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    Christmas gifts and economic logic

    News, Megan McArdle, Published on 26/12/2016

    » Spend much time with economists around this time of year, and you will, eventually, get around to hearing about the dreadful inefficiency of exchanging gifts. You desperately wrack your brains for something, and then buy a supply of scented bath oil for someone who has only got a shower; they return the favour by giving you three books you already had. This is, an economist will solemnly point out, an extreme waste of resources, because each of you would have been happier taking the same amount of cash to buy something for yourself.


    Melania Trump's plagiarism confirms your fears

    News, Megan McArdle, Published on 21/07/2016

    » At first after the convention broke for the night on Monday, everyone on the cable news networks agreed that Melania Trump's speech was good. An hour later everyone was talking about how much her apparent plagiarism from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech would hurt the Trump campaign.


    Trump's nationalism fades as he now winks at Putin

    News, Megan McArdle, Published on 29/07/2016

    » The word of the year 2016 has to be "nationalism". All over the developed world, electorates seem discontented with elites who were too quick to embrace immigration and trade, too unwilling to value native culture, native workers, native interests over those of foreign lands. Donald Trump's campaign has some unique American twists, but when you pull back the camera, he looks like part of a pattern of resurgent nationalism, nativism, a desire to hear a politician stand foursquare for "Us" against "Them".


    How to stop Facebook stalking you

    News, Megan McArdle, Published on 08/10/2015

    » You knew that, right? How else would Facebook know to serve that panda video straight into your newsfeed, and leave your college friend's ill-informed rant about Pacific trade deals in the dark bowels of its servers? How else would it know to serve you with 7,000 ads for wedding dress vendors the very day you announce your engagement? How, my friend, could it deliver that invitation to "like" the Doritos Locos taco when you had only just yourself realised that you were craving terrible Mexican food?

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