Category Archives: economics

The Price of Time – Book Review

Edward Chancellor’s book , subtitled The Real Story of interest, starts with Hammurabi and continues to the present. He shows that interest is older than money and that the compulsion of governments to manipulate it is equally ancient. Interest has been seen as immoral by many religions, but has persisted because commerce is impossible without…


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The Bottom of the Slippery Slope

Warnings about the slippery slope have been around as long as deranged thinking. As an all purpose cathartic it quickly devolved to a cliché. But no one seems to be interested in what happens when you get to its bottom, or even how you can tell that you’ve arrived at its destination. Well, I think…


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Maverick – Book Review

Jason Riley is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Maverick, is an intellectual biography of the economist and public intellectual Thomas Sowell. Focusing mainly on Sowell’s thinking, it presents only the bare facts of his life. Sowell has averaged about…


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Defaulting on the Debt Was Impossible

There was a lot of scare declarations about the disastrous effects of the US defaulting on its debt if it congress didn’t raise the debt ceiling. Virtually all of it was wrong. We were told that the country had never defaulted on its debt. It’s done so several times, the last was in 1979. As…


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Spontaneous Order

Everywhere we look we are surrounded by orderly systems that arose spontaneously and continue to operate in the same way. The universe, regardless of how it started, operates according to rules that no matter their complexity are knowable and fixed. The laws of physics are unchangeable; it’s our understanding of them that’s subject to alteration….


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On Corruption

Lord Acton’s famous line about the relationship of power and corruption needs no more than its first phrase. The two are conjoined twins. Under the right circumstances all of us are likely to succumb to the corrosive effect of authority. Some occupations have it as part of their job descriptions. While corruption is ineluctably part…


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The Case Against Children

Fertility rates are below replacement levels in every country in the developed world except Israel. While the leaders of these countries view this decline with alarm, it represents a logical response to the realities of the modern world. Below are a few reasons for this infertile phenomenon. My discussion is pertinent only to the modern…


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COVID-19 Six Months In

It’s just about half a year since we recognized that the coronavirus had taken residence in the US and just about everywhere else. We took a while to realize that the bug was going to stay longer than The Man Who Came to Dinner. Though epidemics have been a feature of human existence ever since…


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Einstein, Insanity, and Models

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This quotation attributed to Einstein, was said by him (if he really said it) in the context of quantum mechanics, where doing the same experiment repeatedly does give different results. But in the macro world the same experiment properly performed does give…


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Corona Craziness – Why We Surrendered Without a Fight

Genghis Khan was the greatest administrator who ever lived. He always knew when to temper justice with brutality. Anonymous How did we reach a social point where most of the world would accept suicide as a remedy for a serious, but not unmanageable, contagious disease? We’ve endured plagues, famines, natural disasters, wars, and a Pandora’s…


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