Episode #219: Free-rider Friday - November 2018


Ron’s Topics

Pinot or pot?, The Economist, October 13, 2018

Winemakers worry that people’s “intoxication budgets” could be diverted to pot—they are substitutes, not complements.

Wineries complain they can’t afford seasonal labor to harvest grapes—cannabis farms pay more

Sonoma County imposed restrictions on who may grow weed, and where

Legalization will encourage more women, baby boomers and high earners—the demographic that buys a lot of wine—to smoke weed.

Legalization and medical marijuana are associated with a 15% drop in alcohol consumption (72% Americans think weed is safer).

Polish airline asks passengers to chip in for plane’s repairs before takeoff,” news.com.au, November 22, 2018

Seen and not seen. What incentives are being created here?

A Selection from the trolley,” The Economist, October 27, 2018

From a paper published in Nature, MITs “Moral Machine” website asks the general public and gathered nearly 40 million decisions from 233 countries, territories, or statelets. Ed and his family were among those who participated.

Strongest preferences:

  • Saving human over animal lives

  • Save many rather than a few

  • Prioritizing children over the old

Weakest preferences:

  • Saving women over men

  • Pedestrians over passengers in cars

  •  Taking action rather than doing nothing

  •  Criminals subhuman, below dogs, but above cats!

Differences by countries: Western, Eastern, Southern. Autonomous cars may need to download new moralities when cross national borders.

So far, Germany only country to propose ethical rules, one that discrimination by age should be forbidden.

All sort of choices will affect who lives and dies, e.g., staying relative close to cycle lane. Repeat that over hundreds of millions of trips, and you’re going to see a skew in the accident statistics.

For our show on ethics, and the trolley thought experiment, see Episode #7: Everyday Ethics: Doing Well and Doing Good.

General Motors Restructures,” National Review, The Editors, November 28, 2018, and “The Bailouts at Ten: I Told You So,” National Review, Kevin Williamson, November 28, 2018, and “A hard bargain,” The Economist, November 3, 2018

See Ron’s review of Car Guys vs. the Bean Counters.

Ed’s Topics

D.C. Agency Is Sorry Its Staff Didn't Know New Mexico Is a State

Reason story on a mistake at a Washington, DC agency denying marriage license for New Mexico resident, asking for a New Mexican passport.

Here's how climate change will impact your part of the country - CNN

refuted by Warren Meyer in

Knowledge and Certainty "Laundering" Via Computer Models

Our show with Warren Meyer

Another Economics Joke - David Friedman’s Idea Blog

Our show with David Friedman

The Importance of Local Knowledge

Don Boudreaux’s friend, Frayda Levin, recently sent the following excellent letter to the New York Times. Our show with Donald Boudreaux.


Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.