Author Archives: Heaton

Heaton

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The Economics of Elysium

I love cyborg movies, particularly if they’re in space. But Elysium is the first science fiction film I’ve seen where the economics is less believable than the footage of robots battling to the death. In this episode of EconPop we cover income inequality, the fallacy Zero Sum Game thinking, why Malthus was wrong, and why read more »

Two Minutes Hate

This week Bernie Maxsmith returns to The Independents to relay belligerent mail to the hosts from viewers like you. We tried a couple of new formats, making one of the hate mails a compilation of suggested segment titles from viewers. Favorites include “Welch deep mucker” and “Bipolar Kennedy.” I also brought up the fact that read more »

Boston’s Stupid Government

The first thing you should know about Boston is that its State House, the capital of the entire state of Massachusetts, contains a thing called “the Sacred Cod.” The Sacred Cod is a large fish suspended within its House of Representatives, which is legally or at least traditionally necessary in order for their House to read more »

Boston’s Other History

Boston’s first European inhabitant was a man named William Blaxton, who hated people. Enough to move to Boston. Not that Boston is a bad place—I find it quite charming. But back in 1625 it was just undeveloped swamp. So, after having left England to get away from the English, Blaxton moved to a swamp to read more »

Yankee Porpoises: Welcome to Boston

My father hates Boston, “a city designed by drunken sailors,” but that’s because he once had to drive a car through it. If you hail from a squarish-shaped state like ours, with grid-patterned roads all neatly apportioned, Boston appears to be some kind of M. C. Escher hellscape. However if you like walking and public transportation, read more »

EconPop: Back to School

School is back in session! Time for good ‘ol professor Heaton to don a cap and elbow patches and use the film Back to School, starring Rodney Dangerfield, to explain the value of education in terms of human capital, how signalling works, and then as per usual slather as many jokes over the analysis as is read more »

Two Minutes Hate: The Schadenfreude Episode

In this installment of Two Minutes Hate faux Human Resources director Bernie Maxsmith appears to have surpassed his last appearances new-found confidence and resentment to clearly display a level of schadenfreude commiserate with the multiple times he has now appeared on the program without modifying the hosts’ behavior. It’s a good one, but I think read more »

I Can Now Legally Conduct Marriage Ceremonies

Recently some friends of mine asked me to officiate at their wedding. This means that as they officially launch their joint life together, with children and shared checking and what not, they want me to be the guy who hits the cosmic button and says “I now pronounce you man and wife.” At this point read more »

Two Minutes Hate: Back and Beardless

It’s been a month and a half since Bernie Maxsmith, faux Fox Business human resources director, has ventured from his lair of paperwork to harangue the hosts of The Independents with their viewer hate mail. He returns tonight. This is one of my favorite installments of Two Minutes Hate. The long stretch between appearances allowed read more »

The Economics of The Lego Movie

  If you like Legos and hate communism, you should watch me explain the economics of The Lego Movie. The film itself is fun and hilarious, but also allows us to explore the differences between a command economy (think the Soviet Union or Nazis) against a free market where everyone pursues their own agenda. The read more »

Two Minutes Hate

In this installment of Two Minutes Hate we detect an internal watershed moment in Bernie Maxsmith. Previously our downtrodden faux HR director has reluctantly joined the show (on his own personal time) to try to improve it via viewer mail. His attitude has been one of gross disappoint and stolid resignation to his duties. However read more »

My Bollywood Debut

  Regular readers may recall that some months ago an Indian film company recruited me to play “awkward white professor” in their film, ABCD. This lead, naturally, to being hired for a sitcom pilot called Brown Nation, in which I play a completely different “awkward white doctor.” (I’m fine with the type casting, as one of my read more »

WW2 Veteran Escapes Nursing Home to Visit Normandy for D-Day

Last week a British World War II veteran escaped his nursing home and made it all the way back to Normandy in order to participate in D-Day commemorative festivities. I hereby officially propose that we make June 7th (the day after D-Day) a new annual holiday called “Bernard Jordan Day,” to celebrate how cool this read more »

The Economics of Wall-E

  Wall-E is one of my favorite romantic comedies. I like pretty much any movie which involves robots, but on top of the cute cybernetic characters it’s also a brilliant film. It’s visually stunning, and for some reason Pixar characters can really ham up emotions without irritating me, so that it tugs on the ‘ol read more »

Two Minutes Hate

  Several people have asked, “Do you write the hate mail yourself?” No, all of the hate mail we feature is authentic vitriol from people with generally poor spelling abilities. I curate the hate mail, which is to say, I sift through quite a lot of it and find the stuff which strikes a balance between read more »

“His” and “Her” Tornado Shelters

I hail from Oklahoma, which is Choctaw for “land God sends tornadoes upon in blustery wrath.” This happens every year around May or June, presumably to inflict maximum damage on recently graduated drunken college students. There are even tornado trails, which tend to hit the same places, over and over again.  Moore, Oklahoma, for instance, read more »

Two Minutes Hate

In this installment of Two Minutes Hate, Bernie has stubble brought about by, we are left to infer, long hours at the office due to the antics of the hosts. In fact he reveals that marital instability has lead to him returning to the dating scene. As per usual, he drops an F bomb at read more »

The Economics of Ghostbusters

In my favorite episode of EconPop so far, the green screen experts over at Emergent Order productions manage to insert me into Ghostbusters, one of my all-time favorite films. This might be the closest I ever come to acting alongside Bill Murray. After injecting some funny lines into the 1980′s classic, we move onto the underlying read more »

Two Minutes Hate

This time around on Two Minutes Hate we were pressed for time, compelling me to speed through things as best I could. I’m also working on my introductory “glowering” face. Props to the editors working on The Independents, for their highly apropos double screen, representing Kennedy’s “split personalities” towards the end.   http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3425406465001/2-minutes-of-hate/#sp=show-clips &nbspAndrew Heaton read more »

The Economics of House of Cards

My God I love House of Cards. Washington intrigue, scheming, public choice theory–it’s got everything. My one major criticism of the series is that I think it gives politicians too much credit for competency in general. Very few of them are as evil and conniving as Frank Underwood, but then not many are as effectual, read more »