Saturday , December 14 2019
Home / Tag Archives: Everyday Life

Tag Archives: Everyday Life

I, Asparagus

This morning in the Whole Foods Market at Fair Lakes (in northern Virginia) I noticed that asparagus are selling for $3.99 per pound – asparagus grown in Peru! What a spectacular world! A production or nonsupervisory worker in the United States today who is paid the average wage for such workers must spend a mere 17 percent of one-hour’s wage to purchase a pound of fresh asparagus grown on another continent. Are you not amazed? If not, you should be. Not only did some number of farm...

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The Can-Do Attitude of Innovism

The worst market failure is the market’s poor public relations. By far. The market is far too quiet and modest about its countless brilliant achievements. The market routinely brings forth astonishing innovations that benefit billions, yet most of these innovations go unnoticed by most people. Worse, when pointed out, each one of these achievements is likely to be regarded by intellectuals with contempt and sometimes even with scorn. Very few of the genuine achievements of markets –...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy reacts to the reaction of the French against the costs of government-imposed environmentalism. A slice: The resistance comes from middle- to low-income workers. They’re especially sensitive to changes in the cost and availability of energy for the simple reason that it affects so many aspects of their lives — from getting to work, especially for those who live in rural areas, to the price of most consumer goods. It’s clear that many...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy – writing again in the New York Times – reveals how rent-seekers and their enablers in government conceal tariffs’ true costs. A slice: Even worse is the legislatively required bias that the United States International Trade Commission must exercise against American consumers of imports when deciding whether or not to impose duties on foreign producers accused of selling their goods for less than they should or selling unduly...

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Eye-Opening

Tomorrow morning I’m having a cataract removed from my right eye. On August 23rd I’ll have a cataract removed from my left eye. During each procedure, the surgeon will also implant in my eye an artificial lens. If all goes well, I will, just days before turning 60 years old, have 20/20 vision for the first time since I was a young child. I began wearing glasses when I was in first grade. Beatlemania had just erupted and was at fever pitch – that’s how long ago my myopia was first...

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In the Teeth of the Scarcityists

While laying back this morning in a chair at my dentist’s office having my teeth expertly checked and cleaned, I thought of my grandparents, each of whom I knew.  Each was born in the United States, and three of the four were born in a city (New Orleans).  (My paternal grandfather was born somewhere deep in the swamps of south Louisiana, although when 15 years old he ran away from home to New Orleans and lived in that city until he died 60 years later.)  The years of their lives are:...

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Freeman Essay #44: “A Review of Cox’s and Alm’s ‘Myths of Rich & Poor’”

In the January 2000 Freeman I reviewed one of my favorite books of the 1990s: Michael Cox’s and Richard Alm’s 1999 volume, Myths of Rich & Poor.  My review is below the fold. I vividly recall a 1972 visit to the Sears store in our local mall. I was 14 years old and had never before seen an electronic calculator. But there at Sears, for the first time in my life, was this wonder to behold! Three different models were displayed beneath plexiglass cut so that the keyboards could be...

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Stagnant Middle Class?

According to a January 2014 Consumer Reports article, citing figures from the Food Marketing Institute, the average supermarket had fewer than nine thousand items in 1975.  By 2008, that number had quintupled. So reports Michael Ruhlman (on page 31 of his 2017 book, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America.) Not doubled.  Not tripled.  Not quadrupled.  Quintupled.  Quintupled – in a mere one-third of a century.  The number of items today offered for sale to ordinary Americans...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 22-23 of Nicholas Eberstadt’s informative essay – “Longevity, Education, and the Huge New Worldwide Increases in Equality” – which is Chapter 2 of the new (2017) English-language translation of the volume of collected essays edited by Jean-Philippe Delsol, Nicolas Lecaussin, and Emmanuel Martin, Anti-Piketty (footnote deleted; link and graph added; the lower a Gini-index measure of inequality, the more equally ‘distributed’ across a population is whatever feature, such as...

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Once Again: You’re Richer than Rockefeller

Naturally, I’m pleased and honored that George Will built his most-recent column – to appear in tomorrow’s (May 7th’s) print edition of the Washington Post – around my blog post comparing the material wealth of an ordinary American today to the material wealth of J.D. Rockefeller a century ago.  Today’s ordinary American, in an absolute (although, obviously, not a relative) sense, is likely materially richer than was Rockefeller.  Here are the closing paragraphs of George Will’s column:...

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