Fix the Incentives, Fix the Problem

A long time ago, I used to go to lunch periodically with a bunch of coworkers. Some would say “Let’s make it easy and divide up the bill evenly.” That was back in ancient times before restaurant technology could easily split the bill for the table, so it definitely was Continue Reading →

Affordable Care Fairy Dust

I just got notice that the cost of our health insurance is going up almost fourteen percent for the year. To give some perspective, if you accept the official figures, the consumer inflation rate is 1.9%. The increase in premium is more than seven times the overall rate of consumer Continue Reading →

Logical Consistency for Pro-Choice Stand

The pro-choice movement has revolved around the abortion issue for decades. The question asked is whether a woman should control her own body, to be allowed to make her own choice as far as continuing a pregnancy or ending it. The real underlying contentiousness, however, is whether or not the Continue Reading →

The Irony of the Common Good

Confusion is frequently created by conflating two different senses of an idea under the same name, with “common good” as an example. Acting unselfishly, as in helping your neighbor or helping clean a park, is often seen as acting toward the common good instead of just the good of the Continue Reading →

Planners with Skin in the Game

My daughter is getting married this weekend. Everything seems to be falling into place after more than a year of planning, with lots of thought, effort, and logistical juggling. After being involved in weddings through the years, she, they, had a pretty good idea of what they wanted. They took Continue Reading →

Economics In One Page

“What makes it [economics] most fascinating is that its fundamental principles are so simple that they can be written on one page, that anyone can understand them, and yet very few do.” Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman made that profound statement in the last line of his autobiography in “Lives of Continue Reading →

Good Inequality, Not Bad Inequality

Inequality of results is often viewed as a bad thing, as though the good fortune of one comes only at the expense of others. It is the “fixed pie” or win/lose concept of society. Under this type of thinking, the ideal situation is a perfectly even spread of income and Continue Reading →

Information Is the Answer to the Question

I recently had questions relevant to what I was doing, so I typed queries in a search engine. In one of them I came up with more than sixty-eight million possibilities for web sites to read. Unfortunately I was not able to quite make it through all of them to Continue Reading →

Truth Doesn’t Change with Time

An idea is true when it is an accurate reflection of reality. Like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, our views of it may represent only a small part of the whole truth. The man who feels the trunk has a different experience than he who feels Continue Reading →

Whose Free Lunch Are You Paying For?

There is no such thing as a free lunch. I learned it as the acronym TINSTAAFL. It is, of course, true. If your friend buys your lunch, it may be free for you, but your friend ends up paying for both. If, instead, the restaurant owner says it is on Continue Reading →