Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Capitalism Humane?

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George Carlin on the Environment and Environmentalists

Green Jihad

This is worth another look and is a humorous way to view the issues covered by Earth Day as well as this website. Comedian George Carlin (1937 – 2008) gives a hilarious look at the environment and environmentalists during a comedy special he did. Carlin told the truth that the Earth has been through a lot worse than man’s influence.

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Against Guilt by Historical Association: A Note on MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains”

Notes On Liberty

It’s this summer’s hottest pastime for libertarian-leaning academics: finding examples of bad scholarship in Nancy MacLean’s new book Democracy in Chains. For those out of the loop, MacLean, a history professor at Duke University, argues in her book that Nobel-prize winning public choice economist James Buchanan is part of some Koch-funded vast right-libertarian conspiracy to destroy democracy as inspired by southern racist agrarians and confederates like John Calhoun. This glowing review from NPR should give you a taste of her argument, which often has the air of a bizarre conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, to make these arguments she’s had to cut some huge corners in her federally-funded research. Here’s a round-up of her dishonesty:

  • David Bernstein points out how MacLean’s own sources contradict her claims that libertarian Frank Chodorov disagreed with the ruling in Brown v. Board.
  • Russ Roberts reveals how out-of-context Tyler Cowen was taken by MacLean, misquoting him…

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.@PaulHuntSRights @NZHumanRights wonder around shooting their mouths off without doing any research nor even basic background checks before selfies

So @mfe_news advised @jamespeshaw that unilateral action is futile. Only global action will help.

Is Amazon Guilty of Predatory Pricing?

Truth on the Market

In 2014, Benedict Evans, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, wrote “Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works),” a blog post in which he tried to explain Amazon’s business model. He began with a chart of Amazon’s revenue and net income that has now become (in)famous:

Source: Benedict Evans

A question inevitably followed in antitrust circles: How can a company that makes so little profit on so much revenue be worth so much money? It must be predatory pricing!

Predatory pricing is a rather rare anticompetitive practice because the “predator” runs the risk of bankrupting itself in the process of trying to drive rivals out of business with below-cost pricing. Furthermore, even if a predator successfully clears the field of competition, in developed markets with deep capital markets, keeping out new entrants is extremely unlikely.

Nonetheless, in those rare cases where plaintiffs can demonstrate that a…

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.@mfe_news advised @jamespeshaw that a net zero carbon economy will cut annual GDP growth by 1/10 or more. Is that a 4% reduction in GDP by 2050?