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Bryan Caplan: January 2017

An Author Archive by Month (10 entries)

The Chamber of No

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Once you agree that limited government provides valuable insurance against future bad policies, the next question is: "How can government be limited?"  As my last post mentioned, there's a standard list, with supermajority rules, division of powers, judicial review, and... MORE

Limited Government as Insurance

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Imagine going back in time to January 20, 2009.  Obama's Inauguration Day.  You're a cheering fan.  On that day, an angel appears and makes you this offer: If you give up on Obama's best ideas, none of Trump's worst ideas... MORE

Vox voxplains leaked drafts of Trump's executive orders on immigration.  Reading the fine print, it's not as bad as I'd expect, but of course this is only the beginning.  The Vox analysis seems careful, except for this:Libertarians sometimes suggest "building... MORE

I was initially excited to see that progressive Dean Baker has written a piece on "Eight Market-Oriented Proposals That Reduce Income Inequality" for AEI. It begins promisingly by criticizing overly strict occupational licensing for high-skilled workers.  But it then studiously... MORE

The Many Faces of Means-Testing

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Isn't a Universal Basic Income just another name for a negative income tax, such as Tax = -$10,000 + .3*Income?  If so, isn't a Universal Basic Income means-tested by definition?The answer to the first question is Yes.  UBI is just... MORE

Caplan-Wilkinson Universal Basic Income Debate

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
At this year's 10th Anniversary Students for Liberty conference, I'm debating Will Wilkinson on, "Should libertarians support a Universal Basic Income?"  My answer is an emphatic no.  Not only libertarians but liberals, conservatives, and reality-based socialists should oppose this populist... MORE

The Most I'll Admit

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Since I think that most news is overblown fluff, I have little sympathy for the endless pieces about "What we've learned about the world in 2016."  Against the background of all of human history, 2016 taught us next to nothing. ... MORE

The Great Californian Bag Surplus

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
I just got back from a long vacation in my home state of California.  The bad news about California is that its people and government have unusually severe economic illiteracy.  The good news is that their severe economic illiteracy provides... MORE

My End-of-the-World Bet with Eliezer Yudkowsky

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Famed futurist Eliezer Yudkowsky fears the imminent end of the world at the hands of Unfriendly Artificial Intelligence.  I find this worry fanciful.  Many people in Eliezer's position would just dismiss my head-in-the-sandedness, but he's also genuinely impressed with my... MORE

The Priority Resolution

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
News distorts policy priorities.  The primary mechanism: News showcases exciting stories with colorful characters, while ignoring boring stories with big numbers.  One story about Trump's relationship with Ivanka gets more coverage than most trillion-dollar pots of money.  A major secondary... MORE

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