Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Escape from Muddle Land

Escape from Muddle Land, Econospeak, Peter Dorman Let’s get the up-or-down part of this review over with quickly: Escape from Model Land: How Mathematical Models Can Lead Us Astray and What We Can Do About It by Erica Thompson is a poorly written, mostly vacuous rumination on mathematical modeling, and you would do well to ignore it. […]

Economic Insomnia? A Review of “The Guest Lecture”

Peter Dorman’s critical review of “The Guest Lecture.” His review was first posted at Econospeak. Economic Insomnia? A Review of “The Guest Lecture” by Martin Riker. It’s a rare day when an economist plays the key role in a novel, and even rarer when one of the supporting players is John Maynard Keynes himself.  So, […]

This Is What Happens When Progressives Look the Other Way

This Is What Happens When Progressives Look the Other Way – Peter Dorman @Econospeak Recent events in Florida—the “Stop WOKE” Act, the rejection of AP African American Studies, the hostile takeover of New College—and the publication of an excellent op-ed about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the Chronicle of Higher Education have me returning to a […]

No More Noma

No More Noma Eating is a necessity and can be a great pleasure.  It also has a symbolic dimension in every culture.  In the long history of European civilization, going back at least to the Romans, it has been a form of status distinction, allowing the elites at the top to display their separation from […]

Extending Capital to Nature, Reducing Nature to Capital

Extending Capital to Nature, Reducing Nature to Capital The Biden administration has announced it is inaugurating a program to incorporate the value of natural resources and ecological services into national income accounts.  The New York Times article reporting this development predictably portrays the response as divided between two camps: on the one side are environmentalists, who think […]

Herb Gintis, 1940-2023

Herb Gintis, 1940-2023 Peter Dorman @ Econospeak My dissertation chair, Herb Gintis, died yesterday in Northampton, Mass.  We didn’t stay in touch after I graduated—our interests and perspectives diverged—but I will always appreciate what he gave of himself at a difficult time in my life. After my first dissertation went awry (don’t ask!), Herb, who […]

The Political Economy of Effective Altruism

The Political Economy of Effective Altruism by Peter Dorman @ EconoSpeak Back in the day, I used to give talks on child labor.  I would always begin by saying that boycotts and shaming of corporations, while understandable as an emotional response, were unlikely to do much for the world’s children.  This was because very little […]

The Anti-Racism of Fools

Peter Dorman at Econospeak The Anti-Racism of Fools Antisemitism has long been intermingled with movements against injustice and elite control.  This is because the most widespread image in the mind of antisemites is the existence of a secretive cabal of Jews who control global finance and promote liberal-sounding ideas only because it serves their nefarious […]