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 […]
Category Archive for 'Price System'
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! […]
Posted in Price System on Nov 11th, 2013
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 […]
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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Or not. Saturday we linked to a “Sustainability” post about opinions on plastic bags. There is a hidden gem in the comments: and those of us who do not want to use them every time we shop will not be paying for them as an overhead cost in the price of goods A common argument […]
That’s what armchair tax theorists are. Consider an example from the book Garbology: Fifteen cents [of a tax] is a relative pittance, but it does add up over hundreds of bags, and so it had an immediate impact on the behavior of Irish consumers … … The tax was never much of a burden because relatively […]