This Thanksgiving, be thankful for the low cost of food

Your Thanksgiving dinner this year may cost less than a meal at your local fast food restaurant. According to an informal price survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation(AFBF), the average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal for ten people is $49.12—less than $5 per person. Continue Reading...

Haiti’s solar entrepreneurs

Jean-Ronel Noel and Alex Georges began their company in a garage in Haiti, tinkering with solar panels and light bulbs, wondering how their experiments might translate into an actual product. “We have plenty of sunshine, so is there a way that we can harvest energy from the sun to resolve the energy problem?” they asked. Continue Reading...

Protectionism is economic suicide

The most charitable assumption you can make about people who support tariffs and other forms of protectionism is that they are economically illiterate. But if they are able to demonstrate they understand the economics of protectionism and still support such policies, then we are justified in assuming they don’t care about harming their neighbor. Continue Reading...

Economic man is a myth, but ‘nudging’ is a distraction

The University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler recently won the Nobel Prize for his contributions in behavioral economics, much of which centers on challenging rational choice theory. “Renowned for his use of data to observe and predict how people behave in the real world,” writes Derek Thompson, “Thaler’s career has been a lifelong war on Homo economicus, that mythical species of purely rational hominids who dwell exclusively in the models of classical economic theory.” Victor Claar has helpfully summarized Thaler’s work at length, noting his popular framework of “nudge units, which provide a government mechanism for prodding us into “making choices that are better than the ones we might make otherwise.” Claar rightly challenges us to consider the risks of promoting the government as “nudger-in-chief,” and Rev. Continue Reading...