The traffic impact of Covid

For the first time since 2007, preliminary data from the National Safety Council show that as many as 42,060 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. That marks an 8% increase over 2019 in a year where people drove significantly […]

Modestly silly Australian markets in everything

To combat the “border blues,” Australia’s national carrier said Wednesday that it is launching three mystery flights to unspecified domestic destinations. The announcement came a day after government officials announced the country’s international border closure would stretch through at least June, the Sydney Morning Herald […]

Lord Sumption on Covid Derangement Syndrome

Freddie Sayers, of UnHerd TV, talks with the wise and liberal Lord Sumption. Do watch. Comments Original Article

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 10 of the late Harvard historian Richard Pipes’s marvelous 1999 volume, Property and Freedom: But men who take pride in their pragmatism often follow trails cleared by idealists. Comments Original Article

Are prediction markets going to make it this time around?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: A skeptic might say that demand is limited because there are already so many good and highly informative markets in other assets. In 2009, for instance, was a market necessary to predict […]

Can economists be trusted?

For the most part, economists don’t give people advice on how to run their lives. Rather we tend to focus on explaining the behavior of consumers and businesses, usually assuming they are at least somewhat rational. One exception is when there is a “principal-agent problem”, […]

Thursday assorted links

1. Reopen the schools. 2. Biotech to revive the woolly mammoth? 3. Chad Jones on the economics of a declining population. 4. Europe is failing. 5. Deirdre McCloskey memoir update. Good stuff, more interesting than the core memoir itself. 6. Letter and petition from Glasgow […]

Postscript: Orwell for Socialism

[Scroll to the end for a couple final reactions to comments .] In a reflective moment, George Orwell wrote, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand […]

Platform Self-Preferencing Can Be Good for Consumers and Even Competitors

Critics of big tech companies like Google and Amazon are increasingly focused on the supposed evils of “self-preferencing.” This refers to when digital platforms like Amazon Marketplace or Google Search, which connect competing services with potential customers or users, also offer (and sometimes prioritize) their […]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Joe Rogan on the Derangement of Lockdowns

Magnitudes more good sense is conveyed in this ten-minute-long conversation between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Joe Rogan than is conveyed in any randomly chosen ten-million-word segment from the media, from government’s public-health “experts, and from typical politicians simultaneously intoxicated with new-found powers and quaking like […]