Some interesting comments on crime.

Steven Levitt at Freakonomics began a discussion on the possibilities that nutrition has implications on crime rates. An interesting read but rightly being presented with kit gloves as the implications just seem overwhelmingly counterintuitive.
On a seperate but related issue Doug MacKenzie at takes qualm against Landburg’s proposal to tax security devices which skirt the effects of crime onto third parties rather than promote social value for everyone. I would tend to agree with MacKenzie’s reluctance against Landsburg’s tax proposal, but not necessarily his particular logical arguments. In my mind Landsburg is more unfounded and unecessary than anything. The process that he deems as the spread of externalities is in fact an tendency of the market to lead to more abundant provision of security, a good commonly asserted to suffer from public good sub-optimal provision.

Vincent Ostrom rocks my face off!!!

I recently read Vincent Ostrom’s The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies for Pete’s Constitutional Political Economy Class. He wrote up a comment on the Austrian Economists.
I would like to comment on a feature of Vincent Ostrom’s proposed research design for the investigation into political economy. As it has been explained to me the Ostroms (both Vincent and Elinore) assert that the proper structure of intensive education in political economy is one of artisanship over repetitions and reiteration. Graduate students learn best by doing and should view their degree seeking years more as apprenticeships in which they hone the tools and skills of their craft.

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