As technology progresses with information becoming richer and more accessible, it is easier and easier to do targeted policy. Governments, especially those with conservative economic leanings compromising with democratic pressures, love targeting because in theory, it is cheaper and it avoids wastage. In fact, going back to basic microeconomics, it might even eliminate deadweight loss. […]

Amid the political wrangling on Bersih and its aftermath, a son of two expatriates living in Kuala Lumpur was kidnapped. The kidnapping of Nayati became a minor sensation. Twitter was abuzzed with it. Posters were put up across the city and flyers handed out. Just outside of my office in Damansara Heights, just by the […]

It is easy to dismiss any grand statement made by PKR nowadays. This is not at all unreasonble, unfortunately. PKR has a reputation of boasting to either boost its members’ morale or to attain higher ground while negotiating with other parties, allies or foes alike. Its claim that there would be a change of federal […]

When I first read Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class, I found the idea of conspicuous consumption a bit ridiculous. In the book, he argued that individuals consume for the purpose of signalling his wealth. Wealth as a signal evolved from prehistoric social structure. During barbarian times, what Veblen called successful exploits — primarily […]