Episode 056 looks at Affirming the Consequent logical fallacy and the cognitive biases Primacy Effect and Recency Effect.
Unsurprisingly, not all economists agree on how to approach what used to be called “political economy”. Adam Smith in 1776 defined it as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. It was understood that the default state of mankind was poverty, so the question was how people become wealthy.
I don’t have to have solid true/false answers to everything. Nor do I need to pretend such answers don’t exist. I can approach what I know directly with high probability and lower it with each step beyond experience.
The anonymous author of the satirical “Homeless Camping in Austin: A Modest Proposal” has also sent me this more serious guest post. The title is mine. “Democratic centralism,” you may recall, is the Leninist practice of demanding strict loyalty to a party line after a (usually perfunctory) debate. Printed with the author’s permission.
Economically speaking, there’s a straightforward win-win case for these Mexican resorts: Not only do they make the tourists happier; they make the Mexicans happier by providing them with better opportunities than they have elsewhere in the Mexican economy. If you reconsider this verdict through the distorted lens of Social Desirability Bias, though, a radically different picture appears before your eyes. Once you forget economics, you could easily describe the resort experience in the following sordid way.
Episode 444 welcomes back Alex R. Knight III to chat with Skyler on the following topics: teaching social studies, English, and Spanish at a private sports academy; teaching future Olympic medalists in winter sports; why his social studies curriculum probably wouldn’t fly in public schools; the Tuttle Twins (and ATKE.org); “Great Myths of the Great Depression” by Lawrence Reed; the level of propaganda around COVID-19; why government parasites are always short-term thinkers; the fact that most people simply don’t care, and why should they?; the Voluntaryist vs. the Stoic in each of us; finding liberty in physical, entrepreneurial, and technological frontiers; finding helpfulness and community in relatively freer rural areas; his lamentations on a Biden presidency instead of 4 more years of Donald Trump; and more.
This winter, I’m a visiting scholar at the University of Texas. Though Austin is gorgeous, visitors can’t help but notice vast homeless villages scattered throughout the city. Local sources tell me that this is driven by Austin’s repeal of the ban on homeless camping. One of the economists I’ve met here has written a Swiftian proposal for reforming Austin’s approach. The author prefers to remain anonymous, but this is printed with his permission. Engage your sense of satire, and enjoy!
COVID-19 has killed more than 300,000 Americans , more than 2/3 of them since the end of May, by which time the Moderna vaccine was deemed safe. How many of those deaths might have been avoided if FDA had allowed Moderna to begin selling, and health providers to begin administering, the vaccine six months ago?
“Sustainable capitalism” means imposed stagnation, the elimination of creative destruction, and permanent Keynesian feudalism. “Inclusive capitalism” means degrading paternalism, ideological intimidation, and the demand for strict collaboration with one’s self-proclaimed political overlords. “Stakeholder capitalism” means the suppression of entrepreneurial independence and permanent regime uncertainty for businesspeople who abhor cronyism.
Episode 437 welcomes John Vespasian to the podcast to chat with Skyler on the following topics: living all over Europe; the worldwide COVID-19 moment; the abundance of irrationality in the world today; the timeless commonplace of information manipulation; remaining rational in the face of extreme opposition; defining rationality (logical conclusions from relevant facts); developing a rational mentality; never accepting a single point of view or opinion; everyone has their blind spots and biases; the problem with positive thinking; among his many published books is 10 Principles of Rational Living, including: Think Like an Entrepreneur, not a Crusader, Accept the Inevitable Hassles of Life, and Acquire Effective Habits; the importance of keeping a lifetime perspective when making decisions; and more.