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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Eurozone must not “move forward”

Surprising fact of the day: Germany is as rich as Alabama or Arkansas.

TheMoneyIllusion � The Eurozone must not “move forward”:

Many people seem to be under the illusion that Germany is a rich country.� It isn’t.� It’s a thrifty country.� German per capita income (PPP) is more than 20% below US levels, below the level of Alabama and Arkansas.� If you consider those states to be “rich,” then by all means go on calling Germany a rich country.�

The Magic of Education

Caplan on the signaling model of education.

The Magic of Education, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Vasily Alekseyev, 69, Champion Weight Lifter, Dies - NYTimes.com

One of the favorite athletes of my youth.



Vasily Alekseyev, 69, Champion Weight Lifter, Dies - NYTimes.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We have to do better on inequality

On crony capitalism from a crony capitalist.

We have to do better on inequality - FT.com

From the comments:

"What next? John Corzine opining on recommendations for Risk Management and Operational Controls?"

Dirty Jobs Don't Have to Be Lousy Jobs

Finding workers for jobs that "only immigrants will do" is a demand problem, not a supply problem. Those businesses need to raise wages.

RealClearPolitics - Dirty Jobs Don't Have to Be Lousy Jobs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: $1.6 million paid to historian: Nice work if you can get it

A good definition of crony capitalism. Paying off politicians when they retire signals current politians to behave so they, too, will receive money when they retire.


Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: $1.6 million paid to historian: Nice work if you can get it:

Gingrich was out of power at the time, so this wasn't a direct bribe, it was more an attempt to mold opinion to keep Freddie respectable by buying the friendship of a voluble famous guy, with maybe some big payoff down the road if Gingrich made a political comeback. Moreover, paying Gingrich a lot after he was out of office serves to encourage the others in office to be nice to Freddie now in the hopes that they too can get what's coming to them down the road.�

More on the Big LIe

Economics and Politics by Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal - NYTimes.com

Gingrich Was Paid ~$1.7M From GSEs

Gingrich claims he was a historian and not a lobbiest.

Gingrich Was Paid ~$1.7M From GSEs | The Big Picture

Heavier Cars Kill

This could also be titled, "Why Gas Mileage Does not Improve".



CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: Heavier Cars Kill

Monday, November 14, 2011

Copyright Protection

This article is about music, but might be applicable to health care as well. Incumbents will lose if copyright protection is loosened. It is not clear, however, if quality has to suffer.

Was Napster the day the music died? | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists:



While the traditional purveyors of recorded music – the major record labels – have suffered since Napster, good music has continued to make its way to market. Independent labels account for a growing share of successful music, measured both by critical acclaim and sales. While many producers of recorded music have been made worse off by changes in technology, there is no evidence that the volume of high-quality music, or consumers, have suffered. Many caveats are in order, however. Chiefly, it is not clear whether the results extend to other content industries where creation remains quite expensive. But the results are a reminder that an evaluation of copyright policy should be cognisant of its effects on both producers and consumers.

College Tuition, Student Loans, and Unemployment :

College is not a "bubble". Work hard boys.

College Tuition, Student Loans, and Unemployment : The New Yorker

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eddie Murphy: The Rolling Stone Interview | Movies News | Rolling Stone

Eddie Murphy: The Rolling Stone Interview | Movies News | Rolling Stone:

Eddy Murphy at 50:

My whole shit revolves around having this peace of mind. It's peaceful, quiet, that's my day-to-day. I play my guitar, hang out with my girl. My kids went to their mom's this week. I'm chilling, no stress. After all these years, I've done well and I'm cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I've saved some paper, everybody's healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it's all good. I'm trying to maintain my shit like this, and do a fun project every now and then.

Boston Review — Lawrence Lessig and David V. Johnson: Reclaiming the Republic

Boston Review — Lawrence Lessig and David V. Johnson: Reclaiming the Republic:

Why did we create a Congress?” The framers didn’t sit down and set up a Congress so they could imagine these 535 independent contractors all arbitraging fundraising opportunities. If that’s what the institution is, then let’s just shut it down.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Social Graph is Neither

The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog)

A guide to shaking off the doom and gloom

I need to stop reading the news. . .


A guide to shaking off the doom and gloom - FT.com

Phys Ed: Staying Strong as We Age - NYTimes.com

Phys Ed: Staying Strong as We Age - NYTimes.com

Greed, Green and Grains: Bubble Land

Farmland prices are probably not yet in bubble territory.


Greed, Green and Grains: Bubble Land

News and Events - Narayana Kocherlakota Speech - Looking Back at Four Years of Federal Reserve Actions - November 8, 2011 | The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

News and Events - Narayana Kocherlakota Speech - Looking Back at Four Years of Federal Reserve Actions - November 8, 2011 | The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis:

Narayana Kocherlakota, President of Fed Bank of Minneapolis, thinks that the Fed dual mandate is invalid because it is hard. At least we get an explanation about why the Fed seems to care more about inflation than employment.

An important and ongoing communications challenge for the FOMC is that it is much harder to quantify the maximum employment mandate than the price stability mandate. Changes in minimum wage policy, demography, taxes and regulations, technological productivity, job market efficiency, unemployment insurance benefits, entrepreneurial credit access and social norms all influence what we might consider “maximum employment.” Trying to offset these changes in the economy with monetary policy can lead to a dangerous drift in inflationary expectations and ultimately in inflation itself."

The King of Human Error

Michael Lewis reviews Kahneman's latest book, Thinking Fast and Slow. The book is a summary of the work of Kahneman's career. One which he was hesitant to write.


The King of Human Error | Business | Vanity Fair

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Steve Jobs: Nature, Nurture, And Apricot Orchards In Silicon Valley

The other side of Jobs


Steve Jobs: Nature, Nurture, And Apricot Orchards In Silicon Valley | VDARE.com

Chinese bubble bursting

Chinese bubble bursting: A probable non-event � naked capitalism:

The end of the Chinese housing bubble will not be a disaster because the Chinese technocrats will know how to respond.

"Yes, the property bubble in China looks like its bursting. But no, this will probably not prove to be a catastrophe. Instead, we in the West are going to get schooled once again, when our Eastern ‘comrades’ show us just how to run an advanced capitalist economy. History, eh? It’s just one big irony."

Monday, November 07, 2011

On the Ropes with Herman Cain - NYTimes.com

On the Ropes with Herman Cain - NYTimes.com:
The power of charisma:
"Cain also likes to tell his audience that callers to his show went from “concerned” to “frightened” for the nation’s future. This, too, is true. More than any other candidate, Cain has managed to connect to those Americans — yet, unlike Sarah Palin, he has done it by unleashing optimism rather than bitterness. He can articulate a crowd’s worst fears — America is falling apart, weakening in the world, suffering economic carnage — and then reassure everyone that, no worries, we can fix it. If any candidate were able to relate to voters in this way and have a clue what he or she was talking about (there, in Cain’s case, is the rub), that person would be unstoppable."

China Trade:

China Trade: Another Chapter in the 2000s Weak Jobs Story | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow - FT.com

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Who is against individual responsibility? — Marginal Revolution

Who is against individual responsibility? — Marginal Revolution:

From the comments, a good summary of OWS:

"Compare the common summary of the attitude of 99% protesters – “I worked hard given the system and I didn’t get what the system promised me – and someone else flouted the social contract and was amply rewarded for it” – which doesn’t actually conflict with tripartite of initiative, hard work, and individual responsibility. Rather the disagreement is over what one should be responsible [i]for[/i]. If the state of nature doesn’t reward hard work, then the state of men must do so."

RealClearPolitics - Excessive CEO Pay and Job Losses: Are They Linked?

OWS is changing the conversation. I would never have expected an article of this tone on RCP.

RealClearPolitics - Excessive CEO Pay and Job Losses: Are They Linked?

Fatty Foods Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of Science - Bloomberg

Fatty Foods Addictive as Cocaine in Growing Body of Science - Bloomberg:

Good science or too much of a nanny state.
"Cupcakes may be addictive, just like cocaine."

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Treasury Joins the Build While It's Cheap Chorus | Capital Gains and Games

"Better late than never"

The Treasury Joins the Build While It's Cheap Chorus | Capital Gains and Games

How much does downloading a book increase the weight of your Kindle? — Marginal Revolution

Answers to questions that you would never think to ask.

How much does downloading a book increase the weight of your Kindle? — Marginal Revolution

When Partisan Obstruction Goes Too Far

Support our troops. Support the CFPB

When Partisan Obstruction Goes Too Far

Will Greece Pull an Iceland? | The Big Picture

"Tell the banks to pound sand"

Will Greece Pull an Iceland? | The Big Picture

Five grim and essential lessons for world leaders - FT.com

Summers seems to have gotten a lot smarter since he left the government.

Five grim and essential lessons for world leaders - FT.com

280 Big Public Firms Paid Little U.S.

Another reason why OWS protests make sense.


280 Big Public Firms Paid Little U.S. Tax, Study Finds - NYTimes.com