Daily Archives: December 3, 2017


5 best moments from Columbo Short Fuse

The Columbophile

Fuse 3

Short Fuse was the episode Columbo‘s first season didn’t need. Rushed through to satisfy the demands of the studio, it rather wasted an excellent premise with a half-baked plot that was, at times, tricky to unravel.

But as I’ve said time and again, even weaker Columbo episodes have much to recommend them and enough memorable moments to reward the keen viewer. With that in mind, my top 5 highlights from Short Fuse are chronicled below.

5. Don’t call me Junior!

Columbo Short Fuse Roger Stanford

After bumping off his company-running Uncle, Roger has finally got what he wants: full control of the family chemical empire, and all that comes with it – namely a HUGE OFFICE, with a desk the size of a football pitch.

Keen to show everyone who’s boss, the former office prankster demands that staff who used to affectionately call him ‘Junior’ now respect his authoritah by deferentially referring to him…

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Externality Accounting

Knowledge Problem

Lynne Kiesling

David Friedman recently had an interesting externality exercise post:

If actions I might take would provide benefits for other people which I am not in a position to charge them for, I have too little incentive to take them. If my actions would imposes costs on other people which I am not required to reimburse them for, I have too much incentive to take them. So let government subsidize or mandate the production of positive externalities, tax or ban the production of negative externalities, thus making us all better off.

I offer the following challenge to readers. List all the positive and negative externalities from educating children. For a second challenge, pick some other public policy commonly defended on externality grounds, and try to list the externalities with the wrong sign–the ones that are an argument for subsidizing what we now tax, or taxing what we…

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The Myth of Social Costs


Illyyas Ahmed and Prince Jain 

This week’s discussion was based on the age-old economic problem of efficient resource allocation which we analyzed as presented in Mr. Steven Cheung’s monograph – The Myth of Social Cost.

The argument began by describing the efficient allocation state using the Pareto condition, the definition of which plays a defining role in our understanding of the choices in an economic environment and goes as follows:

“A state where it is no longer possible to re-allocate the use of resources so that one individual will gain without loss to another”

In a Robinson Crusoe economy (one-man economy), the absence of other agents implies an inability to contemplate inefficiency as every decision, assuming rationality, will be taken in best interests of the individual without any loss to others. The resources thus will always be efficiently allocated. This property however is lost in a society with other subjects…

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