Economists on the Welfare State and the Regulatory State Symposium

The latest issue of Econ Journal Watch has papers from the Mercatus-sponsored symposium “Economists on the Welfare State and the Regulatory State: Why Don’t Any Argue in Favor of One and Against the Other?” The issue features articles from economists like Robert Higgs, Arnold Kling, and Scott Sumner. However, the two that seem the most … Read more

Moral Foundations and Irritating Social Liberals

Believe it or not, I am not the one irritating anyone this time. Nope, it’s Damon Linker, who is himself a social liberal. But he frustrated his compatriots with a recent article about moral libertarianism. Linker traced the origins of moral libertarianism to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy claim, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that “At the heart … Read more

The Intimacy of Crowds

There’s an absolutely fascinating article on crowd psychology in aeon that I’ve been meaning to share for several weeks now. The article questions and rejects the conventional wisdom on crowds, which focuses on violent mobs and on the idea that, once they had joined, individuals had “surrendered their self-awareness and rationality to the mentality of the … Read more

Are Liberals the Real Authoritarians?

I’ve been very influenced by Jonathan Haidt’s work on moral foundations theory which, in a nutshell, postulates that there are 6 components to intuitive moral reasoning, and that conservatives tend to apply them all but liberals only use a narrow set. The foundations are: Care/harm for others, protecting them from harm. Fairness/cheating, Justice, treating others … Read more

The Dalai Lama and…Capitalism?

The American Enterprise Institute hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama for an event titled “Happiness, Free Enterprise, and Human Flourishing.” The two panels were “Moral Free Enterprise: Economic Perspectives in Business and Politics” and “Unlocking the Mind and Human Happiness.” The speakers (besides the Dalai Lama) included Arthur C. Brooks (AEI), Jonathan Haidt (New York University), Glenn Hubbard … Read more