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Category Archive for 'History'

Hobgoblins

I have written this a zillion times before … but I have been in and around economics since 1993, and never in my entire career have I had a teacher or article or book teach me about “trickle down” economics. This is a perjorative term conjured from the ether by anti-market proponents, and the strawiest […]

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Today I reprint a slightly edited piece I put together several years ago. I’d change a lot of it, from the content to the tone, if I were to do it over – but one must live with one’s younger self. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Four centuries after the celebration of the first Thanksgiving, there […]

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I was in the midst of my high school formative years when a couple of watershed moments in world history happened, and these had fantastically powerful and lasting impacts on me. I grew up in New York City during the Cold War, and there were nuclear fallout shelters in our little Catholic school, and the […]

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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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See this gate? … Well, every night trucks stacked with bodies came back here and dumped them in a heap. They’d already been shot in the back of the head – you bleed less that way … They stacked the bodies in old wooden ammunition crates. The workers stoked up the underground ovens – right […]

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I am a big fan of harp-guitar players and one of my favorites is Stephen Bennett. Here is one of my favorites from him, entitled Merry Christmas Mr. Gorbachev. It’s a happy sounding song, as it should be. I imagine he wrote it as a reference to the (in)famous Christmas night in 1991 when Soviet […]

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Today I reprint a slightly edited piece I put together several years ago. I’d change a lot of it, from the content to the tone, if I were to do it over – but one must live with one’s younger self. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Four centuries after the celebration of the first Thanksgiving, there […]

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King Philip’s War

It would be wrong to call King Philip’s war “long forgotten” as you’d have to have once known a little about it in order to forget it. Never in my grade school, high school or college history experiences did I hear mention of it, never in much of my leisurely reading on the American founding […]

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Another Offhand Remark

One conditions to not get angry or depressed by the myriad vapid, unsubstantiated and ad hominem-type remarks in nearly every book you pick up. This is especially the case in my two areas of “expertise” – environmental economics and the economics of higher education. Here is an example from the latest, The Big Ratchet, by Ruth DeFries: Aberrant […]

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Americans in Shining Armor

From an old NY Review of Books review by Freeman Dyson (What Price Glory?): … several historic battles in which foot soldiers defeated cavalry. In spite of these repeated calamities, the knight on his horse remained the emblem of military virtue throughout the long centuries of the Middle Ages. Kings and emperors spent their fortunes […]

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