- We all love the dali lama ... but what would the political economy look like if he was actually in charge of Tibet. The dali is essentially a theological dictator, and while i understand hes reportedly a fairly compassionate guy do you really think you would want a religious leader of a strong monastic sect, with all that it entails in charge of government. How do you deal with a political leadership that sees the ultimate utility of a country as its devotion to a rigid religion and the realization of some form of spiritual enlightenment. Whatever fiscal or monetary policy these guys produced would have to be a complete farce. how would vested interests compete for policy outcomes. Do you really want a guy who believes in self denial and asceticism in charge of your essential infrastructure program. Very interesting public choice question.
- Queuing behavior when boarding and alighting from airplanes. Lets start with boarding. I'm always in awe of how they manage to get people to queue in the first place let alone stand in the queue for 10 minutes while they fumble with the boarding passes. It's not as if getting in line early and standing there is going to get you to your destination any faster, it won't even get you a better seat (as these are already assigned). And then there's the question of why every one jumps up as soon as the plane lands. Why? There doesn't appear to be any benefit from doing so. Planes empty row by row so you don't get off any faster, at best maybe you can push in front of one of the guys from the row in front of you, but again what's the point, you all end up at the baggage carousel where you have to wait 20 minutes for the bags to come out, by which time you've lost any advantage from your pushing to get off the plan. Chillax (as my 7 year old would say!)
- Why is popular media, particularly TV and the big screen, such a big bunch of lefties. Liberal media commentators are far and few between and liberal orientated movies are far and few between. I find this very perplexing especially when you consider that Hollywood would have to be one of the most merit based market sectors there is, why are businessmen always portrayed as greedy, and private companies as always corrupt. Why didn't Hollywood go the other way? What role does economics and incentives have and why isn't economics portrayed accurately.
- In a similar vein, I would like to know how rock stars reconcile the obvious tension between their anti-capitalist herding behavior and the fact that they themselves are the robber barons of the modern capitalist system?I love spearhead, but i often wonder why if micheal franti was so sincere he hasn't released the intellectual property associated with all their music into the public domain ... why are those that scream so loudly about social ownership the first to protect their own property. Should they lead by example? In another related question ... why does the left produce all the good music? why is it classical liberals have to make do with Country and Western.
- How come people are slow to realize the opportunity cost in their houses? By this I mean when you look at Sydney and Melbourne - two cities with the most unaffordable housing in the developed world ... how come there are still inner city suburbs like Footscray, where houses are worth 500 000 to 600 000 smacks and yet there are still heaps of bogans living in these expensive dilapidated shacks with their commodores parked dutifully on the footpath. Why haven't they realized the opportunity cost associated with their little shit heaps and buggered off? 500 000 buys a lot of cold chisel CDs.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010