Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some links: Who's lobbying against pot; how cops are catching those who are for it

Turns out, beermakers and police (two people who benefit most economically from prohibition) lobby most (Huffington Post).
Do I see an unholy freedom alliance between Teapartiers and NORML in America's future (420 Tribune)?
Is more vote-buying a good thing or a bad thing (Marginal Revolution)?
If you pay someone to help you cheat, do you deserve a refund when you discover that they cheated (Dan Ariely)?
How to eat a muffin (Incidental Economist). The second I read this, I realized that I already eat muffins this way, even when I'm not walking.
Imperialistic (or, mercantilistic?) Economists (Justin Wolfers).

One good sentence on subsidies

From Free Exchange:
The upside to cash-benefits is that it forces policymakers to confront the trade-offs involved in delivering a certain subsidy and evaluate whether it makes sense.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three good sentences

Liberal arts education has taken a beating lately from a wide range of critics (for examples on the economics department side of things see hereor here, and for a general critique see here or here). Tyler Cowen makes a good (and concise!) defense here. Here's the good stuff:
A liberal arts education helps us think with greater subtlety, even if it does not improve our performance on subsequent standardized tests. I see an impact here even on the lesser students in state universities. It also helps explain how the U.S. so suddenly leaps from having so-so high schools to outstanding graduate schools; how many other countries emphasize liberal arts education in between?

I wonder how Tyler (a libertarian, Austrian-leaning economist) feels about the fact that a significant portion of that liberal arts education is heavily subsidized?