Human beings aren't great at assessing risk.
In 1979, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky posited a new branch of behavioral economics, which they titled prospect theory. One of their key findings was that human beings are naturally loss-averse -- we generally are willing to forego the probability of gains in order to minimize the ...Read more
This week, the Biden administration received just the latest slap in the face from cruel reality: An economic report showing just 194,000 jobs added in the month of September, short of the 500,000 jobs forecast by most economists. The unemployment rate dived to 4.8% from 5.2% -- not as a result of job gains, but as a result of more and more ...Read more
This week, the University of Virginia Center for Politics released a poll surveying Americans' feelings about their political opponents. According to the poll, 80% of Biden voters and 84% of Trump voters believed that elected officials of the opposite party present a "clear and present danger to American democracy"; 78% of Biden voters believed ...Read more
This week, President Joe Biden made the incredible statement -- sycophantically repeated by the press -- that his $3.5 trillion budget bill, which includes major spending initiatives on everything from climate change to Medicare, would be "free." Biden tweeted, "My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars. Instead of wasting money on tax ...Read more
This week, President Joe Biden attempted to inject life into his ailing presidency by dragging out of the closet the hoariest of political cliches: "fairness" in taxation. Touting his new $3.5 trillion tax and spending bill, which would radically increase corporate taxes, personal income taxes and so-called sin taxes, Biden stated, "It's not ...Read more
In 1629, frustrated by the unwillingness of Parliament to grant him taxation power, King Charles I of England dissolved the body and had nine members arrested. He did not recall Parliament for over a decade. The intervening period, known as Personal Rule, saw Charles I govern as a de facto dictator, with only a body of councilors to advise him. ...Read more
Greek mythology tells the tale of Erysichthon, the powerful King of Thessaly. The story goes that Erysichthon, seeking wood, ordered the trees in a sacred grove to be cut. When his workers refused, fearing divine retribution, he did it himself; for this he was cursed. The curse placed upon Erysichthon was simple: unending hunger. In the end, ...Read more
This week, as President Joe Biden attempted desperately to distract from his ongoing surrender in Afghanistan and the attendant chaos in its wake, the White House turned its eyes once again to the issue of COVID-19. On Monday, Biden pressed private industry to mandate vaccination, stating, "Do what I did last month, require your employees to get...Read more
America has been wrecked on the shoals of identity.
Identity politics has been characterized casually as a form of tribalism: Americans grouping themselves according to biological or sexual characteristics, in opposition to other groups associated by biological or sexual characteristics. And there is certainly truth to the idea that such ...Read more
This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York resigned his office. It was a stunning turnabout for a man who had been proclaimed a hero of the republic by the entire media just last year, even as he presided over the worst COVID-19 spike in the United States and covered up the deaths of thousands of nursing-home patients. Trevor Noah declared himself...Read more
Two weeks to slow the spread.
That was the original rationale for the lockdowns, masking and social distancing: Prevent transmission of the coronavirus so that Americans could be assured that we would not overwhelm hospital capacity, causing needless death.
Wait until a vaccine is available.
That was the next goal post: an admonition to ...Read more
America has a crisis of empathy.
That crisis isn't expressed as lack of charitable giving: Americans give approximately seven times what Europeans do to charity per capita. And it isn't expressed as an unwillingness to spend on a governmental level: The United States currently spends more money than any nation in the history of the world.
The ...Read more