Gentrification and ingroup preference [Video]

[By Ben Noble]

Serious question. I’ve seen people say that poor communities should be invested in to increase economic opportunity. This lady opens a nice bar in a poor area to serve the community. Then people complain about gentrification and “erasing” their culture. I understand that people might not like the decor and drink options the owner has chosen, but why complain about a business moving into their area? Just don’t go to the bar. (more…)

Obsolete public servants

[By Ben Noble]

There has been a certain type of article popping up with increased regularity. These articles warn of the incoming Artificial Intelligence invasion that will automate untold numbers of jobs; both white and blue collar. There are compelling arguments for whether this will be a good thing or not. Some economists observe that past technological innovations have destroyed jobs in the past, but in totality opened greater economic opportunities and wealth for the masses. I tend to side with this optimistic view. There is one industry where I hope for the deepest darkest doomsday AI scenario to play out: government bureaucracy. (more…)

Three positive things about price gouging in an emergency

[By Ben Noble]

In the wake of hurricane Harvey in Texas there has been an uproar over “price gouging.” By the time that this post is up hurricane Irma will have struck Florida. We all want the people affected by these storms to able to access the goods and services that they need to survive and recover. To this end, it is incredibly important that we remember that economics never takes a day off.  (more…)

Paying attention is better than thinking

[By Ben Noble]

“Paying attention is better than thinking.” Jordan B. Peterson said this in an interview I watched recently. This quote was in the context of personal, political, and ideological beliefs. I find this statement to be highly insightful and it created a number of ideas in my mind that I would like to unwind. Perhaps even in ways he did not intend. (more…)

The left gets a pass on violence and so does the government [Charlottesville August 12, 2017]

[By Ben Noble]

Obvious disclaimer: Violence is only legitimate in self-defense against physical harm. Hurt feelings from mean words don’t count. I find the tactics and rhetoric from both the right and the left disgusting. Having said that, the left gets a pass on their violence. (more…)

Evolution and society

[By Ben Noble]

Darwin’s theory of Evolution is one of the most powerful and useful aspects of nature discovered by humanity. Natural selection has driven the development of every living thing around us from microorganisms to whales. All of this is dependent on a simple process: Allow for life to make small adaptations over time and let nature run its course. Over time the organisms with poor adaptations will die out and those with useful adaptations will survive and procreate. I confess I am a layman in this field, but I believe this describes the theory adequately. This idea is so powerful that we should take it into account when imagining how our society should function. (more…)