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Category Archive for 'ethical foundations'

This post is not intended to be an all-encompassing discussion of the problem of kidney shortages, and the main arguments for an against, rather it is a lightly edited illustration of the conversations we have after I teach lectures on the “efficiency” of the current kidney allocation system. Indeed, we end up having one to […]

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A lovely story: To generate “settlers,” the government reinstated the hated system of domestic passports that had been banned after the 1917 Bolshevik coup. Almost immediately, police throughout the country began rounding up anyone found in a place other than where they were registered. … He was a miner from Novokuznetsk. Married, with two children. […]

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I am just finishing up the absolutely gut-wrenching book from Frank Dikotter, Mao’s Great Famine. Words cannot do it justice. Just as the Hiroshima story and the Auschwitz story and the slavery story must be told and retold and taught to our children, it would be unconscionable for all of us not to be very well […]

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Timeless Wokeness

THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES   CHAPTER 1 All is Vanity 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation […]

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Before I proceed with this post, let’s get this out of the way. Here is a really cute elephant picture: And let me get the following out of the way: even though I understand the economics and arguments about why we may want to allow and perhaps even encourage hunting, I don’t like it at […]

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I am definitely not getting invited to dinner parties after asking this question. When people illustrate the absolutely brutal record of socialism and communism as implemented in human history, we get the usual, “well, if only MY GUY was in charge” or if “only REAL and TRUE socialism were tried” then it would have worked, […]

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In our measures of welfare in economics, we pay careful attention to the impacts an exchange has not just on those parties who are involved in the exchange, but also to third parties who may be receiving benefits or incurring costs as a result of Person A exchanging with Person B. What economics tends to not do […]

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It is surely the case that Mr. Bentham’s lifetime utility is much larger than would have otherwise been the case. How much should his satisfaction be weighted in the global social utility function? I most certainly love it when my students tell me that they are visiting London or planning to study abroad at UCL […]

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Oh, you thought it was the Trumpian loonies? Think again. The same “democratizers” that came to U of R last spring have descended on Harvard. Isn’t it totally fascinating how “professional” the union organizing apparatus is? Sounds pretty darn ironic for a group of people who are “against the man.”  In any case, one of […]

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Intentions and results are not the same thing. Now, this should seem pretty obvious to most people, but it gets lost in the popular fervor that explodes around most contentious issues. In class we try to discuss some sort of innocuous versions of this application so as to not get people too angry. For example, […]

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