Paying the Price for Mistakes

Planning is necessary. Everyone does it so some extent, and those who plan successfully tend to have the best results. Plans, however, almost never work out exactly as intended. The best we can do is to plan our responses to the anticipated future environment. Thus the best planners are those Continue Reading →

Why We Are Seer Suckers

Scott Armstrong from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania gave us the Seer Sucker Theory: “No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers.” A seer is someone who is able to peer into the future, Continue Reading →

What Market Failure Means

Failure means that particular actions didn’t yield the intended results. The term is often applied when bad things happen in the economy, as in “market failure”. The term implies that a market didn’t do what it was supposed to do. What is it, however, that a market is supposed to Continue Reading →

Solving Symptoms with National Strategic Agenda

No Labels, a bi-partisan group of politicians and interested parties, has developed and is heavily promoting a National Strategic Agenda as the key to America’s future. The idea is to get to the core and solve the big problems. It is at least plausible, removing partisanship from politics by focusing Continue Reading →

The Illegitimate Right to Broadband Access

Support seems to be a growing for treating broadband, high-speed internet as a basic human right. It is understandable, given the widely held assumptions about rights. It is just one of a growing list of goodies that people have come to claim as human rights, so it is worthwhile to Continue Reading →

Ownership, Goals, and Central Planning

People establish businesses and other private organizations for specific purposes, arranging systems of assets and people to achieve their goals. Economies and societies, on the other hand, are not organized by anyone. They emerge naturally from the interactions of individuals as they go about their lives. The study of complex Continue Reading →

Let Agricultural Markets Work

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary has announced a new and improved agricultural program. It pays dairy farmers when the difference between milk prices and feed prices declines to a level determined by central-planners. What are the implications, however, when prices shrink or when costs rise? The reasons are basic economics, but Continue Reading →

Anti-Competitive Behavior and the ACA

Antitrust is a big, lucrative business for politicians and for lawyers. They play on people’s emotions because most people have not given it much thought. The rationale behind litigation over monopoly, cartels, price-fixing, and the like, however, is not that difficult to understand. Monopolies are bad things to most people Continue Reading →

When Planning Creates Chaos

All people do some type of planning, which is simply looking toward the future to determine the steps needed to achieve objectives. Employment is one of the means available. Workers choose to trade their time and labor because it enables them to better satisfy their needs and pursue their goals. Continue Reading →