favors the free movement of labor, would find the idea of open borders to be an obviously good policy. If you also learned that in 1977, the Immigration and Naturalization Service tried to deport me, you might think that I would also be emotionally, and not just intellectually, in favor of open borders. At times I have been. At other times, though, my enthusiasm for open borders has flagged. When I...

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Prohibitions: Constitutionalism and Democracy

The general institutional framework for policy-making is constitutional democracy. Let’s start with constitutionalism.  Constitutions are entrenched rules, which are more difficult to change than ordinary legislation.  They can provide general structure and stability.  A constitution establishes the machinery of government, which has three principal dimensions: (a) separate branches or “powers” (executive, legislative, and judicial), (b) checks and balances among the...

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Ironic Juxtaposition

I’m not reading too much into this, just saying I noticed that in back-to-back posts (though one was a re-run) on EconLog this was funny: ==> Bryan Caplan has a post (which was front and center on my phone, but they actually re-ran from June 3) wondering why immigration is even a contentious issue among classical liberals. There is a big cartoon of Milton Friedman with his Nobel Prize and his famous quote, “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and...

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Don’t use a snow shovel to sip a cup of soup

Bryan Caplan has a recent post that is critical of utilitarianism: One argument against utilitarianism is that no one actually follows it. I call this the Argument from Hypocrisy. (Bryan’s objection is almost equally true of Christianity. “Turn the other cheek”.  Seriously?) I’m not sure if utilitarians are hypocrites, and even if they are, that fact has no bearing on the question of whether utilitarianism is true (i.e. useful.) A utilitarian like me would say that...

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The $60K Rafting Guide

Like the students in Jared Lucas’s class, I have been thinking a lot about Bryan Caplan’s insights on schooling in The Case Against Education. I got to about page 120 and then my plane landed, but I read it the way I read every book I write a review on: every page and every footnote. And my reaction to it is similar to, though less extreme than, the way Robert E. Lucas thinks about economic growth: Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead...

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More Examples of Intellectuals Not Really Believing Their ‘Shocking’ Claims

Recently I pointed out that (a) with the release of his second-last book, Bryan Caplan spent a lot of time debunking the popular notion that parents can influence their kids, (b) with the release of his most recent book, Bryan spent a lot of time debunking the popular notion that education can influence kids, and (c) Bryan is the most systematic and detailed blogger I know when it comes to telling the world his method for homeschooling his children (e.g. here). To...

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