George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan is probably my favorite iconoclast. He has written three books: his first, The Myth of the Rational Voter, took aim as the efficiency and desirability of democracy. He argues that people are rationally irrational: we hold epistemically irrational beliefs because it is costly to change them.
His second book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, takes aim at over-the-top high-pressure parenting. He compares a kid to a soda bottle. We can shape it and mold it by applying pressure, but it pops back into shape. Most things like ability and such are genetic, so high-pressure parenting expends a lot of resources for little benefit. His parenting advice: relax and enjoy it.
|Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford Universitys Brock School of Business.|