Foreign Influence in Egypt’s Revolution

The Arab Spring brought some immense changes to the Middle East – and Egypt’s revolution, occurring in perhaps the most influential country in the region, was singularly important in bringing about some deep shifts in the influences that shape the region. This paper examines how different countries in the region attempted to take advantage of…

Choose Ideas, Not Sides

What frustrates me most when debating politics is not people’s opinions, even though I almost always disagree with most of them. Opinions can be infuriating, but when they’ve been well thought out and are supported by at least some evidence they can be respected. What makes debates much less interesting and significantly more discouraging is…

Private Solutions to Poverty

This article is part of a series. I strongly recommend you first read part 1 and part 2 as they are meant to be read together. So far I’ve relied heavily on logical arguments to make my case. I was inspired by Michael Huemer’s approach of using most people’s intuitive moral values to draw logical conclusions, rather than starting with…

Democracy and Secession

This article is part of a series. I strongly recommend you also read part 1 and part 3 as they are meant to be read together. I want to make it clear that from this point forward I’m not making any judgments. By now you’ve probably understood what I think of most government programs, but…

Double Standards

This article is part of a series. I strongly recommend you read part 2 and part 3 afterwards as they are meant to be read together. Like most people, I always intuitively understood that violence was wrong, and should only be used in extreme circumstances. Like most educated people, I also used to be very…

Venezuela: Lessons in Economics

An article in the Guardian on Venezuela wondered how a country rich in natural resources and that exported 93 billion dollars worth of petroleum can be experiencing such severe shortages in basic products. The question is very simple, and it is startling that the author of the article doesn’t manage to answer it, because really it’s just…

Juries and Group Identity

Traditionally, economics has focused on the decisions and behavior of individuals who are assumed to be acting out of rational self-interest. Recent literature in experimental economics, however, suggests that to understand individual decisions one must also consider social identity – and how an individual perceives him or her self as part of a larger group.…