The U.S. is too deeply mired in its problems to expect quick economic relief. Europe’s economies are withering away. The growth spurt in southeast Asia is sliding. Africa, Latin America, and Oceania are too small to boost the world economy. It’s all a bit bleak. Yet there is hope. . . . → Read More: Summer travels, short-term travails, and long-term prospects
Sometimes even I am guilty of thoughtlessly repeating some number and its alleged implication. For example, it is said (and I have repeated) that health care spending in the United States consumes about one-sixth of U.S. gross domestic product: One in every six dollars earned is spent on health care. Somehow, this is taken to be bad. But why? What does this number mean? And where does it come from? . . . → Read More: Health Care USA
11/11/11, or Nov. 11, 2011, is Veterans’ Day in the United States. Here are some figures. . . . → Read More: “One in Ten” – Veterans Day on 11/11/11
Google “economics of marriage” and a large number of entirely relevant hits come up. Noneconomists find it puzzling that economists talk of courtship, love, and marriage in terms of markets and prices and option values but economics is as good an entry point as any other to discuss humankind’s most important social institution. . . . → Read More: Courtship, Love, and Marriage
Henry Ford, the founder of the automobile company that (still) bears his name, appears to have understood the anthill principle of exploration: To have one good idea, you must have not one idea, but one hundred ideas. . . . → Read More: Positive Failure
The U.S. Census 2010 will prove it. Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. The economic, political, and cultural power of this population segment is growing. Business and politics had better adjust. But, on average, Hispanics are poorly educated and this carries huge implications for economic growth, tax revenue, and the viability of the Social Security and Medicare programs. . . . → Read More: Toward a More Latinized United States of America
A lecture tour to India and Australia gives rise to ruminations about food. . . . → Read More: Our Daily Bread
Biologists frequently remind economists that there are limits to growth. This is both true and false. . . . → Read More: Biological and Economic Limits to Growth
How do new inventions spread across time and space? One view is that they spread like epidemics. … Read on! . . . → Read More: Technology
Can it pay to behave irrationally in the market place? The fascinating answer is “Yes, it can.” In a slew of recent articles, experimental economists report that a minority of irrational participants in a laboratory experiment can sway a majority of rational decisionmakers. . . . → Read More: Can it Pay to be Irrational?
Is faith used in the production of wellbeing? Sure. But in the production of one sort of wellbeing, the believer gives up the production of other sorts of possible wellbeing. Faith thus comes at a cost. Since it is costly, it is not free. And since it is not free, it is not an unlimited resource. . . . → Read More: Oh, Ye, of Little Faith! Is “Spiritual Faith” an Unlimited Resource?
It surely takes an economist to point out that the crux of competition lies in cooperation. One can hardly think of something less selfless than competition. . . . → Read More: Competition