Very interesting. The only option I can think of, that might have not been tried, is to outsource the broker function to someone living in an area with a lower cost of living. That way there is still a human involved to influence buyers emotionally but costs could drop significantly. Basically, a call center in India could try and achieve the broker functions, since they don’t actually need to be there in person to guide the buyer, and they could speak with potential buyers over video. From the customer side, you would call the call center and explain your needs and get matched with a real person who you will then Skype with. The client will remain with that service professional, conversing over video until a sale is made.
Great article, USAA is awesome! They were one of the first banks to come out with mobile check deposits and that has saved me immense amounts of time in the last few years.
What do you think of the idea of truck platooning, with one ‘smart’ truck in the front of a convoy of lemur-like trucks which follow it? I think this could be an even more efficient way for autonomous trucks to operate, only requiring advanced technology in one truck in a long convoy.
Tolls have come a long way in their evolution from the ancient bridge troll who collected money through force when helpless travelers were constricted to narrow passageways such as bridges. I know much technology exists to disguise cars from police laser detectors, surely someone is working on technology to spoof toll transponders.
Doesn’t the environmental impact not matter because globalization and competitive advantage lead to increasing amounts of products that are shipped where the greenhouse gas emissions far outweigh any advantage gained on the roads and shipping continues to not be included in global warming agreements such as the Kyoto protocols. 
Great article, almonds are also very healthy which leads to less health problems in the US population. This leads to lower health care costs and therefore more money to be spent on investing in new sources of water, a win-win for everyone.
Markets are the best mechanism that humans have created to allocate resources. The author’s discussion of moral hazard presumes that markets have been unable to effectively regulate water. Like any resource some people will not get as much as they need. If you can think of a better mechanism than markets that would be great, but that does not exist.
At some point human technology will progress to the point where robots can dig through landfills searching for valuable materials to recycle. Because of this eventuality, we should not worry at all about trash and recycling since in the future this will be seen as a valuable resource and we are therefore helping our grandchildren. Does this author not care about their grandchildren?
Aramco should invest money in funding candidates in US elections who are opposed to climate change regulation, as really world climate change is just a question of American politics.
Very interesting, as the percent of blue lobsters relative to red seems to be increasing, demand for lobsters will likely decrease as consumers rarely show preference for blue colored foods (besides blueberries).
Interesting post, there is also the issue of consumer preference as many consumers prefer the taste of wild to farm-raised salmon. In the Pacific Northwest regulations also affect the salmon market as some states strictly limit the amount that can be fished except for on tribal land which leads to overfishing upstream.