==> Lessons for the Young Economist is now poised to infiltrate China.
==> I am quoted in this article about Bitcoin, saying something noncommittal.
==> Tom Woods announces the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum.
==> I talk to Scott Horton about the Fed and U.S. wars.
==> A funny rant about the “I f**king love science!” page. Bad words, obviously. (HT2 Daniel Kuehn)
==> The two cranky guys from the Muppets, now on YouTube and talking about economic issues.
==> I get Zwolinski’s general point, but if you have to say, “After all, who doesn’t think it’s wrong to steal someone else’s property, to club some innocent person over the head, or to force others to labor for one’s own private benefit?” you know you’re in dangerous waters. (I.e. Zwolinski is going to show us all the times it *is* OK to steal someone else’s property, club an innocent person over the head, and force others to labor for one’s own private benefit.)
==> Russ Roberts has some great points in his debate on the minimum wage.
==> Is there a definitive account of what happened with Wesley Snipes? Like, was he just rolling the dice, or was he not paying his taxes for ideological reasons? And, did he effectively trade a few years of his life for several million dollars, or did they get the money anyway?
“I experience discomfort at knowing that you are doing something I don’t approve of” is not basic building block of how humans express morality to each other. ”I disapprove of what you are doing because…” is the normal way to begin– and it doesn’t count as a successful end to the sentence to say “… because it causes me psychic discomfort to think about your doing that.” The attempt to build Rube Goldberg machines that approximate basic moral judgments using only the utilitarian building blocks of pleasure and pain is sometimes successful, but even when it is, it looks like (as Bernard Williams put it) thinking one thought too many. The reason for moral disapproval is primary; running it through the fact that other people experience psychic discomfort at the activity is, at best, taking the long way around, and, normally, a misunderstanding of what’s at stake. Human actors have, and offer, reasons for their moral reactions, and don’t treat the mere fact that they have the reactions as substitutes for those reasons.
Sort of akin to my Captain Obvious post about the Hoover/Mellon record, I suppose I must respond to David Friedman who seems genuinely baffled that Landsburg’s post upset people. OK: People really were saying after the conviction that “c’mon, that wasn’t ‘rape rape'” and of course CNN did all kinds of crazy coverage about the poor plight of the convicted rapists. So in that context, Landsburg writing a post containing the sentence, “As long as I’m safely unconsious and therefore shielded from the costs of an assault, why shouldn’t the rest of the world (or more specifically my attackers) be allowed to reap the benefits?” was not conducive to awards from Oprah.
Let’s be clear: Steve wasn’t suggesting we legalize rape, or that what happened to the girl in that case was no big deal. I’m not here implying that Steve should be fired. What I am saying is that Friedman’s reaction, saying people upset at Steve are either “stupid or evil,” is crazy too. It is obvious that that post would make people flip out, like I said when it first appeared.
==> Phew! A return to normalcy. Steve Landsburg talking about price discrimination. (“What?! He’s for discrimination?! He thinks the elderly should pay different prices!!”)