Cereal brand to reimburse consumers who paid inflated prices during COVID shortage

For those with pandemic pangs for the sweet crunch of Grape Nuts, take heart. The Great Grape-Nuts Shortage of 2021 is officially over. After months of being out of stock, the cereal is shipping at full capacity to stores nationwide, parent company Post Consumer Brands told USA TODAY exclusively. And if you paid wildly inflated prices on the […]

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Nominal Taiwanese salmon arbitrage

Have your fun while you can: A Taiwanese official has pleaded with people to stop changing their name to “salmon” after dozens made the unusual move to take advantage of a restaurant promotion. In a phenomenon that has been labelled “salmon chaos” by local media, about 150 mostly young people visited government offices in recent […]

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“You have to order all at once”

I’ve now been to two different Miami restaurants that have told me the same thing.  They will take your food order only once, and you cannot decide later that you would like additional items, though you can ask for more water (and presumably other drinks?). Perhaps this is part of a desire to economize on […]

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Canadian expense arbitrage markets in everything

Good Fortune Burger of Toronto has named its menu items after office supplies so that customers can include them on expense reports: Fortune Burger: Basic Steel Stapler Diamond Chicken Burger: Mini Dry Erase Whiteboard Double Your Fortune Burger: Ergonomic Aluminum Laptop Stand Emerald Veggie Burger: Wired Earphones With Mic Parmesan Fries: CPU Wireless Mouse Ginger Beer: […]

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Which small changes in pandemic habits will stick?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: I for one will miss the Saturday evening Zoom meeting. Since the pandemic started, I have found it easy to schedule calls at 5:30 or 6:30, even when more than one person is involved. Everyone just says yes. Why not? You’re not […]

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Personnel economics working in the supermarket

Yesterday I outlined my supermarket job from ages 16-18 in suburban New Jersey.  I did know plenty of economics at that time, including Adam Smith and Paul Heyne and most of classical economics, and here are some of the observations I made.  Please note this is all n = 1 or n = 2, these […]

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My history of manual labor

Here is another request: What is the hardest manual labor you’ve ever done? I love intellectual policy wonk commentary, but I can’t help but feel some small amount of disdain for people who SEEM (a possibly faulty assumption) to have never really suffered trying to solve problems in the physical realm. There’s so much abstract […]

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*Resetting the Table*

The author is Robert Paarlberg and the subtitle is Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat.  This book is a refreshing change of pace from most of the other food books, which tend to be illiterate on the economic side.  Here is one excerpt: Modern farming protects the environment not only by using […]

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What I’ve been reading

1. Jan Golinski, Science as Public Culture: Chemistry and Enlightenment in Britain, 1760-1820.  One of the best books on the history of Enlightenment science, in addition to the core material it focuses on how the leading researchers went about creating public audiences for their investigations and for the scientific questions that interested them.  Indirectly, it […]

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Vaccines Are Not Like Emergency Rations!

According to the Guardian the First Minister of Wales explained their policy of doling out the Pfizer vaccine evenly over the next six weeks: the Pfizer vaccine has to last us until into the first week of February. …We won’t get another delivery of the Pfizer vaccine until the very end of January or maybe […]

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