Category Archives: economics

Global Warming: so-so science, horrible politics

Rupert Darwall’s The Age of Global Warming is an interesting and important book for people who want to understand the political and diplomatic history of climate change. Environmentalism comes in two kinds: pragmatists who want to formulate policy based on … Continue reading

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Scattered Thoughts on Greece

I had my own reasons for hoping Greece would vote ‘yes’, but that’s not what happened. Given how nonsensical the whole thing is I’m wondering if this is the most likely scenario: “Granddad, how did World War III start?” “Well, … Continue reading

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A Closed-Form Argument about Climate Change

I’ve been a critic of over-sold climate models for many years now. I am a computational physicist, and therefore–unlike climate scientists–am professionally qualified to judge the predictive quality of climate models. I mention this because apparently many people think it … Continue reading

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What Is Game Theory a Theory Of?

I’ve written about the Prisoner’s Dilemma before but wanted to revisit the point. Game theory purports to be a theory of “rational self-interested actors” or “rational maximizers.” These are individuals who are only interested in playing the game to win. … Continue reading

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What\’s Wrong with Marx

Today the new finance minister of Greece wrote about his fascination with Marx. His analysis points to the fundamental flaw in Marxism while not just ignoring but praising it: it rests on the notion that “binary oppositions” completely dominate world … Continue reading

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Socio-moral vs Techno-economic Problems and Solutions

When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This is especially true when you really like bashing things with hammers. Recently, there has been an upsurge in talk about the role of nuclear power in the … Continue reading

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Guns, Drugs and Laws

What is the role of law in a free and democratic society? Consider the data in the following areas: Drugs Alcohol Firearms Prostitution Abortion In each case, there is a clear argument to be made that laws restricting popular activities … Continue reading

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Deficits, Deficits, Deficits

Back at the end of 2012 I predicted that the deficit for 2013 would be over $25 billion. I was wrong, maintaining my record as the only person who has ever been wrong about anything. The deficit for 2013 was … Continue reading

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Is the US a \”Developing Nation\”?

I’ve just read “Fault Lines” by Raghuram Rajan, who is now the head of the Reserve Bank of India. He is an American-trained economist but unlike most Americans has a decidedly international perspective (this is not particularly a kick at … Continue reading

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Why We Need Anti-Discrimination Laws: a computational approach

My libertarian friends, back when I had libertarian friends, often imagined that anti-discrimination laws were unnecessary because “the market will take care of it”. The argument goes like this: companies compete for the best employees, and quality of employee is … Continue reading

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