Ornamental Curve

Ornamental Hermits

Shoshi Parks | Smithsonian | 7th July 2023

Notes on the fashion among 18th century English aristocrats for keeping hermits on their country estates. Terms for a hermit might include a cave or hut, food and water, and a lump sum at the end of a seven-year term. The hermit's main job was to be silently picturesque, and thus to delight visitors. “By 1750, if you only put in one structure in your garden, it would have been a hermitage” (1,900 words)

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Birth Of The Laffer Curve

Grace-Marie Turner | Bastiat's Window | 27th July 2023

Eyewitness account of the moment in 1974 when Arthur Laffer drew a curve on a Washington hotel napkin and gave it to another lunch guest, Dick Cheney. The curve purported to show that lower tax rates would produce higher tax revenues by encouraging taxpayers to work harder. Laffer's claim was speculative at best, but his doodle was politically irresistible. Voodoo economics was born (2,300 words)

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