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September 2015

"Remembering Robert Conquest"

I don't know the late Mr. Conquest's writings, but this bit of his verse made me laugh.

“Those teach who can’t do” runs the dictum,

But for some even that’s out of reach:

They can’t even teach—so they’ve picked ’em

To teach other people to teach.

Then alas for the next generation,

For the pots fairly crackle with thorn.

Where psychology meets education

A terrible bullshit is born.

"Government Intervention Is Becoming Obsolete"

Remember Econ 101? Remember the "market failures" that could be fixed by government action? Fred Foldvary explains why technology is fixing them without government.

Much government intervention has no economic rationale and is due instead to pressure from special interests. However, some interventions have a public-welfare justification, backed by conventional economic theory. Textbooks in the field normally present four such rationales: asymmetric information, external effects, public goods, and monopoly.

Advances in technology are fast rendering these arguments obsolete.