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Online sites offer economic debates

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:18 p.m
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Revved up by all the economic talk surrounding the State of the Union address and craving more? Two online debates have plenty of wonk talk.

Cato Unbound, a Journal of Debate, has an ongoing debate over the issues raised by the book, “Freeing the Capture Economy.” In general, the debaters agree that limiting government oversight will help the economy but disagree over how much it should be limited.

The site is focused on developing debates that avoid “obsession with the trivial and ephemeral.”

“Each month, Cato Unbound will present an essay on a big-picture topic by an important thinker,” the site says. “The ideas in that essay will then be tested by the comments and criticism of equally eminent thinkers, each of whom will respond to the month’s lead essay and then to one another.”

Ilya Somin, a law professor and one of the contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy, is one of the participants and highlighted the debate in his latest post.

A slightly different conversation is taking place at ProMarket , a blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago. Its focus is on the “subversion of competition by special interests.”

Through “regulatory capture,” special interests get regulations that benefit them instead of the public, the site says. The blog’s goal is to educate the public about how special interest subvert competition.

“We will try to do it with the rigor of the best academic work, but without the pedantry that often accompanies it,” the site says.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, bbowling@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribBrian.

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