Markets in everything

by on June 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm in Economics, Weblogs | Permalink

From Twitter:

So some else posts in MR under the name of “Andrew”. @tylercowen I will offer cash for the rights to use the name “Andrew” on MR.

Other Andrew, please submit your sealed bid…

Samuel June 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I’ll send you a bitcoin for Samuel

Dkr June 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Why a sealed bid? Let’s start the bidding here.

Andrew June 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

1,000,000 US dollars, payable Jan 1, 2100.

Oliver Beatson June 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Not if Ron Paul 2096 has his way!!

Dan June 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I’m willing to promise to never use the name Andrew for $10.

Chris H. June 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I will promise never to grow cotton under the name Andrew for $10.

Rahul June 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Is ANDREW also up for bidding?

Andrew June 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Give me $100 and the rights to Andy.

JCL June 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I would be rather interested to see the difference in what Andrew1 is willing to accept to give up his name vs. what Tyler/Alex are willing to accept to boot Andrew1 out of using that name.

AndrewL June 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm

why don’t you just put your last initial after your name like I do?

JSIS June 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Everyone change your handle to Andrew.

broseph June 12, 2011 at 10:44 am


Andŕew June 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

New meme, anyone?

RR June 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Its getting crazy here . Another “Bill” popped up other than the regular one and had to be identified by the time of his comments on electric bulbs. And for the first time in a year , recently I saw a comment by another RR. How about a little stagnation in the number of commenters?

ad*m June 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I just realized: it is a nefarious plot by Tyler and Alex to drive down snarky comments, as opposed to well-argued comments. There is no honor in snark if ownership of your pseudonym cannot be enforced.

AnDrew June 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

this name is available for 1 dollar

Randall Parker June 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

At least they are not calling themselves “Anonymous”.

Anon. June 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm


anon June 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm


Bill June 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

How about naming right for the renaming of the blog “Marginal Revolution.”

Instead of Marginal Revolution, you can name it: [insert name here]

Bill June 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

The person who wants to purchase the name Andrew assumes there is a positive reputational value in that name. That the viewers will recognize him as the Andrew of previous posts and that that name somehow carries some goodwill. Maybe not.

As a person who goes by the name of Bill, I have seen my name used in vain as well by someone else, though I am not sure that the person who uses my name clearly understands all the baggage that comes with it.

As a lawyer and someone who seeks to solve this problem without having to fork over money to the site manager of the Marginal Revolution, I would suggest that you go out and get your monicker trademarked. That way you can deny MR revenue and go after those scurilous fool who uses your name in vain.

Bill (TM pending, 2011, All Rights Reserved)

JCL June 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

@Bill goodwill/brand equity need not imply positive reputation. What if I had opposing interests to Andrew, and wanted to assume his name to start talking shit on people and making him look bad? Or what if Andrew sold me his name so I could start making awesome posts in his name thereby rebuilding his reputation then selling the name back at a profit?

Bill June 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm


All true.

That’s why you should not rely on a name, but rather the contents of the message.

Sometime’s I’ve agreed with Andrew.

But, I don’t know which one.

Bill(TMpending, 2011, All Rights Reserved)

babar June 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

wait — i have the option to post as andrew as well. i’ve just never used it. how much will he buy this for?

Bill June 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Given the supplies of false indistinguishable Andrews,

I’m going to Short Andrew.

What we need is a Federal Reserve to create a Coinage of Andrew.

All these imposters are inflating the supply of Andrew!

Luther Blissett June 12, 2011 at 2:47 am

It’s useful to have an unusual name. I’m the only person with my name in the world, so I feel somehow protected from inflation.

tkehler June 13, 2011 at 4:37 am

BS! English soccer player, probably from the 80s, with your name. Unless you are him…

Chris Sundberg June 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm

This is part of the reason that I wish Tyler/Alex would enable an alternate commenting system like IntenseDebate or Disqus.

broseph June 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

this post is obviously for levity…

ahow628 June 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

As an Andy, I am willing to accept payment to NOT post as Andrew.

Bill June 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I don’t know, but that might diminish the value of the name Andrew, depending on the quality of your comments. Maybe Andrew would pay you instead to increase the value.

Andrew' June 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

He can have it, but if you give it to him I’m going to post as Deez Nutz.

Andrew' June 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Or maybe Weiner.

Bill June 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

This discussion is quickly devolving into an anti-Libertarian proof of the value of the State in creating and enforcing property rights.

So cool.

ladderFF June 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

No, it isn’t.

Bill June 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Yes it does.

If I were to end this comment with your monicker, in signing off as ladderFF, you would not have a “right” to prevent me from using the name without the intervention of some authority that granted it to you and had the authority to deny me the right to use it.

If you own a car but have no drivers license, do you have a “right” to drive the car you own. Did you get that right from owning the car or from passing the drivers test? Who gave you that right?

ChrisA June 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm

You know what’s really cool Bill with the current system? Blogs that want to differentiate people and give (or sell) unique names, can. And blogs that don’t or can’t be bothered, don’t have to. And people that want to post and visit blogs that do or don’t can choose. And then we can see whether people really want as blogs that do or don’t allow unique naming systems prosper or die. Maybe people will want both, maybe neither (as seems to be the case), maybe sometimes one and sometimes the other. Who can really know? Under your preferred system, a Government controlled internet, we would all be told what to do (probably by someone in the pockets of some company with an internet naming program) based on some compromise perhaps to get a bridge built in Nevada. Never in a million years are you going to convince me that is better.

Bill June 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

How did this get to be a government controlled internet discussion from my comment?.

Chris, do you have a birth certificate? Your parents named you and it was duly recorded by the government, and henceforth you will go by that name, officially at least, in government records, and will be recognized on government documents, including your drivers license, except in social situations where you go by the name ChrisA.

My god, a government conspiracy in NAMING people by that big, bad government. A government conspiracy in using drivers licenses, deeds recording the ownership of property, and access to bank accounts with government issued drivers licenses.

I can understand why Obama didn’t want a birth certificate.

He was the first libertarian.

A government that can record your name and establish your identity is the first step on a path to tyranny.

ad*m June 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Huh? Libertarianism starts with property rights.

This is ad*m who used to be known as adam, locally famous in the healthcare debate.

See what happens when property rights cannot be enforced? There are now at least 2 new adam-s, and one Adam on MR, most with views opposed to mine – ad*m – and with comments of substantially lower quality.

If someone steals ad*m from me, I will use ad!@#$%*&(IOm from then on.

Bill June 11, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Who gave you the property right for ad*m, ad*m? You’re creativity in naming yourself is not unique if I have the right, because of your inability to enforce exclusivity, to use it.

Go register it at the Copyright and Trademark office, and then you will start with a property right, or else ask the site administrator to give you that property right.

The only point is that some property starts from the consent of all of us to give someone the right to manage the property rights and enforce them.

Bill June 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

With all the confusion and duplication of names, sigh, this looks like spontaneous order did not arise on this website.

broseph June 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

Bill +3

Andrew' June 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

Not quite.

Apparently Bill doesn’t realize there is a reason we don’t use last names. It’s not me who benefits from marginal non-anonymity.

Brononymous June 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

$10. Demand should be pretty much everyone who reads MR and HRO.

Andy June 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I didn’t know names were unique. Glad I got Andy then!

broseph June 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm

funny…if it’s meant to b. how about “androo”, “andru”?

Anne Drew June 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Wow. I had no idea my name could be worth $$$$ until somebody forwarded me this link.

Bill June 12, 2011 at 8:01 am

No kidding,

Ann Dru

blah June 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

Curious what it would cost to have Andrew’ cease from commenting forever.

Andrew' June 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

Taking bids.

Andrew Smith June 12, 2011 at 9:29 am

I’ll take the $10. Of course, you have no legal recourse if I continue to post under the name Andrew.

Andy June 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I’m Andy!

Andre June 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I think this is having the opposite effect on Andrew’s reputation.

PS: I’m selling “Andre.” Everything is more expensive when in French.

Andrew June 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Another Andrew?

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