I’m cleaning out the pages from my iPhone’s browser, so some of the later links below are old (but good).
==> I know a lot of you travel through Argentina in late August, so make sure you stop by for my keynote address.
==> A good episode of the Tom Woods Show featuring Walter Block discussing ocean privatization. Little bit of trivia: In college my debate partner and I were undefeated when we advocated ocean privatization to protect marine life. In the beginning of the season, before our reputation preceded us, teams were helpless; they had never heard something so nutty and were utterly unprepared to rebut our claims.
==> Nick Rowe pushes back against Noah Smith, by arguing that he (Nick) was ignoring the lesson of comparative advantage when drawing up faculty teaching assignments. The thing is, I’m not sure I agree with Nick that he had originally been making a mistake. In any event, it just proves his point, that this stuff is far from obvious, and so Noah is wrong to think that if the layperson rejects the textbook case for free trade, it’s because the layperson has grasped the “obvious” Ricardian point and is thinking of something more subtle.
==> This 2013 Caplan essay is in his hall of fame, in the sense that he has since linked to it (I think I missed it when it first ran), and people in the comments are telling him it’s top notch. So my point in linking to it, is to say, “I don’t get it.” Far from being cavalier about the unemployed, I think if anything free-market economists are patronizing in their discussion of the minimum wage, the effects of ObamaCare on employer incentives, licensing restrictions on hair braiding, etc. In other words, rather than worrying (as Bryan does) that free-market economists come off as not caring about the unemployed in their analyses, I worry that some progressive might say, “Oh give me a break, like I’m sure you really care about teenage workers at Burger King! Get real Murphy, you really just want to fatten corporate profits and you’re couching your argument in terms of helping unskilled workers because you know that will resonate better with the public.”
Now if you want to see an economist who is quite flippant about unskilled workers being unemployed, here’s a much better example. (Look at his third paragraph in particular.)
==> Tyler Cowen links (and has a funny comment) to a hilarious paper from Harvard.
==> I don’t know who this guy is, but listen to his critique of Scott Sumner:
Scott Sumner asks the question, regarding macroeconomics: who should we listen to? He tries to suggest that we should assign a higher Bayesian prior probability to someone who has made several qualitative and ill-defined conditional predictions with a model only that person can use that are declared correct by the person who made them.
Yikes! I don’t sound that mad, do I?
==> Speaking of Scott Sumner, remember when I tried to take his thermostat analogy seriously? Well, it also requires saying things like, “Jim turned the thermostat DOWN from 60 degrees to 70 degrees.” Look, if you think the Fed should print more money, fine. But don’t let your sanity go with Scott over the falls. Or should I say, under the falls?
==> But I’m glad Scott’s around, because he linked to this hilarious post from Scott Alexander, about hardball questions for the next Republican debate. It’s geeky to be sure, but very clever.