Of course, if there were no legal remedies against fraud, people would be more careful–but they would be too careful; they would incur high costs of self-protection. It is cheaper to punish fraud, just as it is cheaper to punish burglary than to tell people to fortify their houses.
— Judge Posner
Where is the line drawn between individual and community action to secure private property? Why is protection for burglary a public good, but protection against flood, not? Of course, protection from murder is a public good, as it should be and of course, “protection” from not being wealthy isn’t a public good. But why is insurance for large sums of money a public good, but protection from starvation not?
The line is feeling awfully arbitrarily drawn to me, atm.
I see no interesting intrinsic moral distinction between brick- and other forms of laying.
Wilkensen Wilkinsen Wilkinson
First, on general principles it’s not clear what one learns from very short-term movements in relative wages… Second, more specifically, the period since 1995 includes a major boom-bust cycle in high-technology industries. The technology bubble of the late 1990s probably elevated the education premium, while the subsequent bust caused that premium to deflate. As a result, inferences from the movement in inequality during the first few years after the tech bust should be taken with a grain of salt.
— Paul Krugman 2008 working paper (pdf)
YouNotSneaky’s at it again. Why might prices be more stable under monopolies (and why might we care)?
Here’s my favorite line:
Probably less explicitly but more importantly, when prices keep changing on you it means you’ve gotta recalculate your optimal allocations of expenditure again. You gotta set up a new Lagrangian, take the damn first order conditions and figure out if making out the adjustments in your optimal consumption basket – given your income – are worth it. What? You don’t think that way? You don’t set up constrained Lagrangians every time there’s a change in prices and compute your Kuhn-Tucker conditions?
From a review of Erykah Badu’s new album:
Think Sly Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On filtered through the lens of left-field hip-hop, played at a Hindu death procession and recycled for a malfunctioning video game about an Afrofuturist apocalypse.
Well jee, it sounds like a broken video game. I’m sold.
“Oberg knows an astronaut bent on orbital manslaughter could simply throw any number of switches to do the job, but he said the crews would be safer if the gun was locked up or left on Earth.” — Orlando TV reporter
“Guns kill people, people don’t… except when they do. Still, no guns.”