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Category Archive for 'View All Posts'

The Shame of Recycling

We need not recount here the very simple economics required to determine whether recycling makes sense. The reality of the recycling world is that most of the “valuable” stuff out there is already being recycled and reused, and the question on residential recycling is about how we deal with low-value or even value-less trash in […]

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It is obviously extremely hard to pin down a solid figure for how many people are going to be displaced due to the challenges posed by a warming planet. But virtually every publication I have read on the challenges of global warming rank the issue of “climate refugees” as both a serious political and economic […]

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If you look at the major risks to human health and well-being around the world, you will quickly come to realize that climate change ranks nowhere near the top of the list. For example, the WHO and various other estimates show that something like 10 million people per year die from easily curable infectious diseases […]

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Selling the Dream

Realtors are quite well known for trying to make their properties sound good, and use language and discuss amenities that potential customers find attractive. If inequality were such a huge concern, how come we don’t see reports of Gini Coefficients in real estate listings, or some other such similar measures? Now, sure, this is my […]

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Weekly Ponderence

That’s all there is. Enjoy the experience folks.

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… for the “rules of economics” not to apply! How often have you heard things like, “during an emergency, the rules of economics don’t apply!”? Or, health care and the environment are too important for the rules of economics to apply. Economics just doesn’t belong here. If only! To suggest that the rules of economics […]

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When you sit through a Physics 101 course, you are taught fundamental laws of motion, particularly Newtownian mechanics. You are then assigned problems that may go something like: you jump naked off of the Freedom Tower, and there is no wind velocity in any direction. How long until impact? And then you go ahead and […]

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Unquestionably it is the case that offering financial incentives can, and does, undermine motivation for certain behaviors. Not to be too crude, but if I offered my wife $100 in order to have her cook me dinner, she’d probably be less likely to do it than if we had planned something together. You can imagine […]

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Gifts are the original sin of commerce. My theory is that this is why “the gift economy” is so cherished by critics of anonymous, ephemeral, market exchange. Market exchanges allow us to free ourselves from the power that our families and others exercise over us. The wider the extent of market competition, the less we […]

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Not So Great

Here in the Sugarlands Visitor Center at the Great Smoky National Park we see: I love that there is a nearly empty collection box. The park tries to collect small amounts of fees by selling trail maps and wildflower and wildlife guides, but at $1 a pop that is probably barely enough to cover the […]

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