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How pyramid schemes work

Gaby Del Valle investigated multilevel marketing companies and found. According to the Direct Selling Association, the multilevel marketing (MLM) industry’s lobbying arm, one in six American households is involved in the industry. Most MLM salespeople don’t make a ton of money —

Posted in Managerial Micro

Milton Friedman was not a rational actor

The rational-actor paradigm came to dominate economic thinking in the mid-20th century. It assumes that people are selfish and try to rationally maximize their self-interest without regard for the effects on people around them. Critics sometimes call it the rat-actor

Posted in Medianism

Maurice Hilleman, millionaire superhero

Almost nobody has heard of Maurice Hilleman, but everyone should know his name. As Radiolab said, “his work is estimated to save about 8 million lives a year… he was the greatest scientist of the 20th century… We live longer

Posted in Millionaire Superheroes

Interest rates are low because of demographic changes and rising corporate power

Greg Mankiw wrote in the NYT about the puzzle of persistently low interest rates. Interest rates have been lower than ever before in history and they have been very low for decades so low interest rates seems to be the

Posted in Macro, Managerial Micro

How many Americans have had Covid-19? The answer explains why the infection rate will have to start dropping in the coming weeks.

As of yesterday 14.76million Americans had had Covid-19 as confirmed by testing and the numbers continue to spike due to holiday gatherings. That is only four percent of all Americans who have been confirmed to have had Covid-19 according to

Posted in Health

Guns, Toilets, and Steel: Different customs regarding humanure explain a lot of the differences in economic development.

The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins, is a pioneering guide for people who want a simple composting toilet system.  I have used toilets that were inspired by the Handbook both in Guatemala and at a community a couple hours drive

Posted in Development

Crime is down. Police brutality is down. Racist policing is down. Why do most Americans believe the opposite?

Crime has been dropping for three decades straight now, but about 60-70% of Americans have been misled into thinking that crime is increasing this whole time. I feel a lot safer nowadays partly because I pay attention to statistics and

Posted in Violence & Peace

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