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Art Carden: July 2013

An Author Archive by Month (21 entries)
I've read a few of the comments on my Forbes.com article about minimum wages, and there seems to be a lot of agreement that one of the real problems is that executives are overpaid. If that's true, then I have... MORE

New at Forbes: McDonald's and Minimum Wages

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
Art Carden
Here's my latest Forbes.com article, which is written in part in response to fellow Forbes.com contributor Laura Shin's question about whether the attention given to McDonald's wages will lead a higher minimum wage. I highlight what is, I think, one... MORE

What To Do With What You Did Over Your Summer Vacation (2013 Edition)

Human Capital: Returns to entrepreneurs, skills, etc.
Art Carden
Over the weekend, I spoke at the IHS Scholarship and a Free Society seminar at Chapman University. This week, I spoke and helped lead discussions at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's American Freedom Institute. At the end of May and beginning... MORE

But Did it Toast?

Austrian Economics
Art Carden
Yesterday, I offered a few thoughts on "I, Pencil" and related projects with a link to Thomas Thwaites' "Toaster Project" TED Talk. In evaluating students' essays on this, I was struck by how many people wrote that Thwaites "succeeded" in... MORE

The Absurdity of Royalty

Economics and Culture
Art Carden
The world is aflutter with news of the Royal Baby. In a tweet, Neil deGrasse Tyson points out the absurdity of royalty: "@neiltyson: A curious tradition -- to look at a newborn baby and say to yourself, 'Because of your... MORE

I, Toaster: Revisited

Austrian Economics
Art Carden
One of my favorite TED Talks is Thomas Thwaites' explanation of how he tried to build a toaster from scratch. It's an excellent example of the lesson taught by Leonard E. Read in "I, Pencil." A couple of the organizations... MORE

Coming Attractions for Next Week

Econlog Administrative Issues
Art Carden
Here are a few things I'll be writing about next week: 1. Thomas Thwaites' Toaster Project. Here's the TED Talk. My students had to watch this recently and write an essay about it. It's "I, Pencil," but with toasters. Sort... MORE

In today's post on AL.com, Scott Beaulier of the Johnson Center at Troy University explains how the River Region Obesity Task Force is looking to measure students' BMIs. A few thoughts: 1. First they came for the beer, but I... MORE

On Bastiat and the Edifice Complex

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
Art Carden
Last week, I asked my principles of macro students to do the following: Evaluate this argument in light of Frederic Bastiat's essay "What is Seen, and What is Not Seen." You may use the assigned readings and videos, but you... MORE

We-e-ee Are NEVER EVER EVER--Running Out of Oil!

Energy, Environment, Resources
Art Carden
Here's an extra credit assignment I gave my principles of macro students last week when we were talking about supply and demand. Fans of Russell Roberts might recognize that this is inspired in part by chapter 1 of The Invisible... MORE

Recent Reading

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Art Carden
1. Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game. I've misplaced my copy of Foundation and Empire, so I decided to pick up the Ender Quartet. I found Ender's Game difficult to put down at times. The use of children in war presents... MORE

Trading With Foreigners: What's In It For Us?

Cost-benefit Analysis
Art Carden
Arguments against international trade and immigration are classic examples of people ignoring Bastiat's lesson and focusing only on what is seen while ignoring what is unseen. What, people ask, is in it for *us* if we trade with foreigners? The... MORE

Long-time readers of EconLog will know that most of the common objections to increased immigration are simply wrong. For review, here's Ben Powell's explanation of how immigrants don't wreck our economy, take our jobs, or depress wages. Still, one of... MORE

A popular saying during the Civil War was that it is a "rich man's war but a poor man's fight." On July 4, Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweeted: July 4th, USA: The Star Spangled Banner, Fireworks, the 1812 Overture, Air Shows... MORE

Last summer, during one of my first meals at Samford University, I thought I had stumbled upon clever choice architecture at one of the drink dispensers. You can get water by pushing your cup against a lever, but getting soda... MORE

Questions for Independence Day Evening

Political Economy
Art Carden
I thought it best to honor the principles of liberty on Independence Day by reviewing a long defense of the idea that governments' claims to political authority are indefensible. I'm finishing a review if Michael Huemer's The Problem of Political... MORE

A Bet I'd Hate to Win, A Bet Bryan Would Love to Lose

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Art Carden
I've been influenced by Julian Simon, Robin Hanson, and our own Bryan Caplan when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, and I've come to agree with Alex Tabarrok that "A Bet is a Tax on Bull****."... MORE

Coase versus Pigou on Independence Day

Central Planning vs. Local Knowledge
Art Carden
As I write this on Wednesday night, I hear the sounds of fireworks going off in the distance. My first thought was "maybe distant fireworks were the 'orange stuff' my son saw that through his window that 'scared [him]' earlier... MORE

I've filmed a lot of videos for the Institute for Humane Studies' LearnLiberty project. They just released my favorite one today: This is an attempt to address what, I think, is the fundamental pedagogical problem the economics profession faces: the... MORE

Market Distortions Are Lower Bounds

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Art Carden
A few days ago, I blogged from the Mall of America and asked whether it is "the most bourgeois place on Earth." One commenter pointed out that it's subsidized and actually policed by the Bloomington PD. Neither really surprise me... MORE

New at the IHS Kosmos Blog: My Productivity Bookshelf

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Art Carden
One of my favorite organizations in the world is the Institute for Humane Studies. This isn't because I do contract work for them or because I won their 2013 Alum of the Year Award. I do contract work for them... MORE

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