Farewell Jamaica!

Below are some memories from my visit to my wife’s beloved and beautiful birthplace:

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Street art in Kingston, Jamaica

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Three legends

The sultry and suggestive song “Go Down Deh” features three living legends from Jamaica: dancehall artist Sean Paul; Reggae musician Shaggy; and the Queen of Dancehall, Spice. Enjoy!

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Should Jamaica become a republic?

By way of background, the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to become a republic was Guyana (1970), followed by Trinidad and Tobago (1976), Dominica (1978), and Barbados (2021). Although Jamaica has been an independent country for 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II is still the head of state here. (I am in Jamaica this week.) As an outsider, however, I find this constitutional question to be amusing at best given the Jamaican government’s terrible track record in the areas of crime, garbage collection, and road repair (just ask any Jamaican about these three areas of life). Also, as explained in this informative essay by Derek O’Brien on “Jamaica’s long and winding road to becoming a Republic”, any major change to Jamaica’s constitutional status would require a referendum. But guess what? A constitutional referendum on precisely this question has now been scheduled for the next general election in the year 2025. Is this referendum a “smokescreen” for the government’s inability to fight crime, fix major roads like the A3 (a state of affairs that I can personally attest to), and collect garbage in a timely manner (see here, for example)? What if, instead of becoming a republic, Jamaica joined the United Kingdom as an equal? What if Jamaican were to send an entire delegation to the House of Commons in London, like the Northern Irish, Scots, and Welsh do? At the very least, if you ask me, Jamaica’s 2025 referendum should include that latter option as well …

Caribbean Basin Revisited: CQR
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Is it too late to stop or repeal or rename the Inflation Reduction Act?

Is Tyler Cowen the last remaining intellectually-honest economist in the world? Check out his devastating critique of the new climate and taxes bill. (See also his previous comment, pictured below, about the misnamed bill.) Among other things, the electric vehicle tax credits in this monstrous bill do not apply to any electric vehicle whatsoever, nor will they obviously apply to any electric vehicle to be produced in the near future.

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Average price of a bottle of Heineken beer in Europe

Although I prefer Jamaica’s Red Stripe beer over Heineken, check out the infographic pictured below (hat tip: u/acecruze) or this chart compiled by a website called GlobalProductPrices.com. Does this infographic tend to confirm or disconfirm Adam Smith’s concept of a “natural price”? (Smith defined “natural price” in Book I, Chapter VII of The Wealth of Nations as follows: “When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is sufficient to pay the rent of the land, the wages of the labour, and the profits of the stock employed in raising, preparing, and bringing it to market, according to their natural rates, the commodity is then sold for what may be called its natural price.” See also this essay by economist David Andrews on “Adam Smith’s natural prices, the gravitation metaphor, and the purposes of nature.”)

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Greetings from Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean (fifth largest by population). My family and I are taking an end-of-summer vacation (my teaching duties resume in less than two weeks), visiting family and friends, and celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Island’s independence as well as our daughter’s ninth birthday, both of which fall on the same day: Saturday, August 6.

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The Gowrie conspiracy

According to Wikipedia (links in the original), the Gowrie conspiracy refers to a series of events unfolding on 5 August 1600 that are still shrouded in mystery: “John Ruthven, 3rd Earl of Gowrie … was a Scottish nobleman who died in mysterious circumstances [on 5 August 1600], referred to as the ‘Gowrie Conspiracy’, in which he and his brother Alexander attempted to kill or kidnap King James VI of Scotland for unknown purposes. The king’s retinue killed both brothers during the attack, and the king survived….”

Crazy, right?

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Happy Champagne Day!

I dedicate this post to my wife Sydjia. On this day (August 4) in 1693, Dom Pierre Pérignon is said to have invented the Devil’s wine: champagne. (See here, for example.) Cheers!

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Pop Law

I blogged about my latest legal-philosophical foray into popular culture (the wedding scene in the original Godfather movie) in my previous post. That Godfather post then got me to thinking about my previous “pop culture” papers. In all, ten of my scholarly works have been inspired by popular culture and other forms of mass-market entertainment, including sci-fi, vampire lit, and literary fan art, just to name a few. For your reference, below is a complete listing, in chronological order, of my “pop law” papers:

  1. Time scarcity in Blade Runner: Clones and the Coase Theorem (2011) (with Orlando Martinez-Garcia)
  2. Violence in the vampire lit genre: Buy or Bite? (2013)
  3. The law and economics of two versions of the trolley problem: Trolley Problems (2014)
  4. The law and ethics of the “facemash incident” (The Social Network): Hacking Harvard (2016)
  5. Bargaining and betrayal in Breaking Bad: So Long Suckers (2018)
  6. The law and economics of literary fan art (with examples from The Old Man and the Sea): Of Coase and Copyrights (2019)
  7. “The Little Rock Nine”: Domestic Constitutional Violence (2019)
  8. Animals and online ed: Teaching Tiger King (2021)
  9. Illegal agreements in Better Call Saul: Breaking Bad Promises (2022)
  10. The wedding scene in The Godfather: Coase and the Corleones (2023)
Postmodernism and Popular Culture – Literary Theory and Criticism
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