Things tagged tyler cowen:

How important is economic growth?

Scott Sumner with a bit of wisdom in a review of Tyler Cowen’s Stubborn Attachments:

Unfortunately, when discussing redistribution, our society tends to focus on income, which is the wrong variable.  Yes, the rich might invest an extra dollar in income, thereby helping future generations.  But that’s not relevant to the real issue, which is consumption redistribution.  One commenter suggested that it might be better if I invested $10,000 rather than donate the money to a family in Ethiopia.  But that’s dodging the real question—don’t I have an ethical obligation to donate $10,000 of my current consumption? The rich should never feel any guilt about investing money rather than giving it to charity.  Where they perhaps should feel a bit of guilt is in spending $500 million on consumption, rather than donating a significant share of those funds to the poor.

Why don't cities grow without limit?

Tyler at MR:

Paul Krugman has a good blog post on that topic, here is one of his points:

…once upon a time dispersed agriculture ensured that small cities serving rural hinterlands would survive. But for generations we have lived in an economy in which smaller cities have nothing going for them except historical luck, which eventually tends to run out.

Krugman suggests that eventually many smaller cities will indeed fade away, although the process of equilibration may be a long and slow one.  All of his points are well-founded, nonetheless I can see a few factors favoring the continuing existence of small cities on a greater scale than many might be expecting:

I agree with both. Competitive growth oriented businesses will locate in large cities, but cost of living and welfare can be more efficiently had in smaller. I see some balance. Also, foot voting wants choices and differentiation …

What it would take to change my mind on net neutrality

Tyler Cowen at MR:

Keep in mind, I’ve favored net neutrality for most of my history as a blogger. You really could change my mind back to that stance. Here is what you should do.

Ben Sasse on the Space between Nebraska and Neverland

Tyler interviews Ben Sasse:

I do think that one of the things we misunderstand about our politics — maybe I’ve two things that I think we misunderstand about our politics.

One, most of our political problems are downstream from culture, and we keep acting like we’ll be able to fix our politics with politics, and I don’t really think we can because our politics are a mess because we don’t understand where we are in economic history: this transition from industrialization to whatever the digital economy looks like, and therefore shorter and shorter average duration of jobs, and therefore a transition from villages and urban ethnic neighborhoods where there was known, dense social networks to this new thing.

We’ll produce new forms of social capital, but it might take half a century or a century, and it’s going to be really painful and disruptive as we go through this time.