Dan Ariely sheds some great insights into what drives our irrationally rational behavior. Mr. Money Moustache links to this article from the good professor. If you have the time or inclination, I highly recommend this course, titled Introduction to Behavioral Economics
An incredible video story showing the stark differences between ideal, perception & reality of the American wealth distribution.
When it comes to pricing a human life, the answer seems simple. Human life is precious, unquantifiable, priceless. In practice, however, court cases, insurance claims, and victim funds often demand a monetary value for a lost life. Read “The Price of a Child“
As the author says,
Children are our future, but it’s only recently that they’ve been valued as such.
Judge Richard Posner answers his own question: “I am dubious.”
Maybe children are actually an “inferior” good, valued most by poor people either because the children of the poor work to augment family income or because the family lacks the resources for such child substitutes as expensive cars, clothes, homes, entertainment, and travel. Increasingly in the wealthy countries both spouses work, increasing the opportunity costs to both parents of raising children. …
There is no necessary connection between population and economic growth. The sharp decline of Europe’s population because of the Black Death is thought to have increased per capita incomes significantly by reducing the ratio of people to arable land, resulting in improved nutrition.
Viewing humans as economic “goods” is ________ (fill in the blanks with your own answer).
I grew up to the adage that when America sneezes, the world catches a cold. What happens in America does have an impact on the rest of the globe’s denizens. Which is why I read this article with interest. Benjamin Wallace-Wells deciphers economist Dr. Robert Gordon’s two predictions for the American economy:
Perhaps it isn’t that our success is a product of the way we structured our society. The shape of our society may be far more conditional, a consequence of our success. Embedded in Gordon’s data is an inquiry into entitlement: How much do we owe, culturally and politically, to this singular experience of economic growth, and what will happen if it goes away?
Prof Michael Munger kicks off the debate with this statement:
Almost everything that’s said about recycling is wrong. At the very least, none of the conventional wisdom is completely true.
Ignored in all this, I think, is the incredibly increase in the desire to consume, for most of the world.
Megan McArdle worries about the not-so-distant days when work starts to disappear:
In much of the industrial world, it seems to be increasingly difficult for people to earn a decent living without a fairly elite set of skills–or an elite set of credentials that mimic skills, like a BA in English Literature from an Ivy League institution. The ability to earn a decent living, either yourself or as part of a family, is one of the basic criteria for a decent life.
Mathew O’Brien, in the Atlantic, reasons on why the Euro is doomed:
The euro zone doesn’t have the fiscal or banking unions it needs to make monetary union work, and it’s not close to changing that. In the meantime, the euro’s continuing flaws continue to suck countries into crisis. And their politics get radicalized.
RA, in The Economist blog had similar thought too..