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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Luck Matters

No Such Thing As Good Luck

The Drone: Joseph de Maistre’s Executioner

The Drone: Joseph de Maistre’s Executioner � Corey Robin

Inside the Word World of Merriam-Webster

Inside the Word World of Merriam-Webster - Entertainment - The Atlantic Wire

The Mysteries of Mitt Romney’s Financial Records

The Mysteries of Mitt Romney’s Financial Records - NYTimes.com

Monetary policy: Rethinking macro | The Economist

Monetary policy: Rethinking macro | The Economist:

We can move past this intellectual limitation. Monetary policy can influence demand, plain and simple. This economy could plainly use more of it; millions of unemployed workers are a testament to that. Not to do more to get them to work is to leave the sword at one’s side during a battle, because it looks prettier there. And the Fed should be careful. If it doesn’t use it, someone might try to take it away.

Kling responds 

Find Your Greatness

Find Your Greatness - YouTube

Presenting Nike's Olympics Ad That's Not an Olympics Ad

Presenting Nike's Olympics Ad That's Not an Olympics Ad | Co.Create: Creativity \ Culture \ Commerce

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Mormon Candidate

The Mormon Candidate - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Federal Bankruptcy Court Lets Stockton, California Cut Retiree Health Care Benefits; Flood of City Bankruptcies Coming

Repubs say it is okay to cut retiree benefits but not okay to cut AIG bonuses because of contracts.

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Federal Bankruptcy Court Lets Stockton, California Cut Retiree Health Care Benefits; Flood of City Bankruptcies Coming

A Dust Bowl Gathers in Southern Indiana

Good thing I sold the farm.


A Dust Bowl Gathers in Southern Indiana - NYTimes.com

Why Can’t We End Poverty in America?

Why Can’t We End Poverty in America? - NYTimes.com:


The wealth and income of the top 1 percent grows at the expense of everyone else. Money breeds power and power breeds more money. It is a truly vicious circle.

A surefire politics of change would necessarily involve getting people in the middle — from the 30th to the 70th percentile — to see their own economic self-interest. If they vote in their own self-interest, they’ll elect people who are likely to be more aligned with people with lower incomes as well as with them. As long as people in the middle identify more with people on the top than with those on the bottom, we are doomed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ambassador Crocker Sees Fraught Foreign Landscape Ahead

Ambassador Crocker Sees Fraught Foreign Landscape Ahead - NYTimes.com

Bungled Bank Bailout Leaves Behind Righteous Anger

Bungled Bank Bailout Leaves Behind Righteous Anger | The Big Picture

The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale?

How do you want to run your life?


The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale? | Wired Business | Wired.com

Caterpillar strike: in the US, it's open season on unions

Caterpillar strike: in the US, it's open season on unions | Michael Paarlberg | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:


What could really drive Caterpillar to demand its workers tighten their belts in a period of unprecedented prosperity? "Greed," might be the moralist response; "capital accumulation" the Marxist one. But a better explanation is even simpler: because they can.

Recession Looks a Bit Less Bad Thanks to Government

Rare bit of honest reporting from the WSJ since Murdoch took over.
Look for denial in the comments.

Recession Looks a Bit Less Bad Thanks to Government - Real Time Economics - WSJ

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Grumpy Economist: Krugman, Delong and Inflation

The Grumpy Economist: Krugman, Delong and Inflation

On Leaving Academia

On Leaving Academia � Ars Experientia

Olympics interactive: How would the champs of bygone Olympics fare against today’s best sprinters, jumpers, throwers, and swimmers? - Slate Magazine

Olympics interactive: How would the champs of bygone Olympics fare against today’s best sprinters, jumpers, throwers, and swimmers? - Slate Magazine

Violence, the Fundamental Attribution Error, and Contempt for the Poor

Uncommon Priors � Violence, the Fundamental Attribution Error, and Contempt for the Poor

IS-LMentary - NYTimes.com

IS-LMentary - NYTimes.com

Ex-Citi chief Weill urges bank break-up - FT.com

Ex-Citi chief Weill urges bank break-up - FT.com:

"As a former banker, it is interesting to see that all these senior executives Sandy Weil, John Reed, Phil Purcell etc, who made huge amounts of money by putting together these structures, which destroyed the inherent cultures and core competencies of these institutions, now opining on how these should be broken up. Between Weil and Reed, they destroyed a fine institution which went back more than a hundred years."

Help Wanted: Small Firms Can't Find Skilled Workers

Help Wanted: Small Firms Can't Find Skilled Workers - WSJ.com:

These ridiculous articles surface from time to time. Always blaming workers and not management. The real reason is buried:

"The rest may be qualified but don't take his offer because they seek higher pay or they are looking for easier [better] work, he says."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Should I Quit My Job? And Other Dilemmas

Should I Quit My Job? And Other Dilemmas Tackled by Dan Ariely | Ask Ariely - WSJ.com:


When I graduated, I asked Ziv Carmon—one of my academic advisers—where to take my first academic job. His answer was that I should go to the place where, five years down the line, I would be most likely to emerge as a very different person. He explained that life is about learning and improving, and that I should take advantage of my relative flexibility (no wife and kids at the time) and invest the next few years in my own growth

Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 13 Notes Essay

You are not a lottery ticket. Skill and hard work matters.

Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 13 Notes Essay

Comparing US states with countries: Stateside substitutes

Mississippi as Bangladesh. In so many ways.

Comparing US states with countries: Stateside substitutes | The Economist

Permission to Live: How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care

Universal health care experience in Canada.

Permission to Live: How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care

Bubble Standards: Why the Poor Are on the Hook for the Housing Crash

Another driver of inequality. Business and sophisticated investors can walk away from bad debts.
Individuals find it harder and the punishment is more severe.



Bubble Standards: Why the Poor Are on the Hook for the Housing Crash | Next New Deal

Yes, Government Researchers Really Did Invent the Internet

Yes, Government Researchers Really Did Invent the Internet | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

In New York Sanitation Dept. Garage, an Art Gallery -

In New York Sanitation Dept. Garage, an Art Gallery - NYTimes.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

n 1: The Stupidity of Computers

n 1: The Stupidity of Computers

Romney's 'Free Stuff' Speech Is a New Low

Romney's 'Free Stuff' Speech Is a New Low | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

Caltech-N.C.A.A. Case Gives New Meaning to ‘Academically Ineligible’

Don’t Indulge. Be Happy.

Don’t Indulge. Be Happy. - NYTimes.com

Why High-Speed Rail Could Spur a Golden Age in the Northeast -

An embarrassment that the US does not already have this in the Northeast.

Why High-Speed Rail Could Spur a Golden Age in the Northeast - Business - The Atlantic

Complicated Hedging Strategy Even We Don’t Understand

Complicated Hedging Strategy Even We Don’t Understand | The Big Picture

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Did the Europeans Bring Human�Capital? -

Did the Europeans Bring Human�Capital? - Why Nations Fail - Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Outsourcing: Take this job and ship it

Outsourcing: Take this job and ship it | The Economist:


The rise in worker bargaining power that occurred in the first half of the last century was a product of social movements, but those movements were enabled by the production technologies of the time,�and it is the dissolution of those production technologies that has been most responsible for the weakening of labour's position. As Mr Krugman understands very well (his work on the topic helped earn him a Nobel Prize) the transportation technologies of the industrial revolution dictated in favour of large, industrial agglomerations. Geographic concentration enabled worker solidarity, and the benefits of the agglomeration meant that employers couldn't credibly threaten to move elsewhere. But the days of the large, urban industrial agglomeration are gone.

The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption

The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption - NYTimes.com

Lindsey Graham: 'It's Really American' To Avoid Taxes Like Mitt Romney Does

The only people who can avoid taxes in the US are small business owners and the 1%: the Republican base.


Lindsey Graham: 'It's Really American' To Avoid Taxes Like Mitt Romney Does

Manufactured quotes

Hiring good people will always be hard for small companies.

Manufactured quotes : CJR

A Controversial Issue Resolved With Econometrics, Bryan Caplan

Voters do not vote with their economic self interest.

A Controversial Issue Resolved With Econometrics, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

National - James Fallows - Let's Talk Infrastructure (and Extreme Weather, and Pepco) - The Atlantic

National - James Fallows - Let's Talk Infrastructure (and Extreme Weather, and Pepco) - The Atlantic:

 As the good-government website OurDC notes,"From 2008 to 2010, Pepco CEO Joe Rigby earned $8.8 million and Pepco top officers earned more than $22 million. During that same period, Pepco reported $882 million in profits, paid no federal and state income taxes and received $817 million in tax refunds." Yet as the money rolled in, the Maryland Public Service Commission allowed Pepco to cut back on maintenance, in order to divert funds to dividends and management bonuses....

Pepco faces a simple reliability equation: The more it spends on improving service, the less is available for dividends and executive bonuses. CEO Rigby is a major shareholder, so in effect awards himself a commission when he keeps infrastructure spending low and dividends high. After the mega-thunderstorm, Dominion Power [another provider in the area] took 14 hours to restore all its transformers and main feeder lines... while Pepco took 36 hours... Within 48 hours of the storm, Dominion had 2,000 out-of-state workers present to assist in restoration; Pepco had just 300. If Pepco drags its feet on recovery, the utility avoids paying doubletime or tripletime, plus expenses, to out-of-state crews.

Bankers and the neuroscience of greed

Bankers and the neuroscience of greed | Ian Robertson | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

New-tech moguls: the modern robber barons?

New-tech moguls: the modern robber barons? | Technology | The Observer