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Category Archive for 'Methodology'

Marauding Ghoulies Cause Cancer

It seems that the burden of proof in popular argumentation is shifted to whatever favorable point we’d like to make. And believe me, people of all sides are prone to doing it. But think about some issue that causes controversy for whatever reason – climate change, eating GMO foods, vaccines and autism, and so on. […]

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Here is a good summary of the modern challenges facing philanthropists. Back when we had our student group this would have been a great topic for discussion. Aside from the obvious Hayekian concerns about knowledge and planning, the philosophical question of whether unborn future people can and should have a claim on us is difficult. […]

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I suppose I should be less inclined to do so, but when I see the term “democratic” used, that is a pretty sure signal for me to go. My hypothesis is that when you see someone invoke the term democratic in an argument, it is just shorthand for saying something closer to “undemocractic.” It seems […]

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Weekend Ponderance

Disagreeing to agree is a far better way to proceed than “agreeing to disagree” if in fact folks are having a scientific discussion. In the latter, you would be acknowledging that there are no deeper and absolute truths to seek out. In the former, you engage in argument in the same spirit as JS Mill […]

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Ask almost anyone to define “capitalism” to you and you will inevitably get a blank stare. If you try and push the question I suspect you’ll get people answering something like the way people are asked to identify “porn” … they can’t, but they know it when they see it. Except, of course, with capitalism, […]

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If the income and wealth of every single American were to double over the next decade in REAL terms, then in a decade, the amount of measured poverty would remain unchanged. You’d also very likely see no change in inequality according to the way most people talk about it, i.e. “the income share of the […]

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What data would be sufficient to falsify your thesis? This question need be asked not just in the physical science, where observations about the world are where the theoretic rubber meetings the road, but also in the social sciences. When it comes to the hard sciences, you can imagine laying out conditions that would encourage […]

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Let the Food Fight Begin!

This research paper hit my desk this morning: Positive Long Run Capital Taxation: Chamley-Judd Revisitedby Ludwig Straub, Ivan Werning  –  #20441 (EFG PE)Abstract:According to the Chamley-Judd result, capital should not be taxed inthe long run.  In this paper, we overturn this conclusion, showingthat it does not follow from the very models used to derive them.For […]

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Inequality and Revolution

Yes, I said the “R’ word. In order to persuade folks about the problems of “inequality” it would of course be nice to: Define precisely what inequality is. Are we talking about absolute inequality? Relative inequality. Tell us how we can actually measure it. Follow the SAME people over time. I’m sorry, but there is […]

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Yesterday I suggested that the articles on both Picketty’s super-duper-mega-important book of the century on capitalism as well as the Yglesias piece on the gender wage gap were deserving of a fine toothed comb. Here, Matt Rognlie (whose blog I used to follow but for some reason I can’t get his feed to work for […]

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