A Race Between Supply and Demand

In a wonderful Chip Bok cartoon, a child starts by asking, “Why are gas prices so high?” and is told, “Turmoil in the Mid East.” Then, asking about the turmoil, he is told the source is “High Food Prices.” The…

Getting the Most From Our Money

In 2020, according to the World Health Organization, traffic fatalities will be the second leading cause of deaths in the world. Moreover, in the U.S. alone, approximately 57 million birds are killed by cars annually. (from Cool It, p. 154)…

Waste and Cost

Who could possibly have disagreed with President Obama when, in his State of the Union address, he said we have to eliminate wasteful regulations?  Some very important people. Emory University economics professor, Paul Rubin, explained in a WSJ article that…

Greener Money

Hearing that Canada was switching to plastic money this year, I imagined…plastic. It turns out that plastic money looks and feels pretty much like the cotton-based paper currency we now use.  Why make the change? Money was one reason. Although…

Pay-As-You-Throw

Hearing Beethoven’s Fur Elise, a Taiwan resident knows the garbage truck is near. As described by a Washington Post writer, entire neighborhoods assemble with their garbage as the truck approaches. Called pay-as-you-throw (PAYT), through unit-pricing, people are charged for their…

Solar Panel Comments

Sometimes there’s much more behind a solar panel than you would expect. Solar energy was in the news because the U.S. Congress, hoping to support U.S. production, has prohibited the Department of Defense from buying Chinese made solar technology. And…

Doomster or Boomster?

Agree or disagree? “Both the jayhawk and the man eat chickens, but the more jayhawks, the fewer chickens, while the more men, the more chickens.” The quote is from 19th century economist Henry George but it relates to a report…

Sounds Like Pistachios

“Remember the pistachios,” is a memorable line from a novel by economist Russ Roberts. In the first several pages of The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance, a teacher says you have been given a room filled 5 feet high with…

Unintended Green Incentives

True or False? When we become more energy efficient, we use up fewer resources. This New Yorker Magazine article says maybe. Citing the “rebound effect,” the article briefly takes us back to Williams Jevons, England, and 1865. In a book…

Gas Prices

Have you been paying more for gas? Looking at this map, you can see that gas prices around the country have been rising in most places. Economist James Hamilton suggests that the price of gas is directly connected to the…