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Political Science

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Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I normally don’t write short posts, but this was too funny (and sad) not to mention.  A Chinese court recently upheld an 11-year sentence for a scholar for “inciting to subvert state power.” Here is what he did: At the end of 2008, he co-authored a document calling for stronger civil rights and an end […]

Guard Labor: Why is Inequality Bad?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Inequality is a hot topic these days. But why is inequality undesirable?  Does it just violate commonly held ideals like fairness and equality. Or, does it do more and actually shrink the economic pie?  Economist Sam Bowles argues the latter. The following article describes Bowles’ beef with inequality. (HT Marginal Revolution). Bowles offers a key […]

Ethics of the Truth

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A video circulating around the internet is disturbing.  An aspiring NFL cheerleader had a negative reaction to a season flu shot.  It activated dystonia disorder.  If you haven’t seen the video you should look it up on YouTube. Note: Video previously embedded was removed from YouTube. YouTube comments express skepticism, compassion, but most of all […]

Education: An Inferior Good?

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Last week, Obama spoke about education and argued that American children don’t go to school long enough.  He said: We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed for when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day. Our children…spend over a […]

Libertarian Paternalism

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I just finished Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. These University of Chicago professors advocate “libertarian paternalism” which recognizes that people often act irrationally and recommends that governments “nudge” people to make better choices. In their own words: Libertarian paternalism is a weak, soft, and non-intrusive type of paternalism because choices are not blocked […]

Voting is Rational, but People Don’t Vote Rationally

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I’m about a month later than most to ponder the workings of our democracy.  But, given that a few elections are still up in the air, the topic is still somewhat timely.  The book I learned the most from this year, was “The Myth of the Rational Voter” by Bryan Caplan, which I reviewed last […]

Politics, Manufacturing, and Change

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

In the United States, the victorious presidential candidate must win a majority of the electoral votes. Almost all states are winner takes all. The magnitude of victory or defeat is irrelevant, all that matters is the outcome. It is not surprising then, that presidential candidates spend most of their time campaigning in “battleground states.” Wikipedia […]

Why I Won’t Vote for Obama

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I saw this ad on T.V. the other day.  Obama may understand the benefits of free trade, but he preys off the average American’s fear of it.  That is even more disgraceful than American-made laws. Note: I try not to talk too much about politics on this blog, but this video really disturbed me. This […]

Assorted Bailout Thoughts

Friday, September 26th, 2008

I’m not a Macroeconomist. And, I’m conflicted about the Paulson plan. But, given the recent unprecedented events, I figure I should chime in. A few thoughts: I had a Macroeconomics test today. In our models we assume No Ponzi Schemes. Representative agents aren’t allowed to pay off their debts by borrowing more, and more and […]

What’s So Special About Email?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

As you problem know, someone recently hacked into one of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email accounts and posted a number of her messages on the web. As I suspected, the “hack” was nothing more than resetting the password on Palin’s account by answering her secret question. Apparently, Governor Palin didn’t consider someone might be able to […]

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