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Category Archive for 'Price System'

In this short Youtube clip, author and food activist Michael Pollan argues: Milk will always be the maximum number of paces from the door, and the reason is that most people want to get a quart of milk and they want them to pass as many other things as possible on the way — so […]

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Humans are to electricity like fish are to water … or something close to it. Electricity has become so vital to our lives, yet so reliable, that we hardly think about it, perhaps even as we pay our monthly electricity bills. reflecting on our reliance upon electricity may lead one into a paradox, and it […]

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Good economics recognizes that we do not produce merely for the sake of production, hobbies notwithstanding. In other words, the sole end of all production is consumption. The reason I am in here long before the break of dawn is not really because I particularly love combing through the NBER Working Papers, or that I […]

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Just wanted to update my readers on the amount of greed in the economy. In March of this year, the average retail price of gasoline was $3.85. In the first week of November, the average retail price of gasoline was $3.34. So, I guess gas and oil companies are feeling 13% less greedy these days! […]

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A former student asked me to re-run this post. You can see why I have few friends now. It’s likely that the main beneficiaries of “Veterans’ Day” and other ways we celebrate Veterans are not the Veterans at all. It is almost surely the government itself (on many dimensions). The dimension I have in mind […]

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Friday Morning Economics Quiz

For those of you who like to draw supply and demand curves, please help your dear professor with this little exercise.  Suppose that the demand for activities that generate carbon and carbon dioxide is sharply inelastic, or even in the world of unicorns, perfectly inelastic. What IS the social cost problem in that situation? And […]

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Weekend Ponderance

If jobs are such a benefit to each of us, then why are we not paying our employers for the privilege of working? Indeed, if jobs are such a benefit, shouldn’t proponents of the minimum wage be horrified at what their position is saying?

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Today my colleague Steve has a wonderful post discussing how economics is compassionate, or at least more compassionate than seat-of-the-pants emotional theorizing, because it is one of the few intellectual disciplines that forces us, as a matter of foundational methodology, to think about ALL people. This is nice, because in conversations about the desirability of […]

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I’ve been met by two common complaints lately. First that the rich have undue political power in America. Second, that the poor have too little labor market power. Both may be true. I don’t know. But then riddle me these: (1) If the rich have so much influence, then how come the vast majority of […]

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Deceitful

This is a portion of my most recent water bill: You know how much attention is paid to the practices of credit card companies and mortgage companies and the like? It would be nice if similar scrutiny were universally applied. We get at least three bills that are just like this one. When you look […]

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