Tag: Economics

2008, Books, Economics, Non-Fiction

Predictably Irrational (2008) by Dan Ariely

This is a fascinating and sometimes amusing exploration of behavioural economics through descriptions of experiments that the author has conducted, and some he’s read about. It’s a pretty good introduction to behaviourial economics and social psychology. A number of these experiments were unfamiliar to me and some of them are really illuminating. I’m particularly interested …

2017, Music

Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World (2017, Barry Avrich)

This is an engaging, thought-provoking documentary about the state of the art world in the 21st century (especially post Great Recession) that is perhaps a little too hyper-stylized for its own good.

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Violence of Financial Capitalism (2011) by Christian Marazzi

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book this dense. A long time. Maybe grad school, maybe in the years after grad school when I tried to re-read or finish lots of books that I felt I hadn’t spent enough time with in school. Either way, I don’t think my brain is …

1953, Books, Fiction

The Worldly Philosophers (1953, 1992) by Robert L. Heilbroner

This is an impressive and engaging summary of the lives and ideas of the major economists from Adam Smith through Joseph Schumpeter, covering both the people you would expect (Ricardo, Keynes) and some people you would not. Heilbroner is a refreshing guide because he both has a historical sense of economics and he is not …

1994, Books, Non-Fiction

The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994) by G. Edward Griffin

A necessary critique utterly ruined by conspiratorial nonsense. I have finished nearly every book I have ever started but I will not be finishing this one. I apologize for the slipshod nature of what follows. This has been a trying experience for me.

2012, Movies

The Queen of Versailles (2012, Lauren Greenfield)

This is a near-perfect analogy for what happened to the US (and world) economy in 2008: David Siegel had lots of money. However, he wanted more. So he mortgaged what he had to expand his business. Then the housing crisis hit and he lost a lot; not everything, but a lot.

2012, Economics, Politics

The Fiscal Cliff: Another triumph of rhetoric over policy

I am not economist and perhaps that’s why I have trouble understanding the panic and the political stubbornness around the non-crisis of the so-called “fiscal cliff. (On the other hand, it is perhaps because of the fact that I am a not an economist that I have perspective, something that seems to be sadly lacking in most …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 Tough Questions for Libertarians, Part 4

This is part four in my series on the internet meme, “Jon Stewart’s 19 Tough Questions for Libertarians.” Please see part one here, part two here, and part three here. Today we deal with questions 10-19. You give money to the IRS because you think they’re gonna hire a bunch of people, that if your …

Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religion

19 Tough; Questions for Libertarianism, Part 3

In this post we look at questions 4-9. For the first part see here. For the second see here.   Do we live in a society or don’t we? Are we a collective? Everybody’s success is predicated on the hard work of all of us; nobody gets there on their own. Why should it be …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 Tough Questions for Libertarianism, part 2

So, for part two, we deal with questions 2-3. You can see the previous post here. One of the things that enhances freedoms are roads. Infrastructure enhances freedom. A social safety net enhances freedom. So obviously this is not a question, but a statement. But it gets to an important point, depending of course on …

2012, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarianism, Part 1

About this time last year, Jon Stewart interviewed Andrew Napolitano, a prominent US “libertarian” on The Daily Show. At some point, some libertarians put Stewart’s interview questions into a meme sometimes called “Jon Stewart’s 19 tough questions for libertarians.” My understanding of this is that Napolitano did not acquit himself well enough in their eyes. …

2011, 2012, Economics, Politics, Society

The Conservative Majority: One Year Later

CBC had a very helpful little piece about what the Conservatives have and haven’t done in their first year. Here are my thoughts: What they have done so far: “Hiring credit for small business — offering a short-term break from EI payments for those who increase payrolls.” Nothing wrong with this measure provided EI isn’t …

2009, Movies

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, Michael Moore)

Full disclosure: I don’t like Michael Moore. I agree with him on many, many things, but I absolutely can’t stand the way he manipulates his audience. I am a political philosophy major and so a lack of clarity of concepts makes me insane. So…

Philosophy, Society

Popper on Economics

If I weren’t so damn lazy, I would apply Popper’s ideas on the nature of science to the “science” of economics and show just exactly why we’re so fucked economically right now: Economics is not a science in the sense that physics, or biology, or chemistry is (as common sense should tell us) and we …

Economics, Society

Debt and such

Disclaimer: I am not partisan. If I had my dual citizenship, and had to vote, I wouldn’t vote for either Republicans or Democrats. I think the Democrats are almost as bad, and as much of a machine, as the Republicans. It’s a myth that Republicans are fiscally responsible. The debt trebled under Reagan. It didn’t …