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*Between Quran & Kafka: West-Eastern Affinities*

That is another truly splendid book by Navid Kermani.  Imagine deep and thoughtful essays on Goethe and Islam, Kleist and love, Shiite passion plays, Wagner and empathy, and why he doesn’t so much sympathize with King Lear, all from a George Steiner brand of polymath.  As I’ve mentioned before,... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/13/2017 - 7:36am
*Exact Thinking in Demented Times*

Where?, I hear you asking.  No, that is the title of a new book by Karl Sigmund and the subtitle is The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science.  I enjoyed this book very much, though I don’t recommend it as a balanced introduction to its chosen topic.  I liked it best... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/11/2017 - 10:12pm
A Note on Minimum Wages and Monopsony Power

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetI’m sure that the following, brief point must have been made before; perhaps I myself have made it (although, if the latter, I’ve forgotten).  Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to make once more this particular point about the relation between minimum-wage legislation... more

Cafe Hayek 12/06/2017 - 10:01am
A Parade of Flawed Arguments for Minimum-Wage Legislation

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetHere’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: San Francisco City Supervisor Jane Kim swings and misses at Michael Saltsman’s argument against the minimum wage (Letters, Dec. 6).  First, she notes that San Francisco’s overall unemployment rate is lower than the national... more

Cafe Hayek 12/05/2017 - 8:50pm
A Series of Questions for Protectionists

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetBob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie.  One day, Bob chooses to give up drinking alcoholic beverages.  As a result, Bob stops buying beer from Augie.  Augie’s reduced sales cause him to lay some workers off.  Many of these workers have worked for decades in... more

Cafe Hayek 12/11/2017 - 9:58am
Are corporate jets a waste of money?

Almost certainly not: While shareholders have strong incentives to limit value-destroying perquisite consumption, it is challenging to identify such perquisites. Many corporate assets that enable forms of perquisite consumption also provide operational benefits. Corporate jets represent a potent... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/11/2017 - 9:14am
Bitcoin Is a Bit of a Miracle at Any Price

That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column.  Rather than giving you the main argument, let’s instead cut to the end: The real story of bitcoin is a heartening one of community. Less than 10 years ago, the bitcoin asset was worth virtually nothing, but a small group of people believed in it... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/11/2017 - 11:34pm
Bonus Quotation of the Day…

(Don Boudreaux)

Tweet… is from page 253 of the 1991 Robert Schalkenbach Foundation edition of Henry George‘s 1886 volume, Protection or Free Trade: Take, for instance, the question of the effects of machinery.  The opinion that finds most influential expression is that labor-saving... more

Cafe Hayek 12/05/2017 - 12:02pm
Escaping Modernity

(Don Boudreaux)

TweetWill Smith (not the actor, but a regular reader of Cafe Hayek and of materials from the Foundation for Economic Education) wrote to me last evening to request that I post, at Cafe Hayek, in full this August 2002 column of mine from The Freeman.  In this column I... more

Cafe Hayek 12/13/2017 - 6:21am
Facts about uh and um

…if a speaker marks a delay with “um,” that delay will be longer than if it had been marked by “uh.”  If “uh” is used, the delay that follows before resumption of fluent speech is roughly a quarter of a second; if “um” is used, the anticipated delay approaches three-quarters of a second. In one... more

Marginal Revolution University 12/13/2017 - 12:23am