01
Jun
12

All linky, no thinky

So, Eurozone.  Will Wilkinson reminds us that the term “fair” should be reserved for baseball jargon:

——

The latest kerfuffle to hit the Wookiee-sphere is Michael Bloomberg’s push to ban large sodas.  This has produced all manner of delightful commentary which you’ve probably already read.  I particularly like Eric Crampton’s slight change of target, where he tears into “libertarian paternalist” Richard Thaler who apparently never imagined that nudges would turn into shoves:

Funny how Thaler’s spent so much of his time and effort loudly and belligerently ‘splaining to libertarians that slippery slopes never happen and anyone who thinks they might is just being small-minded and my God that would be like someone restricting soda pop what are you crazy that’ll never happen — and now that Der Tag has arrived he is of course loudly disclaiming responsibility.  I’m reminded of Captain Renault.

While we’re at it, let’s play the cui bono? game with this excerpt:

City officials said some calorie-heavy drinks such as Starbucks Frappuccinos would probably be exempted because of their dairy content, while Slurpees and Big Gulp drinks at 7-Eleven wouldn’t be affected because the convenience stores are regulated as groceries.

Seems to me that this is more about signalling disapproval of fast food chains and food carts, then.

——

As a follow-up to a recent post, Jonathan Adler points us to a nifty paper:

Tolerance has the potential to affect both economic growth and wellbeing. It is therefore important to discern its determinants. We add to the literature by investigating whether the degree to which economic institutions and policies are market-oriented is related to different measures of tolerance. Regression analysis of up to 65 countries reveals that economic freedom is positively related to tolerance towards homosexuals, especially in the longer run, while tolerance towards people of a different race and a willingness to teach kids tolerance are not strongly affected by how free markets are. Stable monetary policy and outcomes is the area of economic freedom most consistently associated with greater tolerance, but the quality of the legal system seems to matter as well. We furthermore find indications of a causal relationship and of social trust playing a role as a mechanism in the relationship between economic freedom and tolerance and as an important catalyst: the more trust in society, the more positive the effect of economic freedom on tolerance.

Voltaire:

Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker.

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2 Responses to “All linky, no thinky”


  1. 1 perlhaqr
    June 2, 2012 at 08:53

    I get that first article’s point that sometimes it might be irrational to demand fairness when it hurts yourself, but I think it lacks consideration of long and short term hurts. If I’m playing poker, and I find myself $100 down, and I get out of the game, I’m “hurt”, but I might be less hurt than I would be if I stick around for another 3 hours.

    It might harm Germany financially if Greece bombs out of the Euro. But if Greece is unwilling to engage in any sort of reform, then they might get harmed financially over and over and over again if they keep bailing them out.

    • June 2, 2012 at 11:12

      Yeah, I hear that. Seems to me there’s a pretty obvious iterated-Prisoner’s Dilemma thing going on with punishing unfairness: You take a hit now but expect to get taken advantage of less in the long run.


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