Light Until the Wealth of Nations
How Christmas displays illuminate a strong economy
Reason, December 18, 2003
Should You Know Your Banker?
Are open markets threatened more by a pro-business or by an antibusiness ideology?
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", December 03, 2003
Rethinking Milton Friedman
With Milton Friedman's ideas now accepted by theorists and policy makers, it's easy to forget how revolutionary they were.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", November 05, 2003
Getting a Bead on "Buzz"
For those who live by buzz, it's important to know who's doing the talking.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", October 08, 2003
The Design of Your Life
There's been a revolution in the world of design. The tyranny of experts is over, and we the people are finally in charge.
Men's Journal, October 2003Those old sci-fi movies were wrong. The 21st century doesn't look at all the way they said it would. We citizens of the future aren't wearing conformist jumpsuits, living in utilitarian high-rises, or getting our food in the form of dreary-looking pills. On the contrary, we are demanding and creating a stimulating, diverse, and strikingly well-designed world. We like our vacuum cleaners and mobile phones to sparkle, our backpacks and laptops to express our personalities. We expect trees and careful landscaping in our parking lots, peaked roofs and decorative facades on our supermarkets, and auto dealerships as swoopy and stylish as the cars they sell.
The Internet Book Race
When it comes to books, Internet selling has not led to uniformly low prices.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", September 11, 2003LIKE every author I know, I'm obsessed with the Amazon ranking of my new book. Several times a day, I check the number on the book's Amazon.com page to see how its sales compare with sales of every other book. Best-seller lists rank just the top 10 or 20 books. Amazon ranks more than two million -- every book it sells.
Going to Great Lengths
The New York Times Magazine, August 30, 2003The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new use of biosynthesized human growth hormone: treating unusually short children who don't have any other known disorder. In clinical studies the drug, which is called Humatrope and made by Eli Lilly & Co., added several inches to kids' eventual height, without producing any significant health risks. Humatrope, in other words, met the regulatory tests for safety and efficacy. But bioethicists greeted the decision with protests.
The Eye of the Beholder
It's not just about price and performance. Intangibles are increasingly important.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", August 14, 2003Oscar Wilde defined a cynic as someone who "knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing." To many people, that sounds like an economist or an executive.
Why Buffy Kicked Ass
The deeper meaning of TV's favorite vampire slayer.
Reason, August/September 2003When Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on the WB Network in 1996, American culture was in trouble. Americans were bowling alone, pursuing individual interests to the detriment of the communal good. Business leaders were celebrating creativity and neglecting discipline. Nike's "Just do it" ads were teaching young people to break the rules. Hollywood was turning out "nightmares of depravity."
Laws That Limit Online Shoppers
A look at wine sales over the Internet shows the price of some regulations in the name of consumer protection.
The New York Times, "Economic Scene", July 17, 2003REMEMBER when getting a mortgage meant visiting a bank or a broker in person, when handcrafted jewelry was something you could buy only at a gallery, when finding out-of-print books meant combing used-book stores, when only New Yorkers could buy certain high-end cosmetics?