Walker joined Difficult Run as an editor in August 2013.
He graduated from the University of North Texas with an MBA in Strategic Management and a BBA in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. He's currently a grad student in Government at Johns Hopkins University. He has been published in SquareTwo, BYU Studies Quarterly, Dialogue, Graziadio Business Review, and Economic Affairs. He also contributed to Julie Smith's (ed.) 'As Iron Sharpens Iron: Listening to the Various Voices of Scripture'. His other online writing can be found at Worlds Without End and Times & Seasons. He lives in Denton, Texas, with his wife.
The controversial social scientist Mark Regnerus has a recent post on a new study in the Review of Economics of the Household. The study “reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.
Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.”
Check out the full article. And, as was the case with Regnerus’ studies, let’s not be hasty. As one journalist wrote, “But before we all go get our stones, pitchforks, and kerosene, may I suggest an alternative? Trust science. Don’t bury this study. Embrace it. The evidence Regnerus collected can help all of us rethink our ideas about sexuality and marriage. It can enlighten the right as well as the left.”
But rhetoric is important (as economist Deirdre McCloskey has explained) and “economic freedom” is, in my view, a more accurate description. And far from living up to its caricature (i.e. a system of power and greed that exploits the poor), economic freedom–as shown by the graphs below–does more to raise the living standards of all involved, rich and poor alike, than any other economic system yet discovered. Descriptions are at the bottom of the graphs.
I spoke in church yesterday on the subject of “peace” and posted it at The Slow Hunch. For those of you who may be interested in theology and ethics, you might enjoy it. I not only discuss ancient Hebrew concepts, but I also quote from The Dresden Files and our very own Nathaniel. Check it out.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase died recently at the age of 102. Many fine tributes have been written over the past week, but a common theme in many of them is that Coase was an economist interested in what actually happens in the economy. Or, as he explains below, “the approach [to economics] should be empirical.”
Today’s post from The Slow Hunch was written on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I’m a little late (it is after 11pm in Texas), but I still technically made it. Just a few thoughts on hope and redemption on a day that can sometimes convince us there is none.
GMU’s Bryan Caplan has an interesting 2012 post on reconciling the work of controversial political scientist Charles Murray. Caplan views Murray’s three main books on poverty–Losing Ground, The Bell Curve, Coming Apart–as complementary. To review:
“The Bell Curve emphasizes the most stable difference between the rich and the poor: The poor tend to be less intelligent. Cognitive ability is an important determinant of success in almost any society. Smarter workers are simply more productive, and competing employers reward them accordingly. In the long-run, therefore, people with low intelligence tend to have correspondingly low incomes.”
“People with low IQs aren’t just less productive; they’re also more impulsive…Implicit: One of the best ways to help impulsive people reach decent long-run outcomes is to give them a lot of strong short-run feedback.”
“In Losing Ground, Murray shows what happens when the welfare state shelters people from this short-run feedback.”
“The impulsive are swayed more by guilt and shame than careful calculations about the distant future. In Coming Apart, Murray shows that over the last few decades, this tradition/social pressure mechanism has gradually broken down for the working class – and transformed the working class into a dysfunctional leisure class…Removing short-run feedback led to worse behavior, which undermined traditional norms about work and family, which reduced social pressure, which led to worse behavior.”
“Elites live in a high-IQ, low-impulsiveness Bubble. When they introspect, they correctly conclude that the welfare state has little effect on their behavior. They then incorrectly infer that the welfare state has little effect on anyone‘s behavior.”