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Information Goods, Intellectual Property

Gemini on David R. Henderson

By David Henderson | Feb 28, 2024

I’ve been reading about how horrible Google’s Gemini is and I thought it would be just as horrible in evaluating me. Here’s how it did. First, I asked it to give an appreciation of David R. Henderson. That was to bias it on purpose to being positive. That way, if it weren’t at all positive .. MORE

Economics of Crime

Does illegal immigration help to reduce crime?

By Scott Sumner | Feb 27, 2024

The Heritage Foundation recently reported some very frightening data on illegal migration and crime: Increased Illegal Immigration Brings Increased Crime: Almost 2/3 of Federal Arrests Involve Noncitizens . . . A 2021 Department of Justice report revealed that 64% of federal arrests in 2018 involved noncitizens, despite them comprising only 7% of the population at that time. This has .. MORE

Business Economics

 Boeing, Culture, and Responsibility

By Dennis Murphy | Feb 27, 2024

Oh Boeing, what a mess you’ve gotten yourself into now. The 737 series of aircraft is venerable; It is the number one selling aircraft in the world, outselling its Airbus competitor the A32x series of aircraft…but not by much (Boeing has delivered 11,000 737 series airframes while Airbus has delivered around 10,000 A32x series).  I .. MORE

Adam Smith

Did Adam Smith Anticipate the Idea of Comparative Advantage?

By David Henderson | Feb 27, 2024

Last December, I gave a talk at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. I blogged about the talk here. And you can see the talk here. At about the 4:13 point of my talk, I told about being on a taped interview about 20 years ago with someone who .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

A Charter City for Egypt?

By Scott Sumner | Feb 26, 2024

A few weeks back, I blogged on the successful economies in the Persian Gulf area: I used to believe that Norway was unique—an oil-rich country with an equally high quality non-oil sector.  Now I wonder if the Gulf states are not becoming successful in much the same way.  I hope so, as the world needs .. MORE

Business Economics

Should We Care if Legacy Media Dies?

By Art Carden | Feb 26, 2024

Does hydra-headed social media mean the end of legacy media outlets like the New York Times and local newspapers? I recall a letter to the Birmingham News fretting that blogging “nuts” rather than professional journalists might someday influence policy. Should we care that much if newspapers and other legacy media outlets die? I don’t think .. MORE

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings

Thoughts on Huemer vs Friedman

By Kevin Corcoran | Feb 25, 2024

Recently, David Friedman posted a response to an argument from Michael Huemer about when one should defer to experts or attempt to figure out the truth of some issue directly. David Friedman argued more in the direction of working out the truth directly, while Huemer seemed to argue more in favor of deferring to experts. .. MORE

Government Growth

My Weekly Reading and Viewing for February 25, 2024

By David Henderson | Feb 25, 2024

The “Migrant Crisis” is Caused by Flawed Work and Housing Policies, not Migrants by Ilya Somin, Reason, February 20, 2024. Excerpt: What is true for Ukrainians is also true of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians admitted under the “CNVH” program—an extension of the U4U model to a combine total 30,000 migrants per month fleeing oppression and violence in those .. MORE


The Problem with Doves

By Scott Sumner | Feb 24, 2024

The problem with monetary hawks is that they are always looking for an excuse for tighter money. Doves have the opposite problem, a bias toward easier money. Recent events provide a good example. I see lots of doves now talking as if getting inflation back to 2% should be viewed as the ideal. But that’s .. MORE

Adam Smith

An AI Chatbot Hallucinates about DEI. Its Trainers Intervene

By Pierre Lemieux | Feb 24, 2024

Mischief by Google’s AI bot, called Gemini, illustrates the danger of artificial diversity and the limitations of artificial intelligence. A query to Gemini, “Generate an image of a 1943 German soldier,” produced four pictures of Nazi soldiers in uniform: what appears to be a very young man; an Asian woman; a black man; a woman .. MORE


Thomas Piketty versus Taylor Swift

By David Henderson | Feb 24, 2024

  Contrary to what I used to believe before I researched this article, 19th-century French novelist Honoré de Balzac did not say, “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Yet he is often thought to have said it and certainly a fair number of people, especially on the left, seem to believe it. Indeed, .. MORE

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing

David Friedman on the Contributions of Immigrants

By David Henderson | Feb 23, 2024

In a recent substack post, David Friedman points out a problem with judging immigrants solely by their fiscal impact. His analysis is so clear that it’s worth reposting part of it. Here it is: What is bizarre about [Emil] Kierkegaard’s argument is that he identifies fiscal impact with contribution to society, writing, on the basis .. MORE


Is the Value of Gold Stable?

By Scott Sumner | Feb 22, 2024

Under the international gold standard, the price level tended to be relatively stable in the very long run. There were often significant changes up and down on a year-to-year basis, but over much longer periods of time the average inflation rate tended to be close to zero. Here is Josh Hendrickson: I sometimes hear people, .. MORE

Adam Smith

Man Does Not Live By Food Alone

By Michael Munger | Feb 22, 2024

In my previous post, I snacked on a popular meme about self-sufficiency in food. The creator of the meme–to their credit–recognized the problem of “do it all yourself,” but failed to recognize the limits of their reasoning. If you follow the logic to its conclusion, the result is surprising. I drew upon the wisdom of .. MORE

History of Economic Thought

Indirect Evidence for the Magness and Makovi Hypothesis About Karl Marx

By David Henderson | Feb 22, 2024

Last year, the Journal of Political Economy published an article by Phillip W. Magness and Michael Makovi in which they argued that what made Karl Marx into a major name was the second Russian revolution of 1917, the one that installed the Bolsheviks and brought Communism to Russia. Their evidence was very strong and I .. MORE

Cross-country Comparisons

Price Dispersion and Income

By Scott Sumner | Feb 21, 2024

When I was growing up, gasoline generally sold for about 33 cents a gallon. Some stations charged 32 cents, while others charged 34 cents, but there was relatively little variation (over time or geographically.) When I moved to Orange County, I was surprised by the degree of price dispersion.  It’s not unusual to see gasoline .. MORE

Business Economics

The Value of Econ 101, example #10,191

By Kevin Corcoran | Feb 21, 2024

Some people insist “Econ 101” is too simplistic to be valuable for real-world decision making. While Econ 101 is, of course, less than all-encompassing, I would still say that the world suffers from far too little application of basic economics than too much. As is often the case, a ready example was recently provided by .. MORE

Central Planning

Maybe Clarke and Rice Are Both Right

By David Henderson | Feb 21, 2024

Going through my hard drive, I found an article I wrote in 2004 dealing with an important controversy after 9/11. The controversy pitted Condeleezza Rice against Richard Clarke. Rice headed the National Security Council under George W. Bush. Clarke was one of her employees and he specialized in counterterrorism. This link gives you more background .. MORE

Foreign Policy

I Win a Bet that I Had Forgotten

By David Henderson | Feb 20, 2024

Chris Koresko contacted me out of the blue to tell me that I had won a bet against him. I appreciate his integrity–and his memory. He reminded me that we had made the following bet: I [Chris Koresko] will pay you the sum of $25 on or around October 26, 2021 if no nuclear attack .. MORE

Adam Smith

Food for Nothing, and Your Chickpeas for Free

By Michael Munger | Feb 20, 2024

There is a photo of a restaurant whiteboard that has bumped around the interwebs for years. I first saw a version in April 2016, posted on Twitter by Scott Lincicome. Robert Tracinski  offered some comments at the time, but the sentiment has now become a meme. I have reproduced a version of the message here, .. MORE

Free Markets

A Czar to “Level the Price Playing Field”?

By Pierre Lemieux | Feb 20, 2024

If a reminder should be tattooed on the arms of all politicians and bureaucrats, it would be the reflection of the Russian official who, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, asked British economist Paul Seabright (quoted in Philip Coggan, More [The Economist, 2020], p. 357): Who is in charge of the supply of bread .. MORE

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