Category Archives: Economics

Quick Questions: Nation States

Many people blame capitalism for many of the world’s ills. Most, if not all, of these problems have been present in non-capitalist societies, too. Do you ever wonder if capitalism is not actually to blame? Might these be political problems rather than economic? Do you think competitive nation states might be the actual cause of […]

Labor

The current conversation around labor is odd. Many (most?) labor advocates still talk about their fight in Marxist terms. Never mind the more theoretical aspects of Marxism, his views on history and progress, etc., and just look at labor. Labor, in this view, is the foundation for all value. Capitalism developed when labor was commodified, […]

On Inequality by Harry Frankfurt

It’s rare, very rare, that I read something and simply agree with it. Even if I agree with the main idea, I find issues with the details. Sometimes it’s an exceptional case. Sometimes it’s a metaphor stretched too far. That’s part of what I enjoy about reading. It challenges me. It forces me to see […]

Cash or Credit

For a long time, I’ve held two contradictory opinions simultaneously. One is that credit card companies are about the most evil things on the planet and everyone should stop using credit cards. The other is that no store should be cash only. They should all accept credit cards. My opinions are changing (at least one […]

The Job Market

I have been unsuccessfully job hunting for over four years now. I had a decent job. It paid enough, was mildly interesting, and I was good at it. Then, a little more than five years ago, the organization made some changes which eliminated my department. They found a new position for me, but it was […]

Libertarianism and Strawmen

Libertarianism has had a prominent position in America for my whole life. It goes by many names: free-market capitalism, classical liberalism, neoliberalism, monetarism, freedom, limited government, supply-side economics, and on and on. People who use these labels may protest that they are not all the same thing (I’ll address that in a little bit), but […]

A Problem With the Financial Services Industry

Notice I said a, not the.  There are myriad problems with the financial services industry.  This one is a relatively small problem, but I find it incredibly annoying.  This problem is that I have two bills due tomorrow.  The reason this is a problem is that tomorrow is Memorial Day which is a bank holiday, […]

Paid Sick Leave

I was sick this week.  A non-serious, but icky, kind of sick.  I won’t go into the details here.  But, I stayed home from work for a couple of days.  I believe very strongly in not infecting others when I’m sick.  I don’t send my kid to school when she’s sick either, even if it […]

Lies My Economist Told Me

There’s this weird feature in life where if people say things often enough, they become common knowledge and people stop questioning them.  The world of economics has raised the art of creating truths like this to its pinnacle.  We all know that governments are no good at picking winners.  We all know that regulation hurts business.  […]

The Job Market

Robert Paul Wolff writes a very entertaining blog called The Philosopher’s Stone.  Even when he is just bragging about his grandchildren, it is still utterly charming.  A little while ago, I read a post called Ein Gedankenexperiment A La Rawls.  In this post, he describes a thought experiment to determine what jobs would be worth […]