The Folly of Desperation as Mitigating Factor

23 July, 2009

GunConventional wisdom tells us that criminals who perpetrate their crime out of desperation should be shown mercy. The crime is more excusable. You can almost imagine yourself doing the same if your back was against the wall.

But the reality is that if crimes committed out of financial desperation were punished more harshly, the threat of crime would be diminished.

Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t Call Me

7 July, 2009

PhoneIn the U.S., consumers are charged for both sending and receiving calls. In Ireland, they are only charged for making mobile calls. What might explain this difference?

There are considerably fewer mobile phones per capita in the U.S. as opposed to Europe. There is also greater income inequality. These may be the proximate causes, or the former could just be an effect of the pricing mechanism.

Read the rest of this entry »


Neo-Fatism

29 April, 2009

It’s unclear whether the proposed ‘Fat Tax’ from Ryanair could ever be properly realised. It could be explained away as a publicity stunt by the notorious airline. More likely, it will not gain ground as the practical costs and difficulty of instituting such a levy become clearer. However, most consumers would benefit from such a move.

Read the rest of this entry »