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Tag Archives: technology

I’m Still Not the Least Worried About AI Causing Lasting Unemployment

Here’s an e-mail to an economics undergraduate who (I boast) says that his brother “is a fan of Cafe Hayek.” Mr. Chad: Thanks for your e-mail. And please pass along my thanks to your brother for his telling you about Café Hayek. You ask how worried I am “about lasting unemployment being brought on by AI and robotics making robots closer and closer to human.” For three related reasons, I’m not worried at all. First, robots are tools that conserve human labor. As Deirdre McCloskey notes,...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 287 of Deirdre McCloskey’s marvelous 2019 book, Why Liberalism Works: How True Liberal Values Produce a Freer, More Equal, Prosperous World for All: Stuff, not jobs, are what we have economies for. If we can get more stuff by technological change or by trading with China and Mexico, good. Comments

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Four Economic Lessons from the Nativity

My exegetic knowledge of the New Testament is not up to academic standards, but I find in Luke 2:1-7 four economic lessons of the Nativity: (1) Leviathan is not a piece of cake; (2) technology matters; (3) institutions matter even more; (4) wealth matters. The readers of this blog, not to speak of my co-bloggers, can no doubt find more lessons. The Gospel says (Luke 2:1-3, quoted from the King James Bible): And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a...

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Some Links

Joakim Book rightly celebrates the reality of technology increasing people’s employment options. My amazing GMU colleague Ilya Somin, from over in the Scalia School of Law, is among the immigrants whose inspiring stories are celebrated by Stuart Anderson. Edward Lazear, John Cochrane, David Henderson, Richard Epstein, Michael J. Boskin, and Daniel Heil productively ponder taxation. Dan Ikenson justifiably is no great fan of the USMCA. And Eric Boehm justifiably is no great fan of “phase...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 5-6 of economist Arthur Diamond, Jr.’s superb 2019 book, Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism: The greatest breakthrough inventions and innovations are those that go against the dominant theories and opinions. These are the ones that teach us the most; these are the ones that bring us what we thought was impossible. The most binding constraint on the rate of our breakthrough inventions and innovations is the scarcity of those key moments when...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is realistic about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the politics behind it. A slice: Now there is no doubt that passing USMCA would lift the uncertainty that is plaguing trade and investors today. But that’s a much different argument than saying that USMCA would make the economy stronger. Besides, this uncertainty was entirely produced by Mr. Trump, fueled by his desire to destroy all things free trade in America....

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Some Links

Fareed Zakaria is correct that Donald Trump is no friend of free markets. Here’s Zakaria’s conclusion: On the core issue that used to define the GOP — economics — the party’s agenda today is state planning and crony capitalism. And this is what so-called conservatives are doubling down to defend. (Note: I understand that the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders might well be as bad or worse than Trump. But this fact no more counsels against warning of the horribleness of Trump’s...

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Helen Dale on liberalism and technocracy

CapX is running a series of pieces on “Illiberalism in Europe”, with the support of the Atlas Network. The first one is by writer Helen Dale and makes a number of interesting points. Dale is clearly more sympathetic to the populist upsurge than others. Yet she identifies persuasively one of its characters: that is, antipathy for experts. This has been accounted as a most dangerous factor by many, beginning with Tom Nichols’s book The Death of Expertise: The Campaign...

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Inside Bill’s Brain

In his new three-part Netflix documentary, Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, Davis Guggenheim remarks that when he first went to meet the Microsoft co-founder, he found him combing line by line through the Minnesota state budget. In Gates’s tote bag were 37 other state budgets, awaiting similar forensic analysis. Such detail-oriented focus has long defined Gates, who, on a plane ride to a crucial early business meeting, wrote a bootloader for the Altair 8800...

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