Good guys, bad guys

1.  Sometimes the market just will not work out.  I keep reminding myself that the marginal person on the “demand schedule for x” is both willing and able to pay for good x at the respective price.  We can try to engineer patent law to encourage investment in research (and production), but if the main market for a drug is a population which is unable to pay, you’re never going to even get close to the socially optimum output.

2.  Saw The Social Network over the weekend.  Cool movie.  I enjoyed (both logically and sadistically) the characterization of Mark Zuckerberg, but it left me wondering: Is Mark the social media analogue of Lloyd Blankfein?  That is, if you make a movie about him, are you obligated to antagonize him?  Here Dr. Mankiw defends the reputation of Harvard undergraduates, who are portrayed, let’s say, negatively in the film.

3.  I was never so motivated to read papers in economics before I signed up for a class in political economy.  Does every discussion of international trade have to have its logical roots in comparative advantage?  Which brings us to everyone’s favorite economist: Paul Krugman. Read the paper which made him famous.

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