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The Ethics and Incentives of Socialized Law

Noam Scheiber makes a radical suggestion. Eric Posner has lots of reasons why it’ll never work. Burt Likko says, “There’s a few things neither of you bright fellows have thought of.”

Meanwhile, Our Children Continue Their Undaunted Assault on Mammon…

I have a piece up at the Atlantic called “What’s Really Behind the Ever-Rising Cost of Raising a Child in America“. You should go read (and comment) there. To summarize: the cost of raising a child has increased substantially since 1960, but almost all of this increase is in areas such as education and health…

“The biz ain’t what it used to be.”

(The above is a screenshot of the Atlantic’s homepage taken March 10th around 11:30PM. A recap of SNL skits sits next to an article about nuclear war and above a photo series depiciting international struggles against gender inequality.) The issue of freelancing for, well, free, and the economics surrounding journalism, writing, blogging and “content creation,”…

Sketching Out States in Fantasy: Two Cases from Avlis

As promised here are two cases from Avlis of magic equipped societies. I will begin with a (moderately) short description of each state, then compare the place of magic and its political economy. This post is meant as a sketch, with further development and detail to be presented based on comments received. If there are…

A Romantic, a Monk, and a Neoliberal Walk Into a Bar…

On Romanticism in Politics Romanticism is wonderful in a work of fiction, art or video game. As a died-in-the-wool modern day romantic, I’ve spent most of my life doing my best to use fantasy novels, role-playing-games, and other modes of escape to travel to other worlds. This world can feel awfully pale and insubstantial at…

Government Enforced Inequality

By James Hanley Note: This post is part of our League Symposium on inequality. You can read the introductory post for the Symposium here. To see a list of all posts in the Symposium so far, click here. What, if anything, is wrong with inequality? From my perspective as a libertarian, inequality of wealth per se is…

The Positive Sum Outlook

Note: This post is part of our League Symposium on inequality. You can read the introductory post for the Symposiumhere. To see a list of all posts in the Symposium so far, click here. By Roger Parker Before we delve into the topic of inequality, I believe it will be fruitful to explore another fundamental difference…

Invitation: Ordinary Gentlemen’s Inequality Symposium

By James Hanley You (yes, you) are invited to submit a post for the Ordinary Gentlemen’s Inequality Symposium. The question to be addressed is: What, if anything, is wrong with inequality? Anyone may participate, including official League contributors, unofficial League commenters, those quiet readers who too rarely share their thoughts with the rest of us,…

A Response to ‘Democracy, Coercion, and Liberty’

~by James Hanley Erik’s been trying to work out a question about the libertarian justification of the state, and so far it hasn’t gone well. His first attempts were not well understood, at least by me, and judging by the ensuring discussions, not by most others, either. In his latest attempt I thought he phrased…

Social Forces and Vulgar Libertarianism

Will Wilkinson makes an important observation about the affinity between libertarians and conservatives. At the heart of the fusionism between the two groups, he explains, is the notion of individual responsibility. Whereas libertarians and conservatives attribute success and failure to the personal strengths and flaws of individuals, liberals see a vast array of social forces,…

Promises Were Broken

by E.C. Gach In a recent guest post, Aaron B. pointed out that the Occupy Wall Street movement is, perhaps more than anything else, about forging a shared political identity and civic community.  And Shawn Gude later applauded the occupiers for, “instantiating a radical conception of democracy that is antithetical to the prevailing minimalist conception.”…

The Solutions to Poverty and Unemployment Will Look Something Like This: An Interview with Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook is a friend of mine from college who let me interview her about her upcoming film, currently titled the Microlending Film Project. Rachel shot footage for Kiva – an awesome organization that has stoked the fires of entrepreneurship in Africa, Southeast Asia, and around the world, and is now stoking the fires of entrepreneurship here in…

We Need Countercyclical Spending, Not Counterintuitive Spending Cuts

Matt Yglesias points out once again that since we can borrow money at basically negative real interest rates, we should do it. We should do it to stimulate the economy, put money into infrastructure like high-speed rail, and get the beast chugging along again. Given that lower-than-projected growth is actually leading to an increase in…

The Flaws and Shortcomings of Ron Paul

Matt Yglesias on Ron Paul: After looking at his positions and statements, the most remarkable thing is that if it weren’t for his loud fanbase of self-proclaimed libertarians you wouldn’t really think this is the platform of a libertarian. He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies and…

The Affluent (and Downgraded, Debt-Laden) Society

The late preeminent liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith once complained in The Affluent Society that where Democrats once stood for an issue of great importance in emphasizing production, they lost that issue by misunderstanding why production was important.  For Galbraith, production was central to the modern American economy not to sustain impressive arrays of consumer…

Competition and Inequality

In my last post, Labour and the American Middle Class, I expressed my scepticism of the ability of unions to improve the incomes of the disadvantaged.  However, this still leaves the question of how the government can help those in need, apart from welfare. For me, there are two major paths that will help –…