Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'economics'

The Suez Canal blockage: a metaphor for our economy

A team of engineers and an unusually high tide freed the Ever Given, the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for six days, on Monday. Obstructing the canal that facilitates 13% of world’s maritime trade not only educated Americans about the international dimensions of our economy, it also served as a metaphor for the artificial constraints, taxes, and regulations that block so many people from participating in our economy. Continue Reading...

Walter Williams, RIP

The world has lost a voice for logic, liberty, and love of the U.S. Constitution. Economist Walter Williams died overnight at the age of 84. Williams worked his way out of grinding poverty in the Philadelphia housing projects to chair George Mason University’s economics department, author 10 books and more than 150 publications, and become one of the most recognized commentators of the last four decades. Continue Reading...

Do economists agree?

Listen to politicians or cable news, and you will get the impression that economics is merely a thin veil for partisanship, the greatest mercenary discipline for justifying any policy. You can seemingly find at least one economist to agree with you; liberal economists favor liberal policies, while conservative economists favor conservative policies. Continue Reading...

Karl Marx’s greatest lesson

Karl Marx famously concluded in his 1845 Theses On Feuerbach with his eleventh thesis: “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” How this change from analysis to activism can be justified in light of Marx’s own materialist conception of history is an enduring puzzle. Continue Reading...

The futility of artificial intelligence economics

Salesforce, an American cloud-based software company, earlier this year announced an initiative to develop an artificial intelligence economist. Stephan Zheng, the lead research scientist at Salesforce Research, describes the moonshot goal of this project as to build a reinforcement learning framework that will recommend economic policies that drive social outcomes in the real world, such as improving sustainability, productivity, and equality.” Continue Reading...