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Category Archive for 'ethical foundations'

Timeless Wokeness

THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES   CHAPTER 1 All is Vanity 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation […]

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Before I proceed with this post, let’s get this out of the way. Here is a really cute elephant picture: And let me get the following out of the way: even though I understand the economics and arguments about why we may want to allow and perhaps even encourage hunting, I don’t like it at […]

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I am definitely not getting invited to dinner parties after asking this question. When people illustrate the absolutely brutal record of socialism and communism as implemented in human history, we get the usual, “well, if only MY GUY was in charge” or if “only REAL and TRUE socialism were tried” then it would have worked, […]

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In our measures of welfare in economics, we pay careful attention to the impacts an exchange has not just on those parties who are involved in the exchange, but also to third parties who may be receiving benefits or incurring costs as a result of Person A exchanging with Person B. What economics tends to not do […]

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It is surely the case that Mr. Bentham’s lifetime utility is much larger than would have otherwise been the case. How much should his satisfaction be weighted in the global social utility function? I most certainly love it when my students tell me that they are visiting London or planning to study abroad at UCL […]

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Oh, you thought it was the Trumpian loonies? Think again. The same “democratizers” that came to U of R last spring have descended on Harvard. Isn’t it totally fascinating how “professional” the union organizing apparatus is? Sounds pretty darn ironic for a group of people who are “against the man.”  In any case, one of […]

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Intentions and results are not the same thing. Now, this should seem pretty obvious to most people, but it gets lost in the popular fervor that explodes around most contentious issues. In class we try to discuss some sort of innocuous versions of this application so as to not get people too angry. For example, […]

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There’s always something fun brewing down at ye ol’ alma mater: Dear Dean Boor and Trustees of the University: As New York State organic farmers, we object to the presence of the “Alliance for Science” on the Cornell campus (http://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/). This advocacy group for the highly controversial agricultural genetic engineering industry, funded almost entirely by […]

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You want to get depressed? (1) See how the “Food Babe” is abusing the FOIA to smear, antagonize and intimidate Dr. Kevin Folta of the University of Florida’s Horticulture Department. (2) See the latest in the Krugman Chronicles.  Classy world we live in. Did anyone ever learn manners?

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In my readings on political philosophy, even the most hard-core socialists, from the state-ownership clan to the anarcho-syndicalist-socialist clan seem to accede the fact that capitalism is “second best.” In other words, they craft a utopian vision for what a socialist world could look like, but since people are crooked, selfish, etc. then we must […]

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