Organic Food and Red Herrings

I use my editor’s privilege to respond here to Ryan MH’s argument in the piece entitled: “The Cost of Organic Food: An Exchange.” I do this for the sake of clarity alone. Ryan has unfettered access to this blog. Let me begin by stating that I congratulate myself for having elicited a serviceable and seemingly … Continue reading Organic Food and Red Herrings

Growing Poverty in the US: A Repost (In Honor of Bernie Sanders)

This is an old post, reproduced today in honor of American Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders It’s vital to the liberal narrative that pretty much everything has to go generally downhill (except global warming, of course, which is always going up even when it’s not, like right now). Life has to deteriorate, they think. … Continue reading Growing Poverty in the US: A Repost (In Honor of Bernie Sanders)

Nice Weather, Female Exhibitionism, and Scientific Research

Something interesting happened in Santa Cruz the past two or even three weeks. (I write on January 25 2014.) Or rather, something did not happened that should have. (I am alert to the dog that did not bark, as in Sherlock Holmes.) For a long time now in the winter of 2013-014, comments on the … Continue reading Nice Weather, Female Exhibitionism, and Scientific Research

Growing Poverty, a Declining Standard of Living: Watch Out for…. Part 1.

It’s vital to the liberal narrative that pretty much everything has to go generally downhill (except global warming, of course, which is always going up even when it’s not, like right now). Life has to deteriorate, they think. That things are getting worse is an article of faith among liberals; it’s even a tenet of … Continue reading Growing Poverty, a Declining Standard of Living: Watch Out for…. Part 1.

Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

Late to the party, I relied on the quality-control of the masses before I plunged into Richard Davies’ much-hyped book Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure and Future – Lessons from the World’s Limits (see reviews by Diane Coyle and Philip Aldrick). I first heard about it on some Summer Reading List – or perhaps Financial Times’ … Continue reading Davies’ “Extreme Economies” – Part 1: Survival

The best economic history papers of 2017

As we are now solidly into 2018, I thought that it would be a good idea to underline the best articles in economic history that I read in 2017. Obviously, the “best” is subjective to my preferences. Nevertheless, it is a worthy exercise in order to expose some important pieces of research to a wider … Continue reading The best economic history papers of 2017

WORK

This is an essay with a strange origin. My friend Peter Miller, an artist and a craftsman, is also a trained sociologist like me. He posted an essay on his blog about crafts. It’s a sophisticated and unusually perceptive essay. He asked me for comments. I begun answering him in a letter and then, quickly, … Continue reading WORK

Irrationality, Self-indulgence, Childishness, Bizarre Beliefs, and Innovation: From the Belly of the Beast

I have lived for many years the People’s Socialist Green Republic of Santa Cruz in California, right in the Belly of the Beast. That’s not its real name actually, just the name it deserves. It’s a university town of about 50,000. A large campus of the University of California sits on the hills overlooking the … Continue reading Irrationality, Self-indulgence, Childishness, Bizarre Beliefs, and Innovation: From the Belly of the Beast

A Free Market in Medical Services

There are two directions for the reform of the U.S. medical services systems. One is towards welfare statism, the control of the medical system by the federal government, and the other is towards economic freedom, providing individuals and families a free choice in medical care. Economic theory points to a pure free market providing the … Continue reading A Free Market in Medical Services

Sardines at Midnight

Sardines at midnight? If the mood should strike me, I can zip down to the local Safeway store here in Belmont, California, which is open 24/7, and be back with a can in 20 minutes. My biggest problem would be choosing from among Thai, Canadian, Polish, or Norwegian sardines packed in water, olive oil, tomato-basil, … Continue reading Sardines at Midnight

Possession

Part One: Drying up the tax fountain I suspect many people have troubling getting a good grasp of the on-going conservative struggle to prevent large-scale takeover of the economy by the federal government. I think there are two main obstacles to their understanding. First, the idea of the virtuousness of the market as a regulator … Continue reading Possession

Facts Matter: Irrationality Among the Sane, the Intelligent, the Well-Educated

I have been engaged in an incessant informal study of the irrationality of otherwise sane, intelligent, well-educated people. Obviously, the question of why the insane are sometimes irrational is not riveting. Less obviously, it’s possible to think of irrationality in the unlettered as a substitute for real knowledge. (Say belief in the virtues of tea … Continue reading Facts Matter: Irrationality Among the Sane, the Intelligent, the Well-Educated

The De-Industrialization of the US: A String of Enlightening Fallacies. Essay on International Economics, in Plain English

About ten days ago, I began I lively exchange with a stranger, G., on the Facebook wall of the President of the Independent Institute, of all places. The I.I. is my favorite think-tank. It’s located in Oakland, California. It’s my favorite because it regularly performs, intelligently and usefully, the function of bringing libertarian thought (broadly … Continue reading The De-Industrialization of the US: A String of Enlightening Fallacies. Essay on International Economics, in Plain English