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Partyism in America is getting worse

In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said that they would feel “displeased” if their son or daughter married outside their political party. By 2010, those numbers had reached 49 percent and 33 percent. Republicans have been found to like Democrats less than they like people on welfare or gays and […]

Assorted links

1. Just how bad things are for the economy of Ukraine. 2. You can stay above subsistence in a Malthusian model with more than one factor of production (pdf). 3. What form of devo max for the UK? 4. Does Starbucks have a new latte that tastes just like stout beer? 5. Can graffiti be […]

Secret Service Spending

Chris Edwards Another federal agency has screwed up. This time it is the Secret Service, which almost allowed an intruder to make a surprise visit on the Obamas. The Washington Post reports: The Secret Service on Saturday launched aShow More Summary

Education under the New Swedish Order

Andrew J. Coulson Just over a week ago, Swedes threw out the relatively pro-market coalition that had goverened the country for the past 8 years, handing power (though not an outright majority) to a new left-of-center coalition. Swedish...Show More Summary

The Constitutional Dimension of Your Morning Commute

Ilya Shapiro Over the last few years, D.C.-area drivers may have noticed the continual increases in toll fares on the Dulles Toll Road, the highway going through the Northern Virginia suburbs past Dulles Airport. Indeed, since 2005, the toll for the typical round-trip commuter has more than quadrupled from $1.50 to $7.00, with more increases coming. Show More Summary

Are stock buybacks too high?

Edward Luce writes in The Financial Times: According to William Lazonick, a scholar at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, seven of the top 10 largest share repurchasers spent more on buybacks and dividends than their entire net income between 2003 and 2012. In the case of Hewlett-Packard, which spent $73bn, it was almost double its […]

You earn more in the financial sector because of rent-sharing

We again looked at those individuals moving into and out of the finance sector, but this time restricted the sample only to those doing a job with the same title in both the finance and non-finance sectors, focusing on generic job titles such as ‘function manager’, ‘ICT professional’, ‘secretarial’, ‘customer service’ etc. The results reveal […]

Scott Sumner is perhaps a Japan pessimist

If you want to know what Japan is up against consider that Japanese RGDP has grown by 0.00% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  In contrast, Germany, the shining star of the European economy, has grown at 0.5% per year over the past 6 1/2 years.  Then consider the fact that the Japanese […]

Why has Piketty’s Capital sold so many copies?

There is a symposium in The Guardian on that question, here is my short contribution: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been a hit for several reasons, most notably the quality of the work. But I’d like to focus on a neglected reason why the book has found so much support, namely it […]

Simple facts on state colleges and universities

Susan Dynarski writes: Public colleges are collecting about the same revenue per student today as they were 25 years ago. In 1988, educational revenue per full-time-equivalent student at public colleges was $11,300; in 2013, it was $11,500. (These amounts are adjusted for inflation and are expressed in 2013 dollars.) Then why is tuition up?  The […]

Philosophy Between the Lines

This is the new and fantastic book by Arthur M. Melzer and the subtitle is The Lost History of Esoteric Writing.  It is the best book I know on esoteric writing and its history and furthermore it is clear and to the point!  (I think) Melzer starts his chapter eight with this quotation from John […]

The doubts are growing on Abenomics

Edward Hugh has a good post on this topic, here is one excerpt: …there is simply no way incomes can rise across the entire economy because the baby boomers are now retiring to be replaced by fewer young workers with post labour reform entry-level wages. Japan’s overall consumer spending power will therefore fall, rather than […]

Assorted links

1. Fixing climate change won’t be free. 2. Telegraph profile of Peter Thiel. 3. India should let up on Uber. 4. High-definition TV will soon be out of date. 5. Is government too large in Hong Kong?

What is the market failure in data storage and protection at the retail level?

There’s been another accident and data leak from Home Depot, and some people are claiming the company was negligent, so I was thinking what kind of market failure might be present. One problem is this.  They store your credit card number whether you buy one thing at the store or make fifty trips over the […]

Bipartisan Agreement against the Taxpayers

David Boaz The Washington Post reports on strong disagreements in consecutive appearances by Virginia Senate candidates Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie. Obamacare, terrorism, lobbying, partisanship – lots of arguments. But take heart, the...Show More Summary

Are you up for another, less cooperative round?

Just hours after Scotland voted “no” to independence from the United Kingdom, Catalonia’s regional parliament announced on Friday that it had passed a law, which Catalan leaders say authorizes them to hold a non-binding “consultation” on independence from Spain in November. The law was passed with a vote of 106 to 28. Spain’s central government […]

Might world population actually just keep on growing?

The excellent Kevin Lewis points us to a new paper in Science by Patrick Gerland, The United Nations recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an […]

Elon Musk Wins the Economic Literacy Award

Marc earlier noted the depressing state of political literacy in the US.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to see a remarkable statement of economic literacy in the news today – and by someone who isn’t a trade economist.  In this case, the example came from entrepreneur Elon Musk (who was seconded by fellow businessman Lyndon Rive). […]

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