In a wide-ranging conversation, the distinguished economist Tyler Cowen addresses, among many other topics, religion and his own connections to an intellectual community of “rationalists.” A professed agnostic, Cowen is also a strong believer in the importance of religion and religious values in shaping human behavior, and believes that many of the virtues that have defined American society have religious roots. He has some thoughts about Judaism as well. (Interview by Lydia Laurenson.)
To This “Rationalist” Economist, Rabbis Are the Most Reasonable People Around
Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily
Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.