David’s Journey & Foster Parenting (49m) – Episode 371

Episode 371 welcomes David Scholes to the podcast to chat with Skyler on the following topics: what becoming foster parents entails; why he and his wife chose to become foster parents; initial and interval requirements to being a foster parent; where foster kids come from and some trouble cases he’s seen; why he adopted his son out of his foster care; abuses in the system; how being a foster parent can be rewarding; video game “addiction” and what’s really going on there; the free range kids phenomenon; protecting himself from illnesses like COVID-19 through his ketogenic dieting, 5 years on; and more.

Reflections on the Krikorian-Caplan Soho Forum Debate

Thanks again to Gene Epstein and Reason for sponsoring last week’s immigration debate between myself and Mark Krikorian.  Thanks to Mark, too, for debating before an unsympathetic audience.  The resolution, you may recall, was: The current pandemic makes it all the more necessary for the federal government to tighten restrictions on immigration. Here are my extra thoughts on the exchange.

Politics is Still Stupid

The combination of Public Choice theory, which explains how politics works and why it doesn’t, and understanding social change, plus lived experience of working in politics, policy, education, and finally entrepreneurship have made it abundantly clear to me that politics is at best a ridiculous spectator sport. At worst a terrible addiction that makes you an asshole and a moron all at once.

The Fault Is Not in Our Stuff But in Ourselves

Bruce Sacerdote‘s NBER Working Paper, “Fifty Years of Growth in American Consumption, Income, and Wages” provides a nice update on the measurement of CPI Bias.  The punchline should be obvious, but it’s great to hear such an eminent economist say it: “Meaningful growth in consumption for below median income families has occurred even in a prolonged period of increasing income inequality, increasing consumption inequality and a decreasing share of national income accruing to labor.”

Big Business: Recasting the Anti-Hero

My main criticism: Tyler is so pro-business that he often forgets (at least rhetorically) to be pro-market.  He spends minimal time calling for moderate deregulation – and even less calling for radical deregulation.  So while he effectively calls attention to everything business does for us, he barely shows readers how much business could do for us if government got out of the way.

Confessions of a Blogging Opium Eater

With a nod to Thomas De Quincey, I have had to deal with the consequences of an addiction once again.  As a life long University of Kentucky basketball fan, I now must look forward to a long, cold summer.  I will have fleeting moments, perhaps in the NBA playoffs, perhaps when they contest the Rugby World Cup to see who can deny the New Zealand All Blacks. But this all got me thinking about the nature of undying love, freedom, individuality, and consequences, from the POV of a voluntaryist. 

Reflections on The Sopranos

I just finished re-watching the entirety of The Sopranos, HBO’s classic Mafia drama. I saw it season-by-season when it originally aired (1999-2007), and I still hew to the allegedly philistine view that the ending was not only bad, but insulting. Overall, though the show’s reputation is well-deserved. Here are the top social science insights I take away.