Category Archives: Economics

Self-refuting scholarship

[NB: this piece has been updated to incorporate links to further relevant scholarship.] One of the signs of the increasing intellectual conformity of the academy, particularly the social science and (even more) the humanities, is the rise of scholarship that treats voting the “wrong” way as a pathology, to be explained pathologically. In the US, […]

Working class alienation as a driver of political polarisation

This is based on a comment I made here. The US has a legislated two Party system. (Left-cynics say that if the Soviet Communist Party had divided itself into two wings who disagreed on abortion, it would still be in power.) The UK has working class voters who will never vote Tory, so the Labour […]

Firms, Cities, States: who has open borders and why?

This is based on a comment I made here. Econblogger Robin Hanson notes that firms and cities have open borders and argues that: So if nations act differently from firms and cities, that should be because either: 1) there are big important effects that are quite different at the national level, than at firm and […]

Giving something away for free is not a sign of it having value

The progressivist push against citizenship took another big leap forward with the British Labour Party decision committing the Party to giving the vote in general elections to all UK residents. As things reveal their nature (and importance) in their history, a quick trip through citizenship’s backstory helps to see what is going on. Origins and […]

The urban rural divide in the US and other complexities of polarisation

Former libertarian, now progressive, Will Wilkinson has a report up on the rural urban divide in US politics (pdf), connecting the concentration of economic production in a service economy in megacities, sorting by migration and internal movement, and cognitive patterns (particularly pertaining to Openness to Experience and, to a lesser degree, Conscientiousness) to the drift in the […]

Silver is the monetary metal with proven historical resilience

This is based on a comment I made here: Milton Friedman suggested that the pre-1873 mix of silver standard, gold standard, and dual standard countries was possibly more stable than having almost all the major countries on the gold standard.  I think he is correct: that international monetary order certainly lasted a lot longer. The […]

Whiteness is not property: deconstructing critical race theory

This is a long post, in part because I do not have time to write a short one. It is a response to a 1993 Harvard Law Review essay by Cheryl L. Harris arguing for the notion of whiteness as property. I not only critique that claim, doing so gives me an opportunity to demonstrate […]

Piety display not virtue signalling

I have an essay in Areo Magazine arguing that piety display is often a more accurate term than virtue signalling for what people are typically referring to. The piece then examines the dynamics of, and the reasons for, political correctness. Read it here.

Migration complexities and the campaigns against social bargaining

This is based on a comment I made here. Coming from a country (Australia) with a much higher proportional immigration flow than the US, I find US debates over migration odd. First, the level of illegal immigration in the US is clearly a huge problem. It distorts the debate, creates a black market in labour and gives lots […]

A misconceived attack on libertarianism

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have produced a Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity. There is much to agree with in it but at least one part is thoroughly misconceived, which is the attack on libertarianism. Such an attack is a strange thing to read in such a manifesto, for if any ideology seems a product […]