Me in the Economist
By Bryan Caplan
But as with any argument involving economists, there is more than one side to it. For one thing, many experiences demand a substantial outlay on commodities: horses, hounds and jodhpurs, for example. And as Bryan Caplan, of George Mason University, points out, many trinkets and fripperies themselves provide a stream of experiences.
Adam Smith thought there was pleasure to be had simply in admiring the craftsmanship of a well-made watch, even if its extra accuracy was of little practical benefit. Bentham appreciated his creature comforts: according to Negley Harte, the University of London’s historian, his embalmed body wears a pair of knitted underpants, unlike most of his contemporaries, who simply tucked their shirt-tails between their legs.
All publicity is good publicity, and all publicity in the Economist is great publicity. Still, I wish the article had used my most convincing example.