Gary Becker and James Heckman argue for more government support for economic research. In the other corner are Don Boudreaux and Tyler Cowen. Indeed, Tyler was in really good form in writing his post. There is not much left of the Nobel Laureates’ case when he is finished with it. Read the whole thing.

Changing the subject, but sticking with Tyler, he points to a piece by Izabella Kaminska that winds up

Low-cost production techniques could soon become so advanced and so low cost — thanks to developments like 3D printing — that even the tiniest salaries in Africa will not make it worthwhile to employ human beings at all.

Talk about ZMP! But there is still the point that there is always comparative advantage. So, you don’t want to pay people to make things. You still might pay them for doing something for you.

[UPDATE: Reading John Cochrane, it is evident that Becker and Heckman do not necessarily speak for the entire Chicago school.]