Author Archives: artcarden

I Read Things: Niall Ferguson to Narnia

Niall Ferguson, Civilization. I think this is the first Ferguson book I’ve read. He writes beautifully and comprehensively. In the book I’m writing with Deirdre McCloskey—it’s based on McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality—we criticize some of Ferguson’s claims about his “killer apps,” but the book is a pretty solid survey of […]

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I Read Things

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law. What if it turned out cities and neighborhoods aren’t segregated because it just happened that way but because segregation was an official aim of government housing policy for a long time? Rothstein explores the ways in which white homeowners and homebuyers received preferential treatment via federal programs and the […]

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Tide Pod Challenge Makes Me Even More Skeptical

If corporations *really didn’t care* about whether they’re poisoning their customers or not, Tide wouldn’t be running a commercial on social media in which Rob Gronkowski tells people not to eat Tide pods. Observations: 1. Brand names and reputations matter. 2. The present value of revenue from long-lived and healthy customers is probably a lot […]

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Let The Chips Fall Where They May

The supposed relationship between James M. Buchanan and the forces of “Massive Resistance” to school desegregation in Virginia is at the center of Nancy MacLean’s story in Democracy in Chains. As Phil has pointed out on his blog and as we discuss in our paper, MacLean attempts to link Buchanan to Massive Resistance via the […]

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A Quality YouTube Channel: University of Richmond

The University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies sponsors an annual Summer Institute for the History of Economic Thought with excellent lectures by Deirdre McCloskey and James M. Buchanan (several by Buchanan). Of particular interest are McCloskey’s lecture and Buchanan’s talk “Chicago Thinking: Old and New.” Most students of economic thinking who are familiar […]

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A Bit of Recent TV: Omega

I finished “Salvation.” It’s fun brain candy popcorn tv with a sort-of-cliffhanger ending that makes me think a Season 2 is coming. There’s a nice, healthy dose of skepticism that the government will do the right thing, which makes it satisfying. On the exercise bike in the basement, I watched “Omega,” which is a set […]

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Recent Reading E8

Jesse Burkhead, Public School Finance: Economics and Politics (Syracuse, 1964). As part of an ongoing investigation of the claims in Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains,” I was led to the three editions of James M. Buchanan’s textbooks “The Public Finances.” Buchanan’s citations are sparse, but in the second edition (I think), he refers readers to […]

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Recent Reading e7

Robert Nelson, The New Holy Wars I reviewed this for The Freeman in 2011 and reread it for an IHS discussion colloquium at Samford recently. Nelson reads economics and environmentalism as theological systems, meaning that they involve sets of transcendent ordering principles. It aged well; especially the chapter on Frank Knight. Neil V. Sullivan, Bound […]

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