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Napoleon on the Law of Demand

I was talking to a friend today who recently saw the movie Napoleon. She said that she hadn’t known much about Napoleon. I told her that I thought he was one of the most evil men in the 19th century....

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Failure is a Feature, Not a Bug

It’s sad when an enterprise fails. Each one represents someone’s hopes and ambitions. Some are poorly thought out, some cynical cash grabs, but many startups represent people’s well-intentioned efforts...

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A Surprise About Canada’s Mac and Cheese

When I lived in Canada, we didn’t call macaroni and cheese “Mac and Cheese.” Instead, we called it “Kraft Dinner.” In other words, we referred to the particular brand. I had thought it was identical...

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Critiquing Hazony – On Religion and Rationalism

My first two critiques (here and here) of Hazony’s work were focused on his definitions of liberal and conservative, and his arguments regarding philosophy and economics. In this last critique, I focus...

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Should Mexico Attack the USA?

Several presidential candidates have suggested that the US military should attack Mexican drug gangs. Here’s Reuters: Sending troops or firing missiles into Mexico to battle cartels, as proposed by...

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Costs and the Entrepreneurial Mindset

We often hear that profits get a bad rap. But costs are just as often cause for complaint. Many economists treat costs as friction that can create market failures.  For example, barriers to entry are...

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Confabulatory and Comforting and Utterly Groovy

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says we have no free will. That’s a BIG claim. What are the implications of that??? And if we don’t have free will, is there a science of showing how we’re supposed to...

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A Passionate Panel on Parking. Really?

Yes, really. I gave my keynote speech at the Arizona State University (ASU) conference yesterday morning, and it was only my second favorite talk I attended. Which one beat it out? A panel on mandated...

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Drug war propaganda

The dire warnings about the effects of pot legalization failed to pan out. But that has not stopped drug warriors from arguing that a soft on drugs approach would be disastrous. Consider this recent...

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Profits Drive Inflation If No Consumer Resistance?

It is a strange opinion that profits—or for that matter wages—“drive” inflation, but it does help an economist maintain a spirit of tolerance and see a pedagogical opportunity in every error. A Wall...

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Yossi Klein Halevi on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

In 2018, author Yossi Klein Halevi wanted Palestinians to understand his story of how Israel came into existence. At the same time, he wanted Palestinians to tell him their personal and national...

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Blank Slatism vs. Old Spicism

I will refer to these convictions as the Blank Slate: the idea that the human mind has no inherent structure and can be inscribed at will by society or ourselves. —Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The...

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The Good Life Is the One Where Anxiety Falls by the Wayside

Book Review of Living for Pleasure: An Epicurean Guide to Life, by Emily A. Austin.1 The name Epicurus is often associated with indulgent hedonism. This stereotypical mischaracterization, which has...

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A Pro-Market and Pro-Social Economy

Book Review of The Next American Economy: Nation, State, and Markets in an Uncertain World, by Samuel Gregg.1 In The Next American Economy (2022), Samuel Gregg provides a refreshing defense of free...

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John Locke: Physician, Philosopher, and Defender of Freedom

John Locke Bacon, Locke, and Newton—I consider them the three greatest men who have ever lived, without any exception. —Thomas Jefferson, 1789 Many people forget that John Locke was a physician, and...

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An EV Canary in the Coal Mine?

I’ve written before about why I think California is the canary in the coal mine for the success or failure of electric vehicle (EV) mandates. Now, based on an experience I had in Phoenix last...

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How Important are “The Issues”?

Donald Trump has promised to pay off the entire national debt within 4 years: “We’re going to pay off debt — the $35 trillion in debt. We’re going to pay it off. We’re going to get it done fast, too.”...

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Markets and Universal Solutions

In a recent post, I wrote against the temptation to seek out universal solutions to problems, particularly when the approach in question is, “just look at however they’re doing things over there, and...

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Orwell, Ideology, and Opposition

In this episode from 2009, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed Christopher Hitchens to talk about his book, Why Orwell Matters. The conversation begins as Roberts notes Hitchens’ claim that George...

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Micromanaging Car Radios

On September 15, 2023, I received an email from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. It was addressed to Lenore but I read it anyway. Congresswoman Greene wrote: Lenore, I’m proud to co-sponsor H.R....

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