A Bernie Sanders Narrative for Seniors

A Bernie Sanders Narrative for Seniors What follows is some unsolicited advice for the Sanders campaign. Politico has an important piece on the downside of the extraordinary age bias in Sanders’ support.  Like a teeter totter, the large advantage Sanders enjoys among younger voters is counterbalanced by his dismal showing … [Read More...]

A Small Anecdote about Alan Krueger

A Small Anecdote about Alan Krueger It was back at the beginning of the 1990s, and I was putting together a panel on NAFTA for the ASSA meetings.  This would be URPE’s big plenary at the event, and, among others, I was able to enlist Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, a leader of … [Read More...]

The Death of Shame

The Death of Shame In any society not in a state of civil war, shame is a powerful force, perhaps the most powerful.  Individuals or organizations caught cheating, lying or otherwise doing evil, when exposed and called out, are expected to be embarrassed.  They should repent their sins and promise … [Read More...]

A Washington State Carbon Tax Goes Down in Flames

A Washington State Carbon Tax Goes Down in Flames Initiative 1631, which would have created a carbon tax in Washington State, lost by almost 12% of the vote this week.  Commentators on all sides have interpreted this as a decisive defeat for carbon pricing, making more indirect policies like subsidies to … [Read More...]

Citizens United, Thoroughly Debunked

Citizens United, Thoroughly Debunked I admit I haven’t paid too much attention to debates over Citizens United, since I regard the direction taken by regulation, control over who may contribute to political campaigns and how much they can put up, to be misguided.  I would like to see comprehensive control … [Read More...]

The Value of Life and the Metaphor of Choice

The Value of Life and the Metaphor of Choice Perhaps no topic generates such bewilderment between economists and the general public as the monetary valuation of human life, or the value of a statistical life (VSL) to use the term preferred by professional economists.  Economists insist that longevity is a … [Read More...]

Economics: The View from 35,000 Feet

Economics: The View from 35,000 Feet Air travel offers an opportunity to catch up on one’s reading.  In my case, this means Marion Fourcade’s “Economics: A View from Below”, which had been sitting in my pile for at least two long weeks.  For those wondering about her title, she has been … [Read More...]

Evergreen Looks in the Mirror and Says It’s OK

Evergreen Looks in the Mirror and Says It’s OK The “Independent” External Review Panel on The Evergreen State College Response to the Spring 2017 Campus Events (quotes not in the original) just released its report, and it says that everything campus administration has done in connection with this episode and everything … [Read More...]

The Great Awokening

The Great Awokening There’s a theory about the sins and shortcomings of society: they are all due to our failures of consciousness. If people were purer, given to understanding and following the true path, the problems of this world would cease to exist. According to this view, poverty and inequality … [Read More...]