Liberty To Do What?

May 13, 2015

Continuing my peon to Judt: he reminds us of Condorcet's fear:
"Liberty will be no more, in the eyes of an avid nation, than the necessary condition for the security of financial operations."
No kidding.

How many times do we come across, in this avid nation of ours, some foolish comment that our social policies must [more…]

We Rely on Economics Too Much

May 13, 2015

I think I am with Tony Judt on this one. I am reading the new collection of his essays written between 1995 and his death in 2010, and have had my memory jolted: he gave us many very considered critiques of modern economics, although they were usually dressed within the context of a book review. [more…]

Transaction Cost Confusion

May 4, 2015

OK. Let's have some fun.

Transaction costs were invented by Ronald Coase to help explain why we see business firms littering the economic landscape when orthodox economic theory argues that the marketplace is the superior and unequalled coordinator of economic activity. The Coasian idea, later extended and expanded upon by the likes of Oliver Williamson, [more…]

Absurd Texas

May 4, 2015

Oh dear ...

I rarely post here about politics anymore. At least politics disconnected from economics. But politics disconnected from reality still catches my attention.

So: what are we all to make of the absurdity now playing out in Texas? So utterly divorced from reality has the Texas Republican party become, and so completely beholden [more…]

Coase and Reality

April 30, 2015

In his introduction to a collection of his own work, Ronald Coase tells us:
‘Becker points out that: “what most distinguishes economics as a discipline from other disciplines in the social sciences is not its subject matter but its approach”'.
He then goes on:
‘One result of this divorce of the theory from its subject [more…]