Words & Numbers


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Insightful weekly commentary on news & current events from economist Antony Davies and political scientist James R. Harrigan.

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Benevolence Backfires: The Cobra Effect

September 4, 2019

Many proposed solutions to society’s problems produce unintended consequences. Some laws passed in good faith, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, have adverse effects on the very people they intend to help. How many laws like this are there? What do people do about them? How do businesses deal with such laws? Join James Harrigan and Antony Davies as they dive into the unforeseeable results of mixing good intentions with public policy and more on this week’s episode of Words & Numbers.

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Quick hits

Being the victim and the perpetrator in the same case

Turning sign language into speech

Foolishness of the week

Mayor de Blasio wants to abolish gifted classes

Harrison Bergeron

Topic of the week: Unintended Consequences

A380 is too quiet

The Cobra Effect

Payday lending

Americans with Disabilities Act

Bernie Sanders’ green electrical grid

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Invisible Hands

Popular YouTube host Kevin Lieber (VSauce2) hosts this informative and entertaining video series designed to introduce key concepts of economics to younger audiences through credible arguments, comedy... And puppets!

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