Adam Smith on the character of the American rebels

They are very weak who flatter themselves that, in the state to which things have come, our colonies will be easily conquered by force alone. The persons who now govern the resolutions of what they call their continental congress, feel in themselves at this moment a degree of importance which, perhaps, the greatest subjects in … Continue reading Adam Smith on the character of the American rebels

Adam Smith: a historical historical detective?

Adrian Blau at King’s College London has an on-going project of making methods in political theory more useful, transparent and instructive, especially for students interested in historical scholarship. I found his methods lecture, that he gave to Master’s students and went onto publish as ‘History of political thought as detective work’, particularly helpful for formulating … Continue reading Adam Smith: a historical historical detective?

Adam Smith, Or: The More Things Change…

…the more they stay the same. I have moved on from Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in my Honors course on Western thought (it is being taught by a professor who is part of this blogging consortium, in case you are curious; it is part of my … Continue reading Adam Smith, Or: The More Things Change…

Economists vs. The Public

Economics is the dismal science, as Thomas Carlyle infamously said, reprising John Stuart Mill for defending the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire. But if being a “dismal science” includes respecting individual rights and standing up for early ideas of subjective, revealed, preferences – sign me up! Indeed, British economist Diane Coyle wisely pointed … Continue reading Economists vs. The Public

Some reasons why I love capitalism

Here is a list of things I love about capitalism. Before presenting the list, it is important to say what I mean about capitalism. By capitalism, I mean free market capitalism. I don’t mean oligarchic capitalism (as it is very common in Latin America), state capitalism (communist countries) or Crony capitalism (sadly, more and more prevalent … Continue reading Some reasons why I love capitalism

Explaining Jair Bolsonaro to non-Brazilians

I wrote about Jair Bolsonaro here some time ago, but I believe that, with the recent political changes in Brazil, it is worthy to write about him again. Jair Messias Bolsonaro is a pre-candidate to the Brazilian presidency. Elections will happen in October, and so, following Brazilian electoral law, his candidacy won’t be official until … Continue reading Explaining Jair Bolsonaro to non-Brazilians

Low-Quality Publications and Academic Competition

In the last few days, the economics blogosphere (and twitterverse) has been discussing this paper in the Journal of Economic Psychology. Simply put, the article argues that economists discount “bad journals” so that a researcher with ten articles in low-ranked and mid-ranked journals will be valued less than a researcher with two or three articles in highly-ranked … Continue reading Low-Quality Publications and Academic Competition

Lessons from the Stamp Act

That’s the subject of my latest over at RealClearHistory. Peep game: The refusal of the colonies to pay for the war they initiated also led to the flare up of a simmering tension between elites on both sides of the British Atlantic: representation. The colonists wanted to send representatives to London and have them participate … Continue reading Lessons from the Stamp Act

Underrated & overrated libertarian thinkers

Here is my take on Tyler Cowen’s views on libertarian thinkers who are either overrated or underrated in shaping the libertarian tradition. Please be aware that I think libertarianism and classical liberalism are two different strands of liberal thought, as argued in more detail in an earlier post here at NOL and in my latest … Continue reading Underrated & overrated libertarian thinkers

Dear Mr. Pirie, refrain from using the “neoliberal” label

A few days ago, Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute announced the publication of the Neoliberal Mind.  Basically, Pirie accepts the grab-everything-we-don’t-like tag that many would-be thinkers have tried for decades to stick upon what we can refer to as the “liberal right” (I prefer the French expression of droite libérale). All he does is take the … Continue reading Dear Mr. Pirie, refrain from using the “neoliberal” label

“Watch” the (industrial) revolution!

I don’t know how I missed such a valuable article, but O’Grada and Kelly have this fascinating piece on the price of watches in England from the early 18th century to the early 19th century in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Starting from Adam Smith’s quote that the price of watches had fallen 95% over roughly one … Continue reading “Watch” the (industrial) revolution!

O que é socialismo?

Alguns posts atrás fiz uma exposição sobre o que é capitalismo, e também procurei expor e desmistificar alguns equívocos a respeito dele. Nos próximos posts pretendo fazer algo semelhante com o socialismo: explicar o que é e desfazer alguns mitos e equívocos. Falando a respeito de capitalismo, expliquei que esta palavra é utilizada de forma … Continue reading O que é socialismo?

Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

Check out Adam Smith complaining about the rent-seeking that the UK’s North American colonies were practicing back in 1776: The expence of the ordinary peace establishment of the colonies amounted, before the commencement of the present disturbances, to the pay of twenty regiments of foot; to the expence of the artillery, stores, and extraordinary provisions … Continue reading Taxes, Free-riding, and Federation

Some afterthoughts on Rio Paralympics

Paralympics are over, and with them the cycle of Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Once again the city was able to put up a good show, and thankfully all went well in the Cidade Maravilhosa. But not everything is alright in Rio: even more than the Olympics, the Paralympics were able to show the … Continue reading Some afterthoughts on Rio Paralympics