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Government bloat: societal divide

Government bloat: societal divide

In his writing regarding the ratio of federal employees to federal contractors (1.5 million : 15 million), economic historian and professor Brian Domitrovic argued that the contractor bubble is rooted in a desire to undermine the private sector. His argument is that federal contractors are in reality federal employees under a different name. The root of Domitrovic’s thesis lies in American…

A selfie in Pripyat

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
A selfie in Pripyat

I experienced some social media backlash after posting a selfie from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Beyond the usual problem of annoying comments, this experience raises questions about our current social media use.   Ferris wheel selfies   The iconic ferris wheel in Pripyat, abandoned inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone since the accident in 1986, is a good place to take a selfie.…

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Over the 2010s, a pointless drama played out in the American Supreme Court - twice. A young woman, Abby Fisher, filed a personal injury lawsuit against University of Texas at Austin for not admitting her as an undergraduate. In fairness to Fisher, it turned out that the suit was the concoction of adults in her life who wanted it to become the landmark case that would bring down institutional…

Should we sift through old tweets?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Should we sift through old tweets?

Remember the tweet you thought was hilarious, but that would now land you in hot water? Yeah, you know which one. But should it even get you in trouble?   What is Twitter?   Twitter is by far the most spontaneous of all social media sites. Twitter's timeline is great for reactions, quotes, and gives a lot of visibility for a briefly worded thought. Facebook encourages…

Amancio Ortega or how anti-capitalist bias clouds the judgement of left-wing populists

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Amancio Ortega doesn’t make the headlines very often. Zara’s magnate, a self-made man who rose from being clerk in a clothing store to founding the largest fashion retailer in the world, has always avoided being in the spotlight, which has worked for him thus far. Yet when one is the sixth richest person on earth, it is inevitable to end up in the news once in a while. Ortega was…

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

At the end of April 2019, a 28-year old confidence woman, Anna Sorokin, received a lengthy prison sentence for fraud. The sequence of events was cinematic in terms of the audacity of her swindle, which the courts concluded to be well in excess of $250,000. Using the alias Anna Delvey and claiming to be a German trust-fund baby, over the course of four years she materialized for periods in New…

Cogitations: The Essence of the Self and the Longing for the Other

Cogitations:  The Essence of the Self and the Longing for the Other

The world today is busy. Everyone has a place they must be. Everyone has a pressing engagement they cannot miss. Grownups are overwhelmed at work. Children are overwhelmed at school. There is never enough time and always too much to do. What we forget in the midst of our distractedness, however, is to communicate and forge meaningful relationships. In the century of Twitter and Facebook, words…

What do Europeans think about immigration?

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What do Europeans think about immigration?

According to a recent YouGov poll, 4 out of 10 EU citizens think the benefits of immigration outweigh the costs[1]. Anti-immigration views are stronger in Sweden and Italy, with around 50 percent of respondents claiming that the costs of immigration are substantially higher than the potential benefits. In contrast, only one-third of the Polish population consider that immigrants have a negative…

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

In June 2016, the New York Times published an exposé on Valparaiso University School of Law and their process for recruiting new students. The piece provoked a polemic on the subject of the place of markets and government intervention in education because it revealed that the problematic practices employed by the school were simply standard for a certain level of institution. It was a very…

Global migration numbers refute the rhetoric of invasion

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Global migration numbers refute the rhetoric of invasion

The anti-immigration wave that has emerged over the last years on both sides of the Atlantic has contributed to spreading a number of mantras about the migration phenomenon on a global scale. I myself have tried to debunk some of the myths related to the economic impact of immigrants on host countries, pointing out that most claims are either false or overstated (e.g., here, here, or here).…

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