Category Archives: Politics

“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?”

“WHAT DO ECONOMISTS ACTUALLY KNOW?” Professor Russ Roberts began his article entitled “What Do Economists Actually Know?” as follows: “A journalist once asked me how many jobs NAFTA had created or destroyed. I told him I had no reliable idea.” … Continue reading

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THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AVOIDED USING PROBABILITIES IN THEIR FORECASTS.

THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AVOIDED USING PROBABILITIES IN THEIR FORECASTS. Of course government agencies, including the National Weather Service, should keep the public up to date on what their models are predicting. But the cause of … Continue reading

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SHOULD THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSIST IN A WEATHER FORECAST THAT IT KNOWS IS WRONG?

SHOULD THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PERSIST IN A WEATHER FORECAST THAT IT KNOWS IS WRONG? The National Weather Service issued forecasts that New York City and other coastal cities would get 24 inches of snow on Tuesday March 14. On … Continue reading

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COMPARING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION TO A BUSINESS STARTUP.

COMPARING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION TO A BUSINESS STARTUP. As a modern lawyer, who has done some drafting, I am impressed by the difficulties that the drafters of the Articles of Confederation faced. There can’t have been many previous examples … Continue reading

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IN PRAISE OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.

IN PRAISE OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. Tyler Cowen had an essay on the Bloomberg site arguing the Articles of Confederation have been greatly underrated. (The link is courtesy of Marginal Revolution, which is Cowen’s own site). The argument appeals … Continue reading

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RIDICULING THE NEAT ROOMMATE.

RIDICULING THE NEAT ROOMMATE. I think there should be a corollary to the Messy Roommate theory: The messy roommates have an incentive to ridicule the efforts of the neat roommate. This shows up in the NATO context as criticism by … Continue reading

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REVISITING THE MESSY ROOMMATE THEORY OF NATO.

REVISITING THE MESSY ROOMMATE THEORY OF NATO. I posted here in 2008 about the Messy Roommate Theory of NATO, which was set forth in the sixties in a paper by Richard Zeckhauser and Mancur Olson. In brief, assume a messy … Continue reading

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THE POTATO AND THE FUTURE CONQUEST OF SPACE.

THE POTATO AND THE FUTURE CONQUEST OF SPACE. I have posted several times about the importance of the potato in world history. I quoted Professor William H. McNeill here that: “by feeding rapidly growing populations, [potatoes] permitted a handful of … Continue reading

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JOE BOB BRIGGS’ BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REDNECK.

JOE BOB BRIGGS’ BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REDNECK. Judith Matloff says that honor codes still survive in mountainous regions like Albania, “where 10.000 men have perished in vendettas in the last two decades”. She points out that J D Vance’s … Continue reading

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DO MOUNTAINS PRODUCE WARS?

DO MOUNTAINS PRODUCE WARS? Judith Matloff had an article in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal (February 25-26) about the violence associated with mountainous regions, whose inhabitants are often warlike and good at it. She takes a broad perspective which connects … Continue reading

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