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If there were a collapse of civilization, could people go back to hunting for survival?

I talk about some of history’s horrible famines in my economic development classes and the difficulty of getting enough food in Malthusian societies. Sometimes, some of my students ask why people starved rather than going out to hunt for food.

Posted in Development

The biggest health achievement in the United States in the last half century?

Kristof @ NYT: Let’s break for a quiz: What was the biggest health care breakthrough in the last 40 years in the United States? Heart bypasses? CAT scans and M.R.I.’s? New cancer treatments? No, it was the cigarette tax. Every

Posted in Health, Millionaire Superheroes

Would universal health care boost growth in developing nations?

The Economist Magazine argues that the entire world should adopt universal health care because universal health care is both desirable and possible, even in low-income countries. Some countries achieved near-universal coverage when they were still relatively poor. Japan reached 80%

Posted in Development, Health

Why are we so afraid of other nations that can’t even take care of their own shit?

TomDispatch has a great article about the insanity of our military’s spending priorities and the money-grubbing paranoia of the associated defense-industrial complex. It is scary. You gotta read it. At the same time, all rich nations are military allies of

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Jaywalking in Guatemala

As a visitor to Guatemala, I’ve often heard cautions from Guatemalans to be extra careful crossing the road because cars have the right of way and might run me over.  Although cars give very little regard to pedestrian safety, there

Posted in Development, Public Finance

Eradicating diseases through individual efforts

There are many diseases that have been basically eradicated from rich countries because they are easy to cure with modern medicine, but they persist in poor nations for the lack of money for basic treatments. For example, I’ll be taking

Posted in Development, Health

The end of the efficiency-equity curve

In rich nations, inequality dramatically dropped during the first decades of the 20th century and although inequality has been creeping up again over the past half century (especially in the US) it has remained lower than it was during most

Posted in Development, Public Finance

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