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Bleeding hearts need hard heads

John Edwards is starting a center to study alleviating poverty. Don Boudreaux points out that it's impossible - we've eliminated absolute poverty in the US already, leaving only relative poverty. But 20% of the country will always be in the bottom quintile of income, hence relative poverty, with its constantly shifting definition for "poor", can never be truly solved. Read more »

Economics of career/family order

I'm not the president of Harvard, so perhaps I can talk about male/female differences without getting pilloried. NYT columnist David Brooks has a very nice article which makes what I think is an important point about the optimal order for women who want both families and careers. Read more »

| Big Breasts |

Micha has already jumped bravely into the Big Breast fray, so I think I'll hop onto the pleasantly jiggling bandwagon with some similarly mixed comments. To catch up, here is Libertarian Girl's original post, and her response to Micha. Read more »

A Plea For Efficient Giving

Even among the econ blogs, there have been kind-hearted folk calling for donations to tsunami relief. Whatever happened to the dismal science? In keeping with the spirit of the holidays (the spirit of Scrooge, that is), let's snap out of this virtuous haze and criticize how and when people choose to give to charity. Making you feel bad about doing good - now that's proper economics :razz: Read more »

Weez Is Fum Da Guvrinmint

Via The Angry Economist comes this fabulous Non Sequitor comic, which demonstrates a deep understanding of the nature of the beast known as Guvrinmint.

Non Sequitor comic on Public Choice, part 1
Non Sequitor comic on Public Choice, part 2

Competetive drug market functioning efficiently

Why is it that people forget that the rules of the market apply even to illegal substances? This article in The Independent ponders a trivial matter of economics:

Many illegal drugs are cheaper and more widely available than ever before in Britain, despite the relentless attack by Customs and the police on traffickers and dealers.

And gives a stupid answer: Read more »

Unintended Consequences #541

cruise missileAll Bruce Simpson wanted to do was to demonstrate to the world that you could build an effective cruise missile for less than $5,000 in parts, thanks to the decreasing cost of many of the necessary components. Read more »

Enthusiastic (but late) Firefly fan

FireflyI live in a house that proudly features neither cable or a TV antenna. There are plenty of screens, but they only display what we consider classier media - namely the internet or DVDs. And it's only thanks to BitTorrent that I even get to see the best television show of all time, The Simpsons. Read more »

Patri\'s Election Results

DEM SWEEP Tradesports contract
Cheering crowd

I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats waiting for the election results you rooted for, so here they are: Read more »

Late LP Slogan

David Friedman offers this late election slogan for the Libertarian party:

You can vote against both of them
Badnarik for President

The Mirage of the Ballot Box

Desert mirage
Lotto ticketHappy Ballot Box

It always saddens me when people who care about improving the world succumb to the many traps lying in wait to uselessly dissipate their energy. Read more »

Please root against unusual events!

Tradesports DEM.SWEEP.2004 contract price history
For the apathetic out there who are looking for a reason to care about the election, I'm happy to provide one. The reason is a matter of simple personal greed, which should thus prove moving to exactly those people who sit unmoved by the exhortations of talking heads. Namely, I have a substantial financial investment in the outcome of the election, thanks to Tradesports. Read more »

The Difference Between Governments and Private Property Developers

In a comment on my Mental Blocks post, Jake asks a good question (good because I've written a paper about the answer :wink:) Read more »

Mental Blocks

It's interesting how we refuse to face unpleasant truths. I've recently been reminded of this by Micha's article about a panel David Friedman was on at a FreedomFest, where he said (arguing that minarchism will not work): Read more »