Blog Archives

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

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

Introduction to Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Below is an excerpt of the Introduction of Factfulness by Hans Rosling that is posted for free use by the publisher, McMillan. Before reading the introduction, please take the test it is based.  The test website interface is a bit

Posted in Development, Globalization & International

Why we have Extra Life today.

In the 1850s, upper royalty in England were living almost 70% longer than commoners. This graph shows average life expectancy for “ducal” families.  These were the highest nobility, the dukes, who ranked just below the King’s nuclear family in the

Posted in Development, Health, statistics

Do we have a responsibility to develop more millionaire superheroes?

Peter Singer’s book called The Life You Can Save is about one of his most famous thought experiments: Suppose on a walk you notice a young girl drowning in a lake. If you can swim, and you can save her

Posted in Millionaire Superheroes, Philosophy and ethics

Slavery was a core part of civilization for most of history

Updated 2/23/23 What is the liberal arts? The word arts means ‘subjects of study’ and today the word liberal in this context is usually taken to mean “wide-ranging” and “broad-minded”, but that wasn’t the original meaning of the term.  The

Posted in Development, Violence & Peace

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