24 Apr 2015

Anything but water

  1. "The End of Asymmetric Information" ("as Described by Yesterday's Economists") does not exclude future, interesting -- and devastating -- examples of one side deceiving the other, but falling transaction costs are removing some barriers to markets that hadn't functioned due to trust issues

  2. This short primer on economical writing [pdf] has good advice for everyone. The author of the primer, Donald Deidre McCloskey, wrote an excellent critique of economics (If You're So Smart, Why Ain't You Rich? [pdf]) that is echoed in this speech by Charlie Munger, i.e., Warren Buffet's billionaire buddy

  3. Interesting conversations: President Obama (!) with David Simon (creator of The Wire) on the failed war on drugs, Peter Thiel (PayPal) tells Tyler Cowen how government and bureaucracy (esp in the academic world, where "publish to the index") have killed innovation, and Russ Roberts, Vernon Smith and Otteson on Adam Smith (remember that he was a moral philosopher who said more than what we see in economics today)

  4.  People keep elective idiots because politicians press simple, shallow buttons. Related: deconstructing the Kremlin's propaganda machine (hint: nothing makes sense, so don't try to think)

  5. Years ago, I wrote an opinion [pdf] favoring free trade over "fair" trade that focussed on the oversimplified (and thus deceptive) side of the fair trade industry. This recent letter from economists [pdf] explain show fair trade is relatively harmful for poor farmers (and costly for rich consumers)