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The cost disease of services

Suppose there are two industries in a nation.  One has rapidly rising productivity growth and the other has stagnant productivity growth.  Which one would tend to grow and see rising wages?  Ironically, the industry with stagnant productivity will probably grow

Posted in Globalization & International

Fossil Fuel Propaganda Octopus

It is well known that the fossil-fuel industry has spent millions for many years seeding doubts about climate science, as documented in Naomi Oreskes book, Merchants of Doubt. But later, she discovered that electric utilities started a big propaganda campaign

Posted in Environment, Public Finance

Makers, Takers and the Wealth of Nations

Updated Feb/25/2023 There are only two possible ways to get wealth inequality: some people either make more or they take more. Making is positive sum creation and taking is zero-sum redistribution at best or destructive at worst.  Plus there are

Posted in Development, Globalization & International

The Economics of International Trade Textbook Chapters

I am teaching International Trade this semester and there are two models of trade that are important to teach, but there weren’t any resources that teach all the main intuitions without excessive complexity so I wrote my own “textbook” chapters

Posted in Medianism

Is Wokeism bringing back a colorblind aristocratic class consciousness?

Updated March 29, 2023 Matt Yglesias argues that the old British class system had a lot of features that were eerily similar to recent trends in political correctness. For example, educational institutions, particularly at elite levels, have embraced DEI, but

Posted in Discrimination, Philosophy and ethics

There was no mass democracy before the printing press

In 1900, how many nations were democracies?    0%?   5%?   15%?    30? The correct answer is 0% of nations were democratic in 1900 according to our current standards of democracy. This is because there had never been any sovereign

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Anarchy, State, and Capitalism

Anarchy is the absence of central government and there are two kinds of definitions. A society without a large-scale government hierarchy that has a monopoly on legitimate force. By this definition, most tribal foraging societies and other small-scale societies have

Posted in Development, Globalization & International, Public Finance

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