Subsidies: Fueling Egyptian Turmoil

The time is 8 am. During March 2012, 200 people at a depot just west of Cairo are waiting for a truck delivery of butane cylinders. One gentleman yells, “Please, I’ve been waiting for 10 d…

Do You Like Rent Control?

Asked if it makes sense to mandate lower rents for some apartments in large cities, many of us say yes. Lower rents facilitate diversity and they enable middle income municipal workers to live close t…

Just Desserts

Our story begins in 1920 with some ice cream, some chocolate and a stick. A candy maker decided to coat the ice cream with the chocolate, insert the stick and freeze it. Patenting the stick idea, he c…

Peanuts or Cotton?

Farmers decided to plant fewer peanuts when cotton prices soared. The result? Now peanut prices are skyrocketing. Here is the story. Perhaps it all began with higher cotton prices. Responding, peanut …

A Water Dilemma

Last week, the Boston area had undrinkable water for several days. Predictably, bottled water sales soared as did bottled water prices in certain stores.  Equally predictably, politicians condemn…

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