04 Feb 2019

Yet Another Analogy on the Carbon Tax

All Posts, Climate Change 22 Comments

We only have 12 years to act before I run out of analogies…

Try this one kids:

Should Students Support a “Point-Neutral Exam Reform?”

Suppose a college math professor is very concerned about the self-esteem of her students, and so declares that for the upcoming exam, she will give each student the average of the actual scores that the class earns. That is, the professor will first grade the exam the normal way, then add up the total points earned by all of the students collectively, then divide the total by the number of students in the class, and finally she will award that result as the score to each student.

When the professor announces the rule, at first the students are suspicious, as they have come to distrust anything proposed by adults—especially those in authority. However, the professor explains that out of the class of 100 students, there are 10 very high achievers, who get an A+ on every test. Another 87 students are pretty average, who all usually get a C+ through a B on their tests. And finally there are three students who are in danger of flunking, who get an F or a D on their tests.

The students in the class, however, still don’t see where this is going. The professor reminds them that her proposal is—as she calls it—a “point-neutral exam reform.” That is, the professor’s new scheme won’t create or destroy points, but instead will merely redistribute point among the students. The total number of points the students score on their exams, will end up being the total number the professor records in the grade report for the registrar.

However, because of the different patterns in student scoring, the professor predicts that her scheme will mean that 90 percent of the students in the class will receive more points from the scheme than they will forfeit. That is, 90 percent of the students in the class will see their score bumped up after the professor applies the adjustment.

03 Feb 2019

That’s My King!

Religious 3 Comments

I like to post this every once in a while to get you fired up.

02 Feb 2019

Contra Krugman Ep. 174: Tom and I Defend Our Corporate Paymasters

Contra Krugman No Comments

This is one of the rare times when I get more agitated than Tom. I will tolerate a lot, but if you threaten billionaires, watch out buddy.

31 Jan 2019

BMS ep. 14: On Parables, Lizard People, and Good vs. Evil

Bob Murphy Show No Comments

This is the episode that will make people either love me or think, “OK yeah, he’s crazy.”

28 Jan 2019

Lara-Murphy Show episode 66: Getting in the Minds of Fed Officials

Lara-Murphy Show No Comments

Carlos and I think like central bankers in this one

27 Jan 2019

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Religious 51 Comments

My pastor tackled this question today in church. I was impressed and glad to hear him admit fairly early that, “I don’t know.” (R.C. Sproul did the same thing, if I recall correctly, in his speech, “What Is Evil and Where Did It Come From?”)

My pastor used an analogy that I have often found useful, in comparing us to little children with earthly parents. There are time when a child might be furious at his mother, not understanding why she’s “being so mean!!” Yet in many cases, the human parent is actually acting in the best interest of the child, even though he might not understand why he has to take medicine, leave the playground, go to bed, etc.

Likewise, though we as adults are far wiser and smarter than toddlers, we are nothing compared to God. And so whatever the answers are to the toughest questions–why does He allow wars? children to get cancer? etc.–we literally could not comprehend them right now.

One thing I would like to add, which my pastor didn’t touch on: In this type of scenario, it’s understandable that a cynic would respond, “Oh great, you admit you don’t know, and so you just punt. Let me guess: You have to have ‘faith.’ Thanks, but I’ll stick to reason and evidence.”

Yet this is misunderstanding what “faith” is, in this context. Even in everyday language, if you have faith in someone, or if someone says, “You’ll just have to trust me on this,” that does not mean, “Throw your mind out the window.” It would be foolish for Lois Lane to trust Lex Luthor, but it’s entirely rational for her to trust Superman.

Likewise, Christians believe that God became a man in order to suffer and die to rescue us from our sins. Given our understanding of God’s character, it’s perfectly reasonable to trust Him. So no, I can’t explain exactly why every injustice occurred, though we do see some examples in the Bible. (E.g., Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, but God used that in order to rescue all of Israel from the coming famine and ensure that His promise would be fulfilled.) But I am confident that God is good and in charge, and we will one day understand.

(Speaking of which, if you’ve never listened to the lyrics of this Dan Fogelberg song, give them a chance.)

24 Jan 2019

Nominations for Best Intro Episodes to Contra Krugman?

Contra Krugman 2 Comments

Some homework for you, kids: My dad wants me to compile a list of some of the best Contra Krugman episodes for him to send others, if they express interest in the concept. So the point here isn’t to teach someone Austrian business cycle theory, the point is to get the person to think, “Oh yeah, I’m glad I just spent a half hour listening to that, I’ll get some more episodes.”

What do you think? I’ve noticed that my favorite episodes are not necessarily yours.

24 Jan 2019

Dave Smith Talks Comedy and More on the Bob Murphy Show

All Posts, Bob Murphy Show 4 Comments

This was a really fun one. We spend most of the time discussing stand-up comedy, but then transition to the Fed, fatherhood, and faith.