Category Archives: Economics

Gay Rights are Civil Rights.

gay rights are civil rightsWe are all biased. But what happens when our belief systems outweigh the story that economics tells us? It can create a confusing story embedded with a hint of guilt?

To explain such diametrically opposite trends within the black community on the basis of whites’ would require us to believe that racism and discrimination were growing and declining at the same time. It is much more reconcilable with ordinary economic analysis.

-Thomas Sowell

To maintain the need for the civil rights “vision” it is also necessary to ignore what the groups have in common. Certain traits seem to run counter to group and individual success and other traits seem to promote group and individual success as well. Making these comparisons would mean that you are either a racist who ignores discrimination or that you believe in the doctrine of innate inability. Close examination of any other possible factors is excluded from the debate.

Today, the newest civil rights “vision” regards the gay community and their ability to marry. Gay rights are human rights, and marriage is a civil right indeed. To strip a people of their right to pursue happiness is wrong on moral and philosophical grounds.

As Americans, it’s just not who we are. Do you notice any parallels between the long hard fight for racial equally, a fight that one can argue continues in some respects, and today’s hot button issue? Aren’t we ignoring what gay and straight groups have in common for the sake of similar biases?

Let’s give inequality a rest once and for all, and focus on restoring liberty. Every time we allow our government, an body that is supposed to work for us, to hamper our quest for civil liberty, we fail. We drop the proverbial ball.

Economics, as Sowell uses it, is the study and measurement of decisions. The gay marriage debate is indeed much more reconcilable through ordinary economic analysis.

What do you think?

MD

When Affirmative Action Can Hurt Education

Is affirmative action really helping those it claims to be empowering? What are the results of a system that means to do well, but is based upon comparisons between cultures, or an upper-crust point of view?

Those who are most vocal about affirmative action are of course the more articulate minority members – the advantaged who speak in the name of the disadvantaged. Their position on the issue may accord with their own personal experience, as well as their own self-interest. But that cannot dismiss the growing evidence that it is precisely the disadvantaged who suffer from affirmative action.

-Thomas Sowell

When a culture decides through spontaneous order, unaware of how to equip its members for success, those “decisions” will be reflected in comparisons with other cultures.

Education is a prime example — cultures that reward high levels of education trend far better than those that do not. This historically held true long before mandatory public schooling was implemented.

Public Choice

In particular, it studies the behavior of politicians and government officials as mostly self-interested agents and their interactions in the social system either as such or under alternative constitutional rules.

These can be represented a number of ways, including standard constrained utility maximization, game theory, or decision theory. Public choice analysis has roots in positive analysis (“what is”) but is often used for normative purposes (:what ought to be:), to identify a problem or suggest how a society should work out its problems.

What do you think?

-MD

Why Political Parties Bargain

While reading Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, I came across an interesting passage I’d like to share and comment on.

Indeed, it has the beautiful property that it does not even need to be fair. For barter to work, two individuals do not need to offer things of equal value. Trade is often unequal but it still benefits both sides.

Of equal value to whom? Not everyone likes to sew or fish. Both parties to the bargain feel that they got a good deal. Personally I would rather fish than sew. You also discover your talents along the way – now there is something that is equal!

What do you think?

-MD