≡ Menu

Some Links

Norbert Michel and Jai Kedia continue their series that exposes the many flaws and confusions that infect American Compass’s criticisms of financial markets. A slice:

The above examples demonstrate American Compass’s propensity to pick and choose metrics and time periods that appear to provide evidence for its claims. But, overall, these statistics do not provide evidence that “In recent decades, American finance has metastasized, claiming a disproportionate share of…the economy’s profits.” Of course, if American Compass has an optimal share for the financial sector in mind, it should clearly explain what that number is and why it is optimal.

Alberto Mingardi ponders “equality and freedom in Herbert Spencer’s Principles of Ethics.” A slice:

As his perspective matured, Spencer attributed changes to “wider observation and longer thought” (Autobiography, II, §464). He claimed he better understood that “institutions of every kind must be regarded as relative to the character of citizens and the conditions under which they exist; and the feelings enlisted on behalf of such institutions must be judged, not by their absolute fitness but by their relative fitness” (Autobiography, II, §465).

Here’s the abstract of a newly revised paper by Phil Magness, Art Carden, and Ilia Murtazashvili:

This paper investigates Gordon Tullock’s unpublished manuscripts that proposed a public choice interpretation of American slavery. Drafted in response to Conrad and Meyer’s seminal 1959 article on the economics of slavery, Tullock’s writings influenced the early cliometric debate over slavery through his University of Virginia colleague John E. Moes. This paper uses Tullock’s surviving writings to map out his theory of slavery and situate it in the broader economic analysis of the institution.

I’d not until this morning heard of Pearl Davis. She sounds dreadful.

J.D. Tuccille reports on the larger-than-expect price of Biden’s student-loan-forgiveness scheme.

Avik Roy writes wisely about the differences – many of which are large and fundamental – that separate NatCons from FreeCons.

Allison Pearson decries the weaponizing of weather. A slice:

There is something horribly familiar about all these apocalyptic warnings of catastrophic consequences if people don’t act. “Temperatures across the Mediterranean are nearing the highest ever recorded in Europe with travellers being warned that local medical and health services are strained in some areas.”

Ah, yes, that’s it. Knew we’d heard it before: Stay At Home, Save on Sunscreen, Support Net Zero.

It’s almost as if the same people who scared the pants off us during the pandemic, terrorising people into obeying often idiotic rules, were at it again. The Behavioural Insights Team (aka the Nudge Unit) – spun out of the Cabinet Office, and now working many large corporates, global institutions and national governments – is teaming up with broadcasters to drive messages about climate change.