"Waste and debt"

I had noticed this, too, but Professor Peter Gordon puts it far better than I would have:

But we now live in another world. Whether it is Clinton, Trump, Sanders or Obama, they are fond of discovering (and championing) free lunches (trade protectionism, free college, banning immigration, overtime for everyone, free child care, energy independence, etc., etc., etc.).

The locals in my part of the world are not to be undone. Friend Brad H. notes that the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation has discovered the best deal yet: Raise the sales tax by one-half cent and "put billions back into the economy". How does that really work? There are no opportunity costs. In fact, costs are benefits. Spending is a benefit.

Related: Tyler Cowen's post, "What is the opportunity cost of additional government borrowing?"

Opportunity cost remains an underrated idea in economics.

Amen to that.


"What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists"

A bit sad, but more than a bit beautiful, too.

I still get the occasional joke from colleagues about my ‘crackpot consultant business’, but I’ve stopped thinking of our clients that way. They are driven by the same desire to understand nature and make a contribution to science as we are. They just weren’t lucky enough to get the required education early in life, and now they have a hard time figuring out where to even begin. At the same time, the physicists on my team like to help others understand more about science and appreciate the opportunity to apply their knowledge outside academia. In connecting both sides, everybody wins.