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Free Market Economics: Problems and Solutions

Free Market Economics: Problems and Solutions
Rick Olson
September 13, 2018, revised June 29, 2019
The private enterprise/free market/capitalism model of economies has been highly successful. Not only is it perceived to be optimal in theory, but the performance of the U.S. and European countries vs. USSR and Communist China (before some loosening up) should be convincing. The surge in China began with some relaxing of private ownership/incentives in agriculture and allowing locally owned enterprises to flourish.

Even President Obama has said, ". . . it is important to remember that capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever known." "The Way Ahead", October 8, 2016,  https://www.economist.com/briefing/2016/10/08/the-way-ahead
Free market economic theory, also known as capitalism is based on a set of assumptions: i.e.: ·capital assets are owned ·prices are the signals that allocate resources among uses ·exchanges are voluntar…

A Tanzania African Safari - Up Close and Personal

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My 10 day biking safari tour in Tanzania
Immediately after my climbs of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, I dove into another adventure. Go here for that story.

The plan was to bike for 5 days to get to the vehicular safari, be in the Toyota Land Cruiser for 3 days in the Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, and then bike out the last two days.

The afternoon we returned from Mt. Kilimanjaro, I was met at the Mvuli Hotel by my cycling guide, Raymond Julius. Our first task was to get me outfitted for the tour, as I had brought nothing for this part of my adventure. At the cycling shop, I bought cycling shorts, arm warmers (for sun protection), cycling gloves, cycling socks, and a tube head warmer (again, for sun protection as well as sweat control). I was able to get quality stuff much cheaper than they would have cost in the USA. We also bought 50 SPF sun blocker at another store - very expensive. I would use my running shoes and borrowed a helmet from Raymond. 

On Wedn…

Thinking About Our Thinking: Is what you believe really true?

Submitted for publication in the Prior Lake American, May 7, 2019:
A whole new field in the study of economics has developed in recent years, that of “behavioral economics”. This involves how our unconscious biases affect our economic decisions and which result in our making choices that are not optimal. For example, most people avoid losses more than they seek gains, even if the losses and gains are equal.
A similar field of study is how cognitive biases affect our political thinking. Cognitive biases are shortcuts in our thinking that are often useful, but which make our judgments irrational and/or lack objectivity. See https://yourbias.is/ for a useful list of 24 such cognitive biases.
Here are the ones that appear to most affect our political thinking.
Because of “confirmation bias” we tend to seek out information that confirms our opinions and ignore or dismiss information that is inconsistent with those beliefs. The algorithms of Facebook and Google tend to accentuate this problem,…