V.O.D. Wars

Usually, for an average of 120 days, theaters have an exclusive right to show a movie. Then, for about $4.99 we can use video-on-demand to see it on television. It sounds simple but so much more is happening. It all…

Opportunity Cost and the Sunday Papers

Articles in the Sunday papers may not have referred to opportunity cost but it was everywhere. Do you agree that judges should know the dollar cost of a prison sentence? Is it good or bad that dishwasher detergents have become…

The Afghan Votes Market

In Kunduz Province, the price of a vote was $15 while in Kandahar, it was closer to $1.  Do we have a market? Just like shoes or shirts, it appears that the price of an Afghan vote was determined by…

Light Bulb Start-Ups

Does it matter where a start-up ends up? One new energy efficient light bulb was developed in Florida, its inventor lives in Florida, and the bulbs are assembled in Florida. Soon to be sold at Home Depot, however, the state-of-the-art…

Time Matters

In a brief and wonderful 2003 article called “Clocks and the Wealth of Nations”, economic historian David Landes explained the importance of accurate timekeeping. China missed navigational opportunities because they did not develop the precise clocks needed for latitude and…

A Smaller Safety Net?

In France, a 24 hour workers’ strike brought retirement rights back to the headlines. Saying that a 60 year old retirement age was no longer affordable, French President Sarkozy has proposed moving it up to 62. French workers disagree. In…

Bendy Buses and Health Care

Have you heard of a bendy bus? The bendy bus was supposed to solve Santiago, Chile’s public transit problems. But the story relates to each of us. It all began during 2007 when Santiago decided to replace its private bus…

Female Earning Power

Which women earn more than men? If you are female, in your 20s, childless, unmarrried, live in a city, and a college graduate, there is a good chance that you earn more than a man in your peer group. You…

The Locavore Challenge

Being a locavore is not always easy but it can feel very good. Those of us who are locavores believe that we are helping the planet by saving on transport costs and emissions, patronizing small businesses rather than distant impersonal…