I’ve Missed Some Good Stuff

Vacation was lovely; we hiked into Haleakala crater and swam with sea turtles. More on that later, after I’ve recovered from taking the redeye back.

Meanwhile, I was very interested in Arnold Kling’s economics education take on Tyler Cowen’s post on the Buchanan “Soul of Classical Liberalism” essay. I find that I increasingly use the persuasion strategy that Arnold calls making “a case for the inherent beauty of free markets, where the consumer has the opportunity to turn down any proposal that is not to his or her benefit”. I particularly like when Buchanan says

It is only through an understanding of and appreciation for the animating principles of the extended order of market interaction that an individual who is not directly self-interested may refrain from expressive political action that becomes the equivalent of efforts to walk through walls or on water.

This is a very provocative essay. For one, I wonder about his definition of the “soul” of a device or an idea as “the organizing principles of their operation”. But I will have to read it in more depth and think about it in conjunction with some other things before I blather on any further (and without the benefit of sleep!).

I was also intrigued by Steve Verdon’s post on inequality and incentives. I second his recommendation of the new Laffont and Martimort book on incentives.

And isn’t Steve Verdon’s son adorable?