Seeking Truth in Social Bubbles, Nuanced Issues, and Ancient Drinks

Weekend Reads: September 21, 2018

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Is This the Most Magical Meal on Earth?

Carlye Wisel | Eater | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida takes luxury dining to a new level—for a mere $15,000. Enjoy the most magical meal on Earth for yourself as theme park journalist Carlye Wisel describes the experience from start to finish.

The Problem with All Those Liberal Professors

Cass Sunstein | Bloomberg | Tweeted by James Broughel

Does it really matter if there are as many 120 liberal professors for every conservative professor at some colleges? Yes, says Cass Sunstein. Such “information cocoons” hurt both students’ and faculty’s ability to learn.

The NFL’s Very Profitable Existential Crisis

Ira Boudway and Eben Novy-Williams | Bloomberg | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Despite an apparent decrease in viewership and favorability, the NFL remains incredibly profitable. Why is this? What strategies are in place to keep the games and the business relevant?

A Twist in the US Tariff Battle: ‘It’s Helping China Be More Competitive’

Liza Lin and Dan Strumpf | The Wall Street Journal | Retweeted by Veronique de Rugy

US tariffs levied against China appear to be backfiring in a significant way. According to Liza Lin and Dan Strumpf of The Wall Street Journal, the current tariffs could increase China’s long-term competitiveness by shifting their market towards producing high-end goods.

My Favorite Beverage is a 2,000-Year-Old Energy Drink from Ancient Rome

Gwynn Guilford | Quartzy | Shared by Andrea O’Sullivan

How did a blend of vinegar and spices give ancient Roman soldiers a boost when their strength was failing? Get the recipe and learn more about the origins of posca, the “ancient Gatorade” of Romans.

US Aid Program Vowed to Help 75,000 Afghan Women. Watchdog Says It’s a Flop.

Rod Norland | The New York Times | Retweeted by Christopher Coyne

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction found that a program designed to help women get jobs hasn’t accomplished its goals three years later. Why is the project failing? How does this case relate to similar projects to help rebuild the country?

Life in the Spanish City that Banned Cars

Stephen Burgen | The Guardian | Shared by Andrea O’Sullivan

What would it be like to live in a city without cars? How would it be different to wander empty streets without vehicles? Stephen Burgen profiles the Spanish city of Pontevedra in a piece for The Guardian.

Eight Decades of Ethnic Dilemmas

Jason Willick | The Wall Street Journal | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

Jason Willick profiles famous sociologist Nathan Glazer in The Wall Street Journal, where he discusses Glazer’s views on desegregation, affirmative action and its legacy, and the history of discrimination in the United States.

Venezuela Raises Minimum Wage 3,000% and Lots of Workers Get Fired

Fabiola Zerpa | Bloomberg | Tweeted by Abigail Hall Blanco

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raised the minimum wage for workers to about $20 per month at the black-market rate. According to Fabiola Zerpa at Bloomberg, this policy is having perverse effects on companies and an already-collapsing economy.

A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon

The Editors | Vulture | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Vulture pulled together a panel of modern literary critics to decide what books meet the top 100 most important books mark so far in the 21st Century. Some picks will be familiar to the common reader while others may seem obscure.

Three Undeniable Problems with Anti-Gouging Laws

Michael Munger | American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) | Tweeted by Veronique de Rugy

Disasters, such as Hurricane Florence that devastated parts of the Southeast, shine a limelight on policies that impact recovery efforts. One such policy regulates prices in emergency situations. Michael Munger examines the costs and benefits of anti-gouging rules and why they may actually hurt disaster preparedness and recovery.