The 20th century was without any doubt, the most successful in human history. Under any metrics: economic growth, poverty levels, life expectation, education, etc. The economic and scientific growth was unprecedented. And in despite of two world wars, the world was more peaceful and equalitarian than any time in history.

The reason is simple. It is the century where liberalism triumphed. I am talking about the consensus regarding the relevance of the political freedom presented by Thomas Jefferson and economic freedom and capitalism, as presented by Adam Smith. Their thoughts inspired great philosophers and thinkers during the next hundred years.

The other day I went to Starbucks and I saw a kid (about 22 years old, I am in my 40s) ordering a Caramel Machiato without whip cream. When he received it, it had whip cream. He got upset and made a big deal about it. He started to yell and asked to get a new beverage, not simply to remove the cream from the one he got. The server immediately apologized and proceed to prepare a new beverage for the upset client.

It got me thinking how lucky that kid really is. The biggest problem he is facing is…

I am one of those people who were lucky enough to celebrate his birthday right before all the madness of 2020 occurred with the pandemic. But that will not be the case in 2021.

And the thing is, if last year did not make us think a little bit more about the important things in life and little less of our personal drama, then I do not know what will.

This is what I learned in last year:

  1. There is a good probability to lose some we love. But there is also a good chance to have someone back.
  2. Working…

When humans learned to apply Mathematics, we experienced an economic and scientific growth. We all know the results in medicine, biology, physics and most recently in economics and finance, as well as other social sciences. And we barely discuss their influence in arts, such music, literature, cinema and.. freedom.

Mathematics help us read and understand the Universe; they hide beneath their curves and their forms maintain kingdoms; from small atoms to the creation of galaxies.

Math is a universal language. They transcend time. Their meaning is the same today, tomorrow or 500 years ago. I strongly disagree with those who…

“Keeping up with the Joneses” is a well known term in the United States, which means falling into a consumption race that is impossible to win. The Joneses used to be our neighbors, friends and family. When our neighbor bought a new car, we ran to a dealership to get an even better, most recent model. A family member announced a trip to Cancun, then we had to go to Europe. We all know the end result: unhappiness, anxiety, debt and financial trouble.

Today, we live in a “Keeping up with the Joneses” world on steroids. The Joneses are no…

I consider myself a Chess aficionado. I am not an expert nor a Grand Master. I play about ten or twenty games per week, some of them with my children. But I know I am little bit of a nerd when it comes down to calculating numbers.

We know the Universe is big. Like really big. There is an estimated number of atoms of 10⁸⁰ in the observable universe. And we all probably have heard the famous quote:

“There are more possible games of Chess than atoms in the Universe”

It became famous when back in 1950, mathematician Claude Shannon…

I am not a religious person. I am a catholic due to family and cultural tradition. Slowly, I started to become less religious as I started studying Ayn Rand, Carl Sagan and more recently, Steven Pinker and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

It should not be a secret the problem with religions, not only the Catholic Church; but most of them is their dogmatism. In other words, their inability to be open to debate their own beliefs and ideas.

Somewhere between my High School and College years I met a group of Jesuits in Monterrey, Mexico; my hometown. I spent a lot…

Imagina que vives en una tribu hace una decena de miles de años. Tu comunidad alcanza apenas unas 150 personas. En ese grupo tienes acceso al conocimiento, seguridad y alimentos de todos sus elementos. Cooperas al colectar frutas y verduras, o quizás seas uno de los cazadores o el curandero del grupo. Cualquiera que sea tu papel, tienes tu sentido de pertenencia arraigado y te sientes seguro. A este fuerte sentido de lealtad y pertenencia al grupo se le llama tribalismo.

Pero también sabes que existen tribus rivales. Los líderes de la tuya te explicaron lo terrible que son. Creen…

Cada vez que ocurre un acontecimiento como la muerte del afro-americano George Floyd que sacude a la sociedad en su conjunto; me hago a la tarea de empaparme de información y revisar cierta literatura para encontrar respuestas. Cuando enfoco mi atención sólo en la prensa logro recabar algunos datos anecdóticos y escuchar opiniones, pero a menudo no me sirven para formular la mía.

En esta ocasión me puse a revisar a quienes considero los padres de la libertad: Adam Smith y Thomas Jefferson. Ellos son los padres de los principios económicos y políticos de los Estados Unidos.

En La Riqueza…

¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre la crisis financiera del 2007–2008 y la crisis económica actual?

La recesión 2007-2008

Se le conoce también como “la gran recesión” y se origina en Estados Unidos en 2007 debido a una burbuja que surgió de una depreciación en los préstamos hipotecarios llamados “subprime". Aunque la caída de precios comienza en 2007, la cadena de errores comienza mucho antes con el surgimiento de préstamos hipotecarios de mala calidad.

Este excesivo apalancamiento terminó por afectar al sector financiero. El momento más crucial se dio en Septiembre de 2008 con la bancarrota de Lehman Brothers.

A esta…

Alfonso Ochoa

Economist and nerd. Dad.

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