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Category Archive for 'Competition'

This is a theme that we will come back to from time to time. Let’s think for a minute about what Daniel Kahneman says about making good investment decisions: “You should talk to people who disagree with you and you should talk to people who are not in the same emotional situation you are,” (via Marginal […]

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Suppose you are worried that some particular activity threatens the water that you rely upon. In many cases, since there are so many possible polluters invading “our” water resources and since there are so many people who use a water source, the idea of arranging contracts between polluters and pollutees to get an optimum amount […]

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It turns out that Californians have successfully made their lives less comfortable by banning plastic bags. As you surely know this is yet another feel good policy that will accomplish almost nothing in the way of real environmental benefits.  Now, I have no problem with people making poor choices especially with their own funds, and […]

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The Huffpo and the minimum wage cheerleaders have now gone off the deep end. If you simply SAY that someone “demolishes” a classic argument, does that make it so? And just look at how uber-sophisticated and intelligent that post is. WHAT classic argument? It’s not like anyone tells us. Is it the classic moral argument […]

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Among some of the most unproductive questions I am asked regularly include questions of the type, “are you in support of XYZ?” As if XYZ is some monolithic, black and white, easy to understand and represent with the word XYZ, thing. Of course, it is not. So, in the past I’ve been very evasive when […]

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What Protects Workers?

If the populist view of wage determination is true, then we’d see that the only reason firms pay workers more than the bare minimum is to keep workers alive enough to continue exploiting. Further, if that narrative were true, then the only other reason why firms pay more than that amount is because labor market […]

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The “left” sees the last 34 years as a revival (was there ever a VIVAL?) of laissez-faire dogmatism. Some folks like myself see it as almost the diametric opposite. Of course, some of this could be “settled” by empirical evidence. The number of pages of regulations? The dollars spent complying with regulations? The number of […]

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Consider the fact that most large corporations from 50 years ago are either extinct or are no longer among the country’s largest (I’d show data, but my Eco 108 students are going to be doing an assignment on this shortly). Consider the rhetoric about “markets” being prone to monopoly and exploitation and entrenchment of political […]

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On Sunday we asserted here that there has not been much innovation in “roads” over the past four decades or so. The post provoked some interesting responses so I thought it made sense to revisit the topic. The focus was on innovation on not generally on the history of road provision, the “publicness” of roads, […]

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Ford, like Exxon, is enjoying monster profits right now. But of course there are no calls for “excess profits taxes” on them. I hereby propose one. Here is a nice bit from the news story: Ford will pay profit-sharing checks of about $8,300 to its 45,000 hourly workers in the U.S. represented by the United […]

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