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- Wars fought exclusively on foreign soil do have marginally higher real output growth than peacetime periods, but real growth during all other wars is sharply below peacetime levels. Evidence for foreign and domestic wars is consistent with monetarist, fiscalist, and mixed theories of wartime booms.
- In a modern democracy, not only can a libertarian be elitist; a libertarian has to be elitist. To be a libertarian in a modern democracy is to say that nearly 300 million Americans are wrong, and a handful of nay-sayers are right.
- Quoted in Elitism or Populism: Pick Your Poison, by Arnold Kling (November 12, 2006)
- Through the lens of the Jock/Nerd Theory of History, the welfare state doesn’t look like a serious effort to "equalize outcomes." It looks more like a serious effort to block the "revenge of the nerds"—to keep them from using their financial success to unseat the jocks on every dimension of social status.
- Redistribution: Blocking the Revenge of the Nerds? (June 21, 2007)
The Case against Education (2018)
- Personally, then I have no reason to lash out at the education system. Quite the contrary. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, convince me that our education system is big waste of time and money. Almost every politician vows to spend more on education. As an insider, I can't help gasping, "Why? You want to waste even more?"
- The Case against Education. p. 1.
- Magic isn't real. There has to be a logical reason explanation for the effect of Ivory Tower achievement on Real World success. And here it is: despite the chasm between what students learn and what workers do, academic success is a strong signal of worker productivity. The labor market doesn't pay you for the useless subjects you master; it pays for preexisting traits you reveal by mastering them.
- The Case against Education. p. 13.
- Statistical discrimination may be unfair and ugly, but it's hardly weird or implausible. Why is it any more weird or implausible to claim employers statistically discriminate on the basis of educational credentials?
- The Case against Education. p. 15.
- Intellectual Autobiography of Bryan Caplan at econfaculty.gmu.edu