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

A very misunderstood idea is that “organic” foods are grown without pesticides. This is patently untrue. Organic foods are grown with “approved” pesticides – generally those that have a biological origin. Of course, this does not mean that these pesticides are worse, or better, than “unnaturally” produced chemical pesticides (aren’t biological pesticides also chemicals? Oh, […]

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Quite literally almost every single person involved in college athletics/kidney donations gets paid except the very people who are generating the lion’s share of value in the first place. Tell me an argument in favor of banning kidney sales and then insert “college athlete” and see how that sounds. Of course, neither the athlete nor […]

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It is well understood that the incidence of defaults on college debt is higher on people with smaller loans outstanding. These are marginally attached students to begin with. Remember that 40% of students who start college do not finish. Yet, contrast this with where the “noise” is coming from on “free college” and the “college loan crisis.” […]

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It seems to me that anti-GMO activists are open and proud discriminators on the basis of sex. Transgenic breeding techniques are targeted methods of introducing genes with particularly desirable characteristics into a plant or animal species. These very same characteristics have been for thousands of years, and can currently be, bred traditionally into plant and […]

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So, reusable shopping bags are becoming even costlier than I argued earlier: My local supermarket, which is nationally recognized as being both great at customer service and also great at appearing green to its customers, has finally recognized that customers who use reusable shopping bags impose costs on other people in line by making the […]

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I’ve had a number of students ask me for letters of recommendation to help them secure their summer internships. Almost all of these internships are unpaid. Three quick observations: (1) It seems to be that high-end jobs have completely outsourced basic training to their future employees instead of it being done by them. You should see […]

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DD sends me the following article which suggests that Uber is losing quite a bit of money, is not going to turn profitable, and presumably is the worst thing to ever happen to America. Two quick points, should you care to read through the article. The author argues (and I am not sure I disagree […]

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A surprisingly large number of smart people support raising the minimum wage. In two separate conversations this week with very intelligent people, it was argued to me: That there is some research (I once wrote a book review of this) suggesting that labor markets are monopsonistic. And I can draw you a picture of how […]

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There is a well-regarded theory in economics (and popular?) that suggests that during slack economic conditions, we should welcome a bit of unexpected inflation from the Fed. Why? Well, for one, if you believe in a sticky wage view of the world, and the psychological and practical difficulties with employers lowering wages to existing workers, […]

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Today’s post is a sort of variation on the response I would give (and have given in the past) to the slur, “You didn’t build that.” In political matters, I am sure you have had invoked on you, at one time or another, the idea that the government has legitimate authority to coerce an individual […]

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