« February 2012 | Main | April 2012 »

March 2012

"Smith, Entry, Samuelson, and Why Economics Should Teach Good Old Chicago School Economics"

Amen to that. Deirdre McCloskey:

The core of Smithian economics, further, is . . . entry and exit, and is Smith's distinctive contribution to social science. . . . He was the first to ask what happens in the long run when people respond to desired opportunities. Smith for example argues in detail that wage-plus-conditions will equalize among occupations, in the long run, by entry and exit. 

Energy and technology

Energy and technology just might cause an economic boom:

"The biggest change on the margin".

Not only is the price of natural gas declining significantly, but it is getting cheaper relative to crude oil by leaps and bounds. And it's all thanks to new drilling technology (fracking) that has resulted in huge new natural gas discoveries and production in the U.S. It's probably impossible to imagine all the ramifications of this for the U.S. economy, but they are surely going to be very significant. 

"The US Energy Industry Is Going To Grow So Fast, It Will Spark A New 'Industrial Revolution'"

Oil and gas production in the United States and North America is going to skyrocket in the next 8 years due to strides in natural resource extraction, write Citi analysts in a report published yesterday. In fact, they went so far as to call North America "the new Middle East," at least in terms of oil production.

This—as well as a trend towards declining U.S. energy consumption—will completely transform both the domestic economy and the threats the U.S. will face in the future.

"The future will be better than we think if politicians don’t ruin it".

But the pattern is the same: Technology is a disruptive force, and the first instinct of a ruling class is to take control, because any such disruption, however good it might be for humanity at large, is a threat to their own power.

Over the past couple of centuries, things have gotten better because science and technology have advanced faster than the ruling classes have been able to respond.

"A man navigates the medical system with humor"

A vast understatement. If "plastic bag of shit" grosses you out too much, don't listen.

But if Andy Borowitz explaining how he got within an inch of dying and then came all the way back, and then making very funny jokes about it--concerning, for examples, "pro-illestomy propagands" and "I know you've had a lot of complications with these first two surgeries, so I'm gonna be extra careful this time"--might interest you, then do listen