Archive for May, 2017
In U.S. Universities, a Divorce Is Needed

For a century or so, U.S. universities have been an adornment of American culture, and indeed of world culture, but, with notable exceptions, only in the sciences. Bright people have flocked to the USA from all parts of the world to study, research, and teach in physics, chemistry, biology, other physical and life sciences,...
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Hollywood Versus the Real History of Pirates

Films often take creative license to deviate from historical fact, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales follows in this tradition. Often, this creative license simplifies complicated realities. Below are four ways the Pirates of the Caribbean films oversimplify the complicated and very rational real-world of Caribbean piracy during the so-called...
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Confederate Monuments and Civil Discourse

Last week the City of New Orleans removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. This was the fourth, and final, Confederate monument the city has removed since late April. As usual in modern America, civil and intelligent discourse has been lacking in the debate about Confederate monuments. The Huffington Post states the removal...
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SCOTUS Slaps Patent Trolls

In a unanimous decision (TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC), the U.S. Supreme Court gave a kick in the rear to patent trolls. The Verge has this article on the case. Patent trolls obtain patents not for the purpose of producing an invention or a technology but to license and enforce the patents. In other...
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Three Haiku on Regime Uncertainty

Aphorism says Personnel is policy Trump’s team in chaos — No one knows what’s next Actors and actions in flux, Regime’s uncertain — Situation grim Investment makes little sense No prospect of growth    

Another Bubble in the Making?

Moral hazard, easy money, and cheap credit have never produced good results. History is littered with examples of financial disaster brought about by monetary manipulation originating in central banks and then spreading to other parts of the system. One would think that the 2007/8 credit crisis, whose effects have not quite withered away, would...
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Trinity Lutheran and a Response to Michael Stokes Paulsen and NRO

On May 3, The Wall Street Journal posted a short op-ed I wrote on the Trinity Lutheran case. (Sorry, but the op-ed is behind a pay wall; however, here is a blog post that gives some background to the case and my first impressions.) Professor Michael Stokes Paulsen, alleging I was “wrong on every...
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Pope Francis’s Failure to See Entrepreneurs as Good Samaritans Undercuts the Poor

On April 25, a videotaped talk by Pope Francis was released at the international TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. The 18-minute talk, titled “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone,” can be viewed here. Francis highlighted three themes, beginning with the observation that community is central to human existence: [L]ife flows through our...
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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Romps Through Space with Purpose

Chalking up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a just a fun romp through the universe with the galaxy’s most dysfunctional family would be easy. But the film, like the Marvel comics that inspired it, is much more. Writer-director James Gunn (Slither, Dawn of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy) has done an...
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Carl Christ—Eminent Yet Sensible Econometrician and Mentor Supremo

I transferred to the Department of Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University in 1966 to continue my work for the Ph.D. degree, which Hopkins awarded me in 1968. During my two years at Hopkins, I never took a course from Carl Christ, a highly regarded econometrician and macroeconomist there. Yet Carl turned out to...
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