The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

F. A . Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

One question to … the Deutsche Bahn: Why do I have to take long distances (and pay for) to board your trains on the right place?

Dear Deutsche Bahn, about 2.000.000 passengers take the Deutsche Bahn every year. Many of them use the reservation system (4,50 Euro each reservation). But where to board at the platform? Because with the reservation you certainly get the information of the waggon number and seat number, but the missing information is, where your waggon stops at the platform. So arriving at…


Splitting divides: The misguided debate about a taxation issue

51 percent of people in Germany are women, but just 17 percent of supervisory boards and 6 percent of executive boards are female. Women in executive positions remain rare in Germany which regularly leads to a debate (at the moment among the Green Party members) about abolishing the splitting income taxation between couples (“Ehegattensplitting”), where the tax is calculated by dividing the income equally…


Johannes Eber

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 18.17.5643 years after it was published for the first time, and 25 years after the last update there is a third edition of David D. Friedman’s classic 1971 work of libertarianism called “The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism“. When I’ve read this book in the late 1990s it really inspired me. One must not share all his points of his views but his in parts radical views lead to new perceptions. I guess, I will read it again, especially the Kindle-Edition is just for 2,49 Euro. I have certainly already bought it.

“There are more good cars in the ghetto than good schools.”

David D. Friedman in “The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism” about the popular myth about capitalism oppressing the poor, but the poor – as Friedman says – are worse off in those things provided by government


Johannes Eber

Why do you tip a doorman, but not the man behind the corner? – “Should Tipping Be Banned?”: I am just listening to one of the most popular podcasts of @Freakonomics – very worth listening:  And, guess what: Good looking, blond, slender and big-breasted women in their 30s get the highest tips.

“Perhaps it costs a lot of money to look this plain.”

Roger Cohen about Angela Merkel


Johannes Eber

What liberalism means:

  • acceptance of conflict,
  • resistance to power,
  • belief in progress and
  • civic respect,

says Edmund Fawcett in his book “Liberalism: The Life of an Ideamentioned by Clive Crook, Bloomberg View columnist. According to Crook this book is very worth reading. I have already sent a sample text (via Amazon) to my iPad. I am excited.


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Johannes Eber

How many people who are in work use performance-enhancing drugs in Germany? 2 percent, says the statutory health insurance DAK in a report from 2009 (.pdf), but according to the business newspaper Handelsblatt the broadest study to that topic. The study is mentioned in a long article, published today, about drugs consumed in executive floors in Germany. The reason for this article is Michael Hartmann, Member of German Parliament (Bundestag) and former spokesperson for the SPD parliament party, who admitted that he had consumed the hard drug Crystal Meth.


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Johannes Eber

Why are all pilots male? … I am wondering, being at the Charles de Gaulle-Airport in Paris (end of vacation) waiting for take off to Berlin.

  • Obviously this is a problem, and still unsolved, CNN tells me. “Getting more women involved in all aspects of aviation is a nut that everyone in the industry would like to crack but that no one, to date, has”, said Chris Dancy, a spokesman for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to CNN.
  • Of course, not ALL pilots are male, “just” 95%.
  • An answer by Angela Masson, a retired American Airlines captain: “It shouldn’t be very surprising that women don’t flock to a stressful male-dominated job that requires lots of expensive and continuous training, takes them away from home for large chunks of time and makes it difficult to raise a family.”


Tagesspiegel Post zu James Foley

Economy of attention: How the German mass media handles the death of James Foley

Terrorists are familiar with the economy of attention. They know how to draw attention, as the video of the execution of the US-reporter James Foley shows. I don’t know what the self-proclaimed ISIS movement want to achieve with the world wide attention, but I am pretty sure that the world wide attention was one of their goals. Terrorists are aware of that…


Why we like supermarkets supporting our long-term needs (and therefore a ban of sweets from the checkout rises revenues)

People continuously have to evaluate between short-term and long-term benefit. Do I go shopping or save my money buying a new car next year? Shall I smoke another cigarette or do I want to live longer? Often the satisfaction of short-term needs gets the upper hand (it is in our nature). The same is with hunger. Provided an opportunity, we…

The most fundamental constraint is limited time.

Gary‬ ‪Becker‬

Writing postcards on vacation

Why do we still write postcards?

Why do we still write postcards (especially when we are on vacation), admittedly less than in the past but still? On our vacation here in France we bought 10 postcards yesterday and they are about to be written (photo above). Even people who are on Facebook (and can track everything I do), like my mum, get one. I guess, it’s…


Randomized travelling

A funny and interesting way to explore new (vacation) areas is to sketch a route on a map without any intention (in my case by my four year old son) – and get going. The advantage (especially at hotspots for tourism): Because of the commitment to the route you avoid herd behaviour (which ends up in restaurants, ovecrowded with ecxessive…


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