Category economics

Reciprocity and Moral Palates

I recently came across some writing that described the differing “moral palates” of conservatives and liberals. Based on Jonathan Haidt’s book, this theory essentially divides up morality into several occasionally competing moral compass points (here stated as care for others, justice/fairness, loyalty to the in-group, authority and respect for the sacred.) Conservatives, he says, have […]

I’m Growing to Hate the Word “Entitlement”

I really am. And it’s not for its political usage, for once. In politics, an entitlement is so-called because it’s built into the budget, and it’s not optional to spend that money – the American people are entitled to the fruits of their laws and labors, and so it’s impossible to cut entitlement spending without […]

Megan McArdle Doesn’t Understand Higher Education Either

In Bloomberg, yesterday, writer Megan McArdle criticized her fellow columnist Ezra Klein’s analysis of rising health care and higher education cost, claiming that, (paraphrasing) since food, shelter, and clothing are more crucial to survival than higher education and health care, there’s no way that a consumer’s inability to say “no” can explain the spike in […]

Apocalyptic Language

The other day, in reference to the President’s recently-offered package of business-stimulus ideas, Senator Orrin Hatch (R – UT) had the following to say: “If we don’t get this moving in the right direction, you guys, your future’s gone, you young people.” Let’s dismiss immediately the idea that Hatch was being totally literal. While occasional […]

How to Sell Activism

Republicans may look disarrayed – Michele Bachmann out, a tempestuous House that can’t agree to act in concert, and primary challenges that drive general election candidates further and further from the mainstream – but in one regard, at least, they have a significant advantage over Democrats. Republicans know how to draw all of their points […]

Why I’m Not Upset at the IRS

If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve heard about the admitted targeting of Tea Party Patriot groups applying for nonprofit (and thus untaxable) status. Conservatives are livid: it seems, at first blush, to be expressly political. The more conspiracy-minded are sure that Obama’s secretive hand is behind it all (and, presumably, Benghazi). Even those who […]

After Boston

When the drama in Boston first started to unfold – when the bombs had gone off but there weren’t yet suspects being discussed on television and the internet – I considered posting something along the lines of “I’m sure we’ll find who did this and bring them to justice.” Instead, I waited to see what […]