Most research on the economics of discrimination focuses on race and gender, but Becker’s framework works equally well for political bigotry.
Is it “exploitation” if you hire me, we both agree on how much you will pay me, and you profit from our arrangement so that you can continue to afford to pay me, and maybe expand the business and hire some others, and possibly make some money for yourself, too?
These days, far more is both knowable and known about prospective Supreme Court nominees well in advance of their nominations. Yet the process has mutated from “advise and consent” to “multi-month political campaign.”
The economic analysis of politics goes by many names: political economy, rational choice theory, formal political theory, social choice, economics of governance, endogenous policy theory, and public choice. Each of these labels picks out a subtly different intellectual tradition. Each tradition expands our understanding of the world. My favorite, though, remains public choice.
I don’t need a president, so I don’t support presidential candidates. However, from observation, I have a suspicion about the future based on how I expect the followers of those candidates to behave in case of a loss. Or a “win”.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, intentionally went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a place he knew was experiencing trouble, just to participate. He found trouble. So did the people who went there to riot and chose to attack the wrong person.
When you undergo a medical procedure or volunteer for a research study, you’re presented with forms to sign, outlining what’s going to happen (and what bad things could happen), and expressly consenting to have those things happen. If you’re accused of rape, “he or she didn’t physically resist” isn’t an acceptable defense. In fact, express consent is the emerging standard, sometimes to seemingly ridiculous degrees (i.e. re-requesting consent at each stage of an encounter). Consent, I think we can agree, is a big deal in America today.
As my dear friend Donald J. Boudreaux says, you can’t unjustly appropriate something that didn’t belong to anyone in the first place. No one owns a culture.
As America’s latest long hot summer drags into autumn, politicians and pundits are getting louder and more shrill in their denunciations of political violence. Considering the sources, those denunciations smack of hypocrisy.
These days I am feeling a sort of bitter vindication as I look out at the world being destroyed by states and politics.