Rewarding Bad Behavior

What makes us do things? This is a simple question with a variety of complex answers. One of those answers is incentives. An incentive is something that motivates a person to do something. Sometimes, unfortunately, the people setting the incentives mess them up and actually wind up incentivizing behavior that is contrary to what they intended. This is called a perverse incentive.

Looking Back on Obama

With Donald Trump’s inauguration behind us, and what promises to be a controversial presidency ahead, we wanted to look back at Barack Obama’s two terms and see Mr. Trump’s starting point. Republicans have sharply criticized the economy’s performance under Obama, while Mr. Obama has claimed himself that Americans are better off at the end of his presidency than they were at the beginning. I do want to remind readers at the outset that Presidents can have a profound impact on the economy, but the effects can take years to manifest and are hard to nail down. What follows is not an evaluation of Obama, but merely a look at what has happened while he was president.

Being More Materialistic

It night not be too much to say that to be human is to be materialistic. Our stuff is deeply tied up with who we are and what we do. We might do well to think higher of what we have and be thankful of the many blessings our things bring. We also need to be more critical of our possessions. Our things should have a purpose and should add to our happiness.