The Department Picnic is an annual ritual at Lawrence, but one where we in the Economics Department haven’t quite mastered. This is partly because many of the faculty are relatively new, and partly because we just aren’t that into rituals.
That said, we will be communing as a Department this Wednesday, May 30, from 4:30 to 6:00 on and around the Hiett first floor patio (Location subject to change).
If you plan to attend, please indicate your intention here.
Your affirmation on the Doodle poll will allow us to procure appropriate levels of pizza and SuperChill® (the empirically validated cola choice of the Economics Department), and will also help us to ration in the event that supplies run short.
A message from our resident fluvial geomorphologist,Jeff Clark:
I know a number of you are interested in renewable energy and solar power in particular. Heck we even have our own array. Why not come and learn more about large scale solar power from an industry insider?
Why not, indeed?
Mark Culpepper, Chief Technology Officer, SunEdison will be on campus Thursday to give us “An Insider’s View of the Solar Power Industry.” You can find us at 4:30 over in Thomas Steitz Science Hall 202.
Mr. Culpepper has a background is telecommunications and IT security, and is working on distributed generation issues for SunEdison.
As you have undoubtedly heard, the Economics Department Picnic will be Tuesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. on the Hiett Patio. I’m new here, so I don’t know where that is, but this can be a Hayekian moment for you. As the saying goes, don’t wait until the last minute, unless the marginal benefits of doing so exceed the marginal costs.
I’m told from a reliable source — student representative to the Econ Social Committee, Suzie Kraemer — that there will be pizza.
Standup economist Yoram Bauman was on campus all day, talking in two classes, brunching with interested students, and finally knocking us dead with his material from convex hulls (don’t ask if you aren’t a math-econ major), exotic grains (I always suspected quinoa was funny; now I’m convinced) and the American political spectrum. Bauman delivered what was certainly the funniest Povolny Lecture in the history of the series.
His primary work and his primary message has to do with climate change and the price of carbon. Bauman argues that a carbon tax of about $30 per ton would serve the dual purpose of reducing carbon use and generating revenue that could offset the reliance on distortionary taxes (e.g., sales and income taxes). His message is that this lunch isn’t free, the tax would translate into about $0.30/gallon on gasoline and $0.03/kWh on coal-generated electricity. And here’s the key to the message — these price increases are necessary in order to reduce the quantity demanded for fossil fuels in rich western countries. So, in that spirit, the idea of a cap and “tax” is perfectly consistent with the basic economics lesson: if you want to use the market to get people to buy less, then the so-called market signal is the higher price.
On behalf of the economics faculty and students, I’d like to thank Yoram for a great day and wish him the best in his careers.
One-time Presidential spoiler (just don’t tell him that) and always consumer-rights advocate (though economists might sometimes disagree) Ralph Nader will visit campus Sunday to deliver “The Great Conversion: Environmentalism over Corporatism.” The show is in the Chapel at 7:30, and Mr. Nader will be around to talk and sign books before and after his talk.
Love him or hate him, Mr. Nader is certainly one of the more important figures of the last 50 years. Indeed, it would be hard to talk about the rise of safety and environmental policy without at least a hat-tip to Nader’s important role. The title of the talk suggests that he believes Americans actually buy into the message of environmentalism (however defined) over the types of results we’ve seen from corporatism (also, however defined). That’s a pretty provocative statement, and certainly Mr. Nader had no small role in fomenting these attitudinal changes. So, I encourage you to get over there and listen to what the man has to say.
The esteemed economics faculty is planning to crash the mighty Vikings men’s hockey game Saturday evening. My bet is that the professors will spring for cocoa if you tell them you have a “liquidity constraint.”