Drudge or Producer?

Of all imaginary crises to worry about, the spectre of automation is among the most fashionable and enduring, since the times of Ned Ludd. "About 35 percent of China's labor force is in agriculture (compared to 2.5 percent in the U.S.). There are 425 million agricultural workers (200 million farming households) in China. A little… Continue reading Drudge or Producer?

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Unnecessary Wars

Pat Buchanan and I take opposite sides on some issues, particularly with his emphasis on "culture wars" and his aversion to immigration. Nonetheless, I must give a qualified recommendation for his book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. Tl;dr version: both World War I and II were unnecessary. The Brits won the war but lost… Continue reading Unnecessary Wars

RBE is worst form of cronyism

Resource-Based Economies(RBE) are a fantasy at best, a crime against humanity at worst. Read up on the Economic Calculation Problem, or consider the short version: somebody will allocate capital; somebody will decide what to produce, and somebody will direct your life. You'll be just another "resource" to be managed by Apparatchiks and Nomenklatura, who are… Continue reading RBE is worst form of cronyism

Legislators, Know Thy Limits

A certain legislator wished to make his state great via technology. My reply: Technology is hardly the forte of the legislature. There are fundamental differences between a body of random people whose sole qualification is the ability to get voted into office, and entrepreneurs, who risk their own skin in the game, rather than risking… Continue reading Legislators, Know Thy Limits

Fully Automated Luxury Capitalism

( Another episode from my Great Unfinished Novel. ) I'd extended my visit with friends at La Casa de la Paz as long as I could. After a week, it was time to return to the States, there to request a sabbatical and arrange for the transport or disposition of my books and other worldly… Continue reading Fully Automated Luxury Capitalism

No Such Thing As Free School

Remember the saying? There's no such thing as a free lunch? This is true for all "free" goods provided by the government. First off, obviously, taxpayers cover the costs. Second, government is seldom or never the most efficient provider of services. But most importantly, "free" school (the topic of this article) comes packaged with a… Continue reading No Such Thing As Free School

Lies, Damned Lies, and Aggregates

Robert Higgs - one of our most underrated economists - wrote In economic theory, a high level of aggregation conceals a multitude of sins. The more removed a concept is from genuine, individual, economic choice, the more misleading it is likely to be. The highest-level aggregates, such as GDP, are almost impossible to invest with… Continue reading Lies, Damned Lies, and Aggregates

A Deficit of Proper Language

The words and phrases we use shape our thought. Bad language can lead to bad policy decisions.┬áDaniel B. Klein and Donald J. Boudreaux take aim at a deeply misleading phrase: "trade deficits." Deficits sound bad. But deficits look only at part of a trade: the units of account, or dollars in the United States. What… Continue reading A Deficit of Proper Language

Freedom Zone Confronts City Council

"Let's bring this meeting to order," said the Mayor. "Order, please." He banged the gavel. Quiet emerged in the packed City Council Chambers. Cameras flashed. "All right, to begin, this is a highly informal meeting, at the request of a group which calls themselves the Freedom Zone. This group, and the area where they reside,… Continue reading Freedom Zone Confronts City Council