Want the shutdown to end? Blame a party, either party. Just not both.

I know that blaming both parties for the shutdown is the polite thing to do. Blaming one party is shrill, irritating, and could cause fights with friends and family. It’s partisanship at its worst. But choosing to blame one party more than the other also goes by another name: democratic accountability. Blaming both parties equally […]

Three Reasons Economists Should Oppose Advertising

Economists have not paid enough attention to the problems advertising creates in a market economy. Economists should oppose advertising because it distorts consumer preferences, because it intentionally creates externalities, and because it takes resources away from more productive activity. First, advertising destroys the basic assumption economists use to evaluate social welfare. In theory, individuals have […]

Moving to The Farm

At the end of this month, my wife and I are moving to the family farm just outside of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. This is not where I expected to end up.  Throughout my life I have been encouraged to do a lot of different things, but moving to a small farm was never one of them. […]

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry’s fictional novel, Jayber Crow, provides a number of interesting passages that relate well to the major themes of this blog. Jayber is the barber (and church janitor) in Port William, the fictional small Kentucky town that serves as the setting for most of Berry’s fiction.  As a child at a religious orphanage, Jayber winds up going […]

The Shutdown

Yesterday, I wrote about the broad historical trends in Congress that led up to this shutdown. In a nutshell, the two parties are much farther apart ideologically than they used to be, and House Republicans are particularly extreme:   That tells you why a crisis is likely, but it doesn’t tell you what actually happened […]