Does the equilibrium model work in the real world?

Note: This is the seventh post in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. In previous videos in this series from Marginal Revolution University we learned how prices reach equilibrium and how the market works like an invisible hand coordinating economic activity. Continue Reading...

A Living Wage for a Living Tree?

The Ballors went with a live tree this year. We bought it at Flowerland and I do not know the name of the farm whence it came. Over at the American Conservative, Micah Mattix reflects on the Christmas tree market, which in his neck of the woods is “notoriously unstable.” In Ashe County, North Carolina, says Mattix, a dilemma faces the small tree farmer: “It is not sell or starve, but it is sell or go without a new septic tank, a repaired roof, a mended this or that.” Although not specifically about Christmas trees, the difficult choice faced by the poet in the Robert Frost poem Mattix engages at length is also reminiscent of the dynamic of poverty in Winter’s Bone. Continue Reading...

Do We Want Prices to Fool Us?

J.C. Penney recently gave up on last year’s strategy to abandon sales and coupons in favor of “everyday low pricing.” As an article in the New York Times points out, “simplifying pricing, it turns out, is not that simple”: “It may be a decent deal to buy that item for $5,” said Ms. Continue Reading...

In Defiance of Logic and Good Sense

Last Friday, the New York Times editorialized in critique of American tariffs, which it says “raise the price of goods and are all too often based on outdated political considerations that defy logic and good sense.” Huzzah! Continue Reading...

‘We get Viagra. They get malaria.’

At least, the title of this post is typical of the mantra against the practices of drug pharmaceutical companies, according to Peter W. Huber’s “Of Pills and Profits: In Defense of Big Pharma,” in Commentary magazine (HT: Arts & Letters Daily). Continue Reading...