Flying Saucers, Failed Sock Empires, and Stadium Subsidies

Weekend Reads: January 18, 2019

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Drones Are the New Flying Saucers

Faine Greenwood | Slate | Tweeted by Jennifer Huddleston-Skees

For years, when something unexpected was seen in the sky, people claimed it was a flying saucer. Now with fears of spying, travel obstruction, or worse, people increasingly claim these unidentified objects are drones.

A Failure to Adjust

Scott Lincicome | The Bulwark | Retweeted by David Beckworth

Politicians, thought leaders, and commentators blame China for many of the United States’ problems, but they are overlooking the benefits that could be gained by increased trade with the country.

Giant Leaf for Mankind? China Germinates First Seed on Moon

Hannah Devlin | The Guardian | Shared by Tyler Cowen

In the first biological growth experiment on the moon, Chinese scientists have started growing a cotton plant on a lunar lander. This could be the key to future long-term missions and settlements in space.

India’s a Land of Cities, Not Villages

Reuben Abraham and Pritika Hingorani | Bloomberg Opinion | Retweeted by Alex Tabarrok

Politicians in India pander to farmers and rural areas. However, India is much more urban than politicians know or acknowledge, leading to a misallocation of resources.

AirSpaceX's Autonomous, Electric Air Taxi Lands in Detroit

David Szondy | New Atlas | Retweeted by Brent Skorup

In an effort to cut commute times, carbon emissions, and fuel costs, AirSpaceX unveiled a prototype of Mobi-One, an autonomous, tilt-wing aircraft designed to carry passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour.

How Capitalism Brought Tourism to the Masses

Marian L. Tupy | Foundation for Economic Education | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

From the introduction of the steamship to pressurized airplanes, capitalism has significantly improved and lowered the cost of travel over the past 200 years, opening up the world to more people than ever before.

A Stadium Subsidy by Any Other Name Is Still a Stadium Subsidy

Payton Chung | Greater Greater Washington | Retweeted by Salim Furth

Although state and local governments aren’t directly paying for new stadiums with subsidies, they are offering discounted or free infrastructure to and around them.

The Sock Empire That Wasn’t

Colin Wilhelm | The Washington Post Magazine | Retweeted by Brian Knight

In an effort to make non-slip socks for athletes, James Cherneski started a company called Trusox. In terms of professional use, the company is a success. In terms of stability, it’s anything but.

Chicago’s Lesser-Known Free Marketeer

David R. Henderson | The Wall Street Journal | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

Harold Demsetz, who died on January 4, contributed to the economic theory behind property rights, monopolistic efficiency, and the fallacy of perfect government intervention.