Over at Slow Boring, Matt Yglesias argues that meritocracy is real but bad. Yglesias contrasts his take with the conventional position that is presented as anti-meritocracy but actually just argues that we don’t live in a meritocracy. Here’s Yglesias: And if you talk to people with a curious and open mind, you’ll pretty quickly find out that… Continue reading Is Meritocracy Real?
Jonathan Chait is mad that people call him a “neoliberal” and so insists that the word has no meaning and that it does not describe a real political change that occurred a few decades ago. Many have already explained how silly this feint is, but I would like to add two other points. First, potent… Continue reading Neoliberals Used to Refer to Themselves as New Democrats
The argument that people can appropriate unowned land by mixing their labor with it has a lot of problems. Labor is not a substance, and so it cannot be mixed. Even if it could be mixed, it is not clear why mixing it with something transforms the unowned particles into owned particles. Even if you… Continue reading Land as soil and land as space
Megan McArdle has this piece about the London fire in which she argues that it could be that installing sprinklers and other fireproofing will actually kill more people than it saves: If it costs more to build buildings, then rents will rise. People will be forced to live in smaller spaces, perhaps farther away. Some… Continue reading If fireproofing is a waste for the poor, it is also a waste for the rich
United Airlines violently removed a passenger from an airplane earlier this week. The company had overbooked the flight, which is standard practice in the airline industry, and then failed to entice enough people to give up their seats by offering as much as $800 to anyone who would volunteer. The final solution to the conundrum… Continue reading Come See the Violence Inherent in the System