Incentives

Wells Fargo and illegal sales

The article is from the Wall Street Journal. This type of outcome in banking does not surprise me at all. Is it the fault of the executives or is it a basket of ‘bad apples’ (employees) who caused the problem? From my reading, it is both. But as long as banks continue to push product sales, there will always be… Read more →

The Slow Death of Capitalism

While I think making ‘hay’ out of Walmart’s decision to close some stores might be pushing the boundaries, after all, closing 269 stores out of over 11,500 is really insignificant, I think this article tells a reasonable story about the pattern of those closures. I try to avoid claiming that policy-makers don’t understand the consequences of their actions; I believe… Read more →

“The future can’t be modeled or predicted in economic terms.”

Okay, so that article is somewhat bombastic, even if it makes the excellent points that: 1. Any economic system that requires government coercion is bound to fail at the limits; and, 2. Socialism has long proven itself incapable of achieving the goals its advocates claim. From Investor’s Business Daily: Bernie Sanders Would Rather Drain than Grow the Economy. But what really… Read more →

Police Abuse

After looking through the evidence, I was heavily convinced that the confrontation between Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown was overblown – that the confrontation turned violent was not due to Mr. Wilson but to Mr. Brown’s behavior.  I admit I have not read the DOJ report on Ferguson’s policing problem, but this article points to the problems of ‘over-government’ and… Read more →

Charity, Welfare, Inequality, and Doom

Public debate of welfare and charity of late seems to come near-exclusively from two viewpoints: (1) the poor are poor by circumstance and must be helped by society; and, (2) the poor are poor because they are sub-par decision makers.  Poor by circumstance implies that poverty is not only inevitable, but that it will of itself perpetuate poverty and inequality.  Poor by… Read more →

Inequality

John Cochrane of U. Chicago gives another interesting and well drafted article, this time about inequality.  Here is the edited version in the WSJ, and here is the long-form on his blog, The Grumpy Economist. I highly suggest that, if you have the time, read the long-form version on his blog. Read more →

The Talent Economy

An article on HBR.org: The Rise (and Likely Fall) of the Talent Economy by Roger L. Martin found by clicking here. And my nice response: This article is full of implicit political assumptions and strange economics, such as the statement: “One trader’s gain is simply another trader’s loss,” which is explicitly untrue. A buyer/seller on the other end of the… Read more →

The mindset of poverty

An article written by a medical doctor, but with an excellent implicit discussion of how incentives create and perpetuate poverty.  It is quite damning of the modern welfare states of the “developed west.”  While the article is about Britain, its commentary applies equally to the United States. When governments attempt to fill the place of community and family, while providing… Read more →

Real incentives, real impacts

From The Daily Beast by Daniela Drake: Consider how this plays out in real life as opposed to a think tank. A hard-working doctor (of any race) has rendered careful, considerate care to a complicated patient. Yet a relative who gets the patient satisfaction form in the mail who might be pissed off at, say, the hospital parking fees—or maybe… Read more →