Facebook’s Refusal to Deal in Excellence

The emails released last week by a British parliamentary committee, in which Mark Zuckerberg can be read snooping on WhatsApp and approving a policy designed to cripple competition from Twitter, tell much about the shortcomings of antitrust policy today. The emails show that in 2013 Facebook cut off Twitter’s access to its users’ Facebook friend […]

On the Importance of the Concept of Monopoly in Introductory Economics

In everyday life economics presents itself to us first and foremost as a problem of distribution, not of output, not of what economists would call “allocative efficiency.” This pizza place is ripping you off. That employer is lowballing you. In our intuitive economics, higher prices mean someone is taking money out of our pockets and […]

The Impractical Consumer Welfare Standard

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the CPI/CCIA conference at Harvard Law School last month brought together establishment scholars from the left and right to consider the calls for radical antitrust reform emanating from the Open Markets Institute (OMI), calls that have captured the imagination of some sections of the press and the political […]

The Chinese Nile

Surely the Times’s compulsive need to find fault in every Chinese triumph, nicely demonstrated today by the paper’s trashing of the new Beijing airport, has contributed to the gross misestimation of China’s potential for success that the Times itself is finally reporting. Beijing is about to complete a massive new Zaha-Hadid-designed airport in, as today’s […]

Knowledge is Danger

At the end of Who We Are and How We Got Here, David Reich observes that genetic analysis of ancient DNA “has overwhelmingly had the effect of exploding stereotypes, undercutting prejudice, and highlighting the connections among peoples not previously known to be related.” This because the study of ancient DNA has revealed that most groups […]

Climate Change and Nietzschean Entropy

Nietzsche celebrated the exceptional creature, which can evolve only when insulated from competition, from the mob, over millennia. The narrowness of the environment, and the narrowness of the competition, to which that creature is subject induces the focus in adaptation that is the key to greatness. It is the key to Angraecum sesquipedale and Morgan’s […]

Capitalisms

I’m an engineer by training. I’m a very systems, process, methodical decision maker. He’s an entrepreneur. Different mind-set. Management runs publicly-traded companies like ExxonMobil. Owners run private firms. The former are bureaucracies, the latter, fiefs. The former are a progressive invention, the latter much older. There is managerial capitalism, and then there is finance capitalism. […]

Shambles

I do not know which is more telling of American decline, the fact that China is willing to invest in bridges, while we are not, or that, rather than marvel and praise, we comfort ourselves with the notion that only a third are really being used, and all the building could lead to a financial […]