Jim Epstein – complete with videos – looks at the sharing economy. Gotta love spontaneous order! A slice:
The phrase “peer-to-peer” is still a more useful descriptor than “sharing economy” because it references an important phenomenon, which is that new technologies are eliminating middlemen. But the real value of companies like Lyft, EatWith, and Airbnb is that they make new forms of trade possible. It doesn’t matter whether the buyer or seller is an individual or an incorporated business. Contrary to what Airbnb’s Brian Chesky says, corporations are just groups of people collaborating with each other.
The great Bob Higgs counsels caution when identifying plutocrats. Here’s Bob’s conclusion:
In sum, revolutionary Occupiers, do not set your guillotines to work too vigorously. You might just notice that after you have lopped off all the heads you consider unworthy of remaining attached to plutocratic bodies, the economy no longer works as well as it did before.
Here’s David Henderson on Noah Smith on the state of the economics profession today … and yesterday. A slice, in which David in effect points out that too many economists today have a “Then a miracle occurs” step in their seemingly scientific analyses:
Moreover, although Noah is right that behavioral economists have come up with more examples of how markets can fail, they have been incredibly resistant to applying those same tools to government officials, a criticism I make here.
So, although I think the economics profession is more left-wing than it was in the late 1970s, this isn’t due so much to an empirical revolution as it is to the profession’s hesitance to examine carefully how government actually works.