Some Random Reading
By Amy Willis
We all know at a general level that (K-12) schooling is legally compulsory…but might it be culturally compulsory as well? Kevin Currie-Knight, for FEE, thinks so. I’m inclined to agree, and will second his recommendation of Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society. So does Arnold Kling.
Should genetically modified food be labeled? Should such labeling be legislatively mandated? And if so, what kind of information is it that consumers really want? (Need?) Jane Kolodinsky from the University of Vermont argues public opinion is on the side of labeling…Even assuming this to be true, she doesn’t convince me it’s a legislative matter. It might even be the case that mandatory labeling could compound information problems facing consumers. I’m not as concerned about the dangers of GMO foods as Nassim Taleb, but I’m not sure where he is on the legislative question.
Naturally, Malcolm Harris’s story on “what men got wrong about the economy” caught my eye. It’s based on Swedish journalist Katrine Marcal’s book, Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner, purportedly an attack on economic rationality. (I’ve ordered the book, so can report back later…) It certainly offers a critique of using GDP as a measure of economic well-being, particularly because it leaves non-market labor our of its calculus. But we knew that already, and as Diane Coyle and David Henderson remind us, there’s a lot to gripe about with regard to GDP. I’ll leave my thoughts on her claim that women are better suited to manage global capitalism until I’ve read the book…