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Category Archive for 'You Can’t Have it Both Ways'

It is obviously extremely hard to pin down a solid figure for how many people are going to be displaced due to the challenges posed by a warming planet. But virtually every publication I have read on the challenges of global warming rank the issue of “climate refugees” as both a serious political and economic […]

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If you look at the major risks to human health and well-being around the world, you will quickly come to realize that climate change ranks nowhere near the top of the list. For example, the WHO and various other estimates show that something like 10 million people per year die from easily curable infectious diseases […]

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… for the “rules of economics” not to apply! How often have you heard things like, “during an emergency, the rules of economics don’t apply!”? Or, health care and the environment are too important for the rules of economics to apply. Economics just doesn’t belong here. If only! To suggest that the rules of economics […]

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When you sit through a Physics 101 course, you are taught fundamental laws of motion, particularly Newtownian mechanics. You are then assigned problems that may go something like: you jump naked off of the Freedom Tower, and there is no wind velocity in any direction. How long until impact? And then you go ahead and […]

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Unquestionably it is the case that offering financial incentives can, and does, undermine motivation for certain behaviors. Not to be too crude, but if I offered my wife $100 in order to have her cook me dinner, she’d probably be less likely to do it than if we had planned something together. You can imagine […]

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Gifts are the original sin of commerce. My theory is that this is why “the gift economy” is so cherished by critics of anonymous, ephemeral, market exchange. Market exchanges allow us to free ourselves from the power that our families and others exercise over us. The wider the extent of market competition, the less we […]

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Can you hold the idea of “equal pay for equal work” and still be a strong advocate of progressive taxation? Ignore the moral arguments against progressive taxation – which include the political view of the founders warning against the tyranny of the majority … focus on the logical consistency for the moment. The idea of […]

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Indulge the simple thought exercise. There are a goodly number of people (mostly on “the right”) who argue (correctly?) that the science of climate change is extremely uncertain, vastly underidentified, requires measurement that we are not up to yet, etc. … … so, they argue that the science is not settled and as such we […]

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One of the most shocking reads from the past couple of years has been Thomas Leonard’s Illiberal Reformers. The book goes through, in gulp-worthy detail, the history of the rise of the “Progressive” movement’s support for various labor market interventions and immigration policies. Almost all of it is hard to reprint here, but the idea […]

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Go Green!

Solar powered picnic tables? Check. Solar powered trash cans? Check. Dedicated green blog? Check. Recycling cans everywhere? Check. Water bottle filling stations? Check. Stopping our snowblowers from leaking gas/oil all over the sidewalks and into our waterways? Ummmm …

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