FREAK-est Links

  1. Al Gore is sued over sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera. (HT: Romenesko)
  2. Economic reasons to become a vegetarian, graphs included.
  3. The scientists and psychologists of the junk-food business reveal their secrets.
  4. Columbia students can’t resist stealing Nutella. (HT: AL)
  5. How prevalent was famine cannibalism? (HT: JH)
  6. First, traffic mimes in Bogota; now Lucha Libre in Mexico City doing the same.


Related to #2, Alchian and Allen explain how restricting consumption of a good, in their example gas, leads that good to be used by the next marginally productive unit. Therefore, one should not restrict consumption since it will only go to less productive means. At least this is how I read it. Here is the quote from page 32 of the 1982 edition-

“Asking people to restrict consumption more than they are induced to do by the market price is to ask them to reduce their gasoline use so that other people can use the gasoline in lower-valued uses. Such required “conservation” compels diversion to less valuable uses; it is wasteful. It also gives some politicians more power over economizing resources and people.” (emphasis in original)"

Which solution is correct?


I think it's fairly easy to find counter-examples, though. Consider US tobacco consumption: as smoking rates have been reduced, tobacco production has fallen, and is now less than half of what it was in 1975. (Source: ) I expect that the market price (including taxes) was at best a minor factor in reducing smoking rates.

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The Nutella link needs a link to the follow-up story: the massive demand only appeared during the first week that it was available every day. After that, it dropped by an order of magnitude and stabilized there.

Becky D

...or you could just purchase your meat from Whole Foods or the farmer's market where animals are humanely raised.
Overall animal well-fare DOES NOT go up as demand for meat goes down. Why? Because all the cheap-as-you-can-get-it plant-based food involves clear cutting and the destruction of ecosystems. Even organic. Sustainably raised meat and produce is the only truly humane choice.