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Bryan Caplan: November 2016

An Author Archive by Month (16 entries)

Ten Points on the Wrong Side of History

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
In the last few weeks, several critics have told me things like: "History will not be kind," "History will judge you," and "You are on the wrong side of history."  My initial reaction is sheer puzzlement.  If my critics can't... MORE

Why I'm Not Freaking Out

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Until recently, I thought I'd steered clear of what Scott Alexander calls, "the toxoplasma of rage."  Now, sadly, I'm at the point where people are getting angry at me for failing to be properly angry about Trump's election.  This will... MORE

How Castro is Like the Minimum Wage

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
How many people did Castro murder?  The authoritative Black Book of Communism blames him for 15-17,000 executions.  More speculative estimates put the blood of another 80,000 Cubans on his hands - everyone who perished trying to flee his doleful paradise. ... MORE

Trump Bets: One Actual, Ten Potential

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
An anonymous reader and I have agreed to the following bet on Trump's presidency:If Donald Trump resigns, is removed  by the Senate after impeachment, or otherwise is permanently removed as per the the 25th Amendment, or if it never happens... MORE

If the Angry Could Hear What the Calm Do Not Say

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Dear Angry Person,I can tell that you're angry at me again.  I think I understand your complaint, though I have trouble understanding why this specific issue is upsetting you on this specific day.  But based on past experience, asking for... MORE

Xenophobia and Canada

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Are Americans racist and xenophobic?  As usual, two package deals angrily competing for our attention.  The first says: Americans are obviously racist and xenophobic.  The second says: No, you're just being paranoid.  Neither package deal sees America clearly.  For racism,... MORE

Memory of Credibility

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The more I learn, the more I'm amazed by people who claim to base their views on "the data alone."  It's a noble dream, but ponder these harsh realities:1. Carefully studying data is enormously time consuming and question-specific.  If you... MORE

Breaking Conformity Equilibria: The Case of Mormon Polygamy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Polygamy was Mormonism's most controversial theological novelty.  Critics casually equated it with slavery, dubbing them "the twin relics of barbarism."  Whatever you think about the wisdom of polygamy, its emergence in 19th-century Mormonism raises a deeper question.  Given human conformity,... MORE

The Silent Suffering of the Non-Neurotic

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Negative emotions like sadness, anger, and fear tend to come as a package.  Personality psychologists call this package "Neuroticism."  There's a spectrum, of course.  At the high end of Neuroticism, we have people like Seinfeld's George Costanza, who finds misery... MORE

The Excellent and Admirable Alex Tabarrok

Economic Education
Bryan Caplan
Here's my speech delivered Friday at the fiftieth birthday of the noble Alex Tabarrok.Today we celebrate Alex Tabarrok's fiftieth birthday.  Alas, fifty years is far too short a time to live alongside such an excellent and admirable hobbit!  ... MORE

I Win All My Election Bets

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
As of yesterday, I had three outstanding election bets.1. Nathaniel Bechhofer bet me 2:1 that Clinton would win the presidential election.  I bet against.2. A bunch of people bet me Gary Johnson would win 5% of the popular vote.  I... MORE

One Last Election Bet

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Today at lunch, I bet Nathaniel Bechhofer $50 at even odds that Trump will not officially concede the election by Saturday, November 12, at 12:01 AM Eastern Standard time.  I win if there's no concession by that time; Nathaniel wins... MORE

My Intellectual Insurance Policy

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
My The Myth of the Rational Voter argues that many wonderful policies are extremely unlikely to be adopted because voters are deeply irrational.  You could call it a bleak conclusion: If my descriptive views about the world of politics are... MORE

The Divisiveness of Cohesion

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Suppose you live in a deeply divided society: 60% of people strongly identify with Group A, and the other 40% strongly identify with Group B.  While you plainly belong to Group A, you're convinced this division is bad: It would... MORE

The Full Hanson-Caplan Robot Debate

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Two weeks ago, I debated Robin Hanson on, "Robots will eventually dominate the world and eliminate human abilities to earn wages."  Here's the full debate!... MORE

Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet: A Biography with Depth

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Bryan Caplan
John Turner, of GMU's Religious Studies Department, has produced one of the most fascinating historical works I've read in years.  Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Harvard University Press, 2012) is much more than a biography of the father of modern... MORE

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