EppsNet Archive: Economics

There Are Four Ways You Can Spend Money

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone.… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Incentives (or Lack Thereof)

According to this article on TechCrunch, “Every California high school must establish computer science courses as part of its core curriculum.” From the same article: “Most California teachers have little or no training to teach computer science.” Do you see the problem there? I’ve been a programmer for many years . . . I’d be glad to teach computer science… Read more →

‘I Am a Marxist’ Says Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama identified himself as a Marxist on Tuesday while addressing capitalism, discrimination and violence at a lecture on world peace in Kolkata, India. This is not the first time that the 14th Dalai Lama has spoken about his political leaning – in 2011 he said: “I consider myself a Marxist…but not a Leninist” when speaking at a conference… Read more →

Most of Economics

Most of economics can be summarized in four words: “People respond to incentives.” The rest is commentary. — Steven Landsburg, The Armchair Economist Read more →

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because, naturally, it is alien to our experience but it is true: You know far less about yourself than you feel you do.   A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from… Read more →

The Hedgehog and the Fox

Hedgehogs “know one big thing” and have a theory about the world: they account for particular events within a coherent framework, bristle with impatience toward those who don’t see things their way, and are confident in their forecasts. They are also especially reluctant to admit error. For hedgehogs, a failed prediction is almost always “off only on timing” or “very… Read more →

A Spectacularly Bad Job of Rigging the System

If you nevertheless believe that the capitalists have been busily rigging the system in their own interest, you’ve got to admit they’ve done a spectacularly bad job of it. How else to explain the quintuple taxation of capital income, where you can invest a dollar that was taxed the day you earned it, then pay corporate income taxes, dividend taxes,… Read more →

I’ve Solved the Problem of Economic Inequality

Instead of “economic inequality,” let’s call it “economic diversity.” Then it’s a good thing, right? Read more →

The Single Greatest Source of Economic Error

But the underlying fallacy — the failure to notice that things must add up — is, in my experience, the single greatest source of economic error. Politicians routinely promise to make medical care or housing or college educations more widely available by controlling their prices; economists routinely scratch their heads and ask where the extra doctors or houses or classrooms… Read more →

Minimum Wage Proposal: $0.00

You can’t make ends meet on 8 bucks an hour? I can see where that would be a problem. When did fast food jobs become jobs for family breadwinners? Fast-food jobs are for high-school kids. You want to make $15 an hour? Simple: get a job that pays $15 an hour. What’s stopping you? Other than your lack of skills,… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Angela Davis

I still believe that capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine. — Angela Davis Alternatives to capitalism have resulted in shortages, famine, mass murder and societal collapse (cf., Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Venezuela … I could go on and on but I think we both get the… Read more →

The War on Poverty is 50 Years Old

The New York Times has an update from McDowell County, West Virginia, on how the War on Poverty is going after 50 years . . . Of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the lowest median household income, $22,000; the worst childhood obesity rate; and the highest teenage birthrate. It is also reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate… Read more →

Get Rich Making Dumb Decisions

The people on the short side of the subprime mortgage market had gambled with the odds in their favor. The people on the other side — the entire financial system, essentially — had gambled with the odds against them. Up to this point, the story of the big short could not be simpler. What’s strange and complicated about it, however,… Read more →

Childish Economics

I have a very difficult time imagining the economic ‘theory’ that motivates proposals such as this one by Pres. Obama [to “streamline” the Fair Labor Standards Act so that more white-collar employees would be eligible for overtime pay]. The best that I can do is to imagine how a two-year-old child would respond if asked to propose a way to… Read more →

Regulating Markets

The arguments for regulation of the market for goods and the regulation of the market for ideas are essentially the same, except that they’re perhaps stronger in the area of ideas if you assume consumer ignorance. It’s easier for people to discover that they have a bad can of peaches than it is for them to discover that they have… Read more →

A $15 Minimum Wage is Not Going to Help You

Fast Food Workers Will Strike On Thursday In L.A. : LAist Fast food workers staged a one-day strike for “living wages.” More specifically, they want the federal minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 an hour to $15. You want to make a living wage? I’ll tell you how to make a living wage. I’ve had a lot of jobs… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Big Short by Michael Lewis

I worked in the information technology department of a mortgage bank in the run-up to the 2007 implosion of the subprime mortgage market . . . Given that it was fairly evident at the time that complicated financial instruments were being dreamed up for the sole purpose of lending money to people who could never repay it, it’s remarkable that very… Read more →

Well, there are fewer limits on what you can promise than on what you can deliver. — Milton Friedman

Ronald Coase, 1910-2013

To ignore the government’s poor performance of its present duties when deciding on whether it should or should not take on new duties is obviously wrong. — Ronald Coase Read more →

A Tradeoff

If female employment rates matched male rates in the U.S., the GDP would rise by 5%. This stat & more: http://t.co/XsBVJW1xtE — Harvard Biz Review (@HarvardBiz) August 25, 2013 Okay . . . but who would be raising our kids? Or is that not important? Read more →

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