Blog Archives

Steve Jobs got a small part of the Giant Turnip at Apple and a large part at Pixar

When Steve Jobs died in 2011, Matt Yglesias said that he was a net-worth failure compared to other computer executives of his era like Michael Dell and Bill Gates: The rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates that dominated the

Posted in Labor, Managerial Micro

Why Netflix doesn’t care if you “illegally” share your account with friends

In Michael Heller and James Salzman’s book, Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives, they say that streaming video companies like HBO Max do not care that people get one account and share it with friends. This

Posted in Managerial Micro

How pyramid schemes work

An individual who joins a multi-level marketing (MLM) company can make money by selling products directly to consumers AND more importantly by getting other people to become distributors at a lower level in the pyramid. In fact, even if nobody

Posted in Managerial Micro

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

Amazon as a nonprofit

For most of Amazon’s history it made zero profit. That changed a couple years ago, but although its gross profit margin on revenues is now positive, it is still pretty negligible today. Amazon is a huge conglomerate these days, but

Posted in Managerial Micro

A history of the Corporation

There have always been large organizations that have done the kinds of things corporations do, but for most of human history, large organizations were run by religious hierarchies or governments rather than for-profit businesses. For-profit businesses were always small which

Posted in Managerial Micro

The expected value of potential lives lost during atomic testing

Rob Reid wrote a great explanation of the horrible risk taken during the Manhattan Project, when American nuclear scientists took a chance estimated at one-in-three million that the first atomic test would create a chain reaction that would ignite the

Posted in Globalization & International, Health, Managerial Micro, Violence & Peace

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