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Commentary on an extended piece by an outsider.

Drill, Barry! Drill!

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Demand elasticity is one of the more important and poorly understood and appreciated concepts in economics (along with marginal utility, moral hazard and the law of diminishing returns). Demand for a commodity is termed elastic when a modest rise in the price of the commodity significantly reduces demand. It's termed inelastic when only a very large rise in price results in a significant reduction in demand. When a part of the family budget is squeezed by a rise in the price of what we think of as a necessity, other parts of the budget (consisting of things for which demand is more elastic) suffer.

The same analysis applies to the economy as a whole. When prices increase on a commodity which enjoys inelastic demand, like fossil fuels (oil, coal or natural gas) and the cost of derivative energy (like electricity and heat) spikes, other parts of the economy stall and stagnate. It's essential to understand these relationships to make intelligent policy decisions at the national level. These considerations are not, of course, the whole story. They are, however, ignored at our peril. See, for example, "Just Drill, Barry."

Re: "You didn't build that!"

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Zac Alstin's analysis of interrelationship is pretty good, but he doesn't take the analysis of government nearly far enough. See "Debunking the myth of the self-made man."

A reflection on the transcendent nature of man and the peril of the reductionist view

From Augusto Pessina, Department of Biomedical Surgical, Dental Sciences. University of Milan comes a serious reflection on the transcendent nature of the human person and the reductionist view of post-modern science and philosophy. See "By his nature man is related to the infinite."

Why a college degree doesn't mean what it used to...

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People who are concerned about the slow decay of a college education should read this essay... "The Purpose of Mathematics in a Classical Education."

Archbishop Chaput on evangelizing "mission territory"

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Archbishop Chaput definitely gets it! (See "Building a Culture of Religious Freedom.")

"America is now mission territory. Our own failures helped to make it that way. We need to admit that. Then we need to re-engage the work of discipleship to change it." and as he points out elsewhere in his talk, we need to begin with ourselves.

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