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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-03-28T05:52:00-04:00

 



"Residents of Chicago are running for the exits"

2017-03-28T05:52:00-04:00

"New census data released [last] Thursday shows she’s not alone, with the Chicago area losing more residents than any other US metropolitan area." Related: "The Chicago Area Lost More Residents Than Any Other U.S. County Last Year". This link via...     Related Stories"20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""Media Narrative Chart""Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore"  "New census data released [last] Thursday shows she’s not alone, with the Chicago area losing more residents than any other US metropolitan area." Related: "The Chicago Area Lost More Residents Than Any Other U.S. County Last Year". This link via Cold Spring Shops.      Related Stories"20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""Media Narrative Chart""Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore"  [...]



"Why College Graduates Still Can’t Think"

2017-03-28T05:41:00-04:00

Several paragraphs in the author makes an important distinction: Unfortunately, those disciplines are also where most critical thinking instruction supposedly occurs in our universities. (Actually, other fields, such as the hard sciences and engineering, probably do a better job of...     Related Stories"NCAA stands firm on allegations against Louisville, Pitino""20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""College Classes In Name Only?"  Several paragraphs in the author makes an important distinction: Unfortunately, those disciplines are also where most critical thinking instruction supposedly occurs in our universities. (Actually, other fields, such as the hard sciences and engineering, probably do a better job of teaching true thinking skills—compiling and evaluating evidence, formulating hypotheses based on that evidence, testing those hypotheses for accuracy before arriving at firm conclusions. They just don’t brag about it as much.) Another example of the rule of thumb that those who talk a lot can't do much while those who do a lot don't talk much.      Related Stories"NCAA stands firm on allegations against Louisville, Pitino""20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""College Classes In Name Only?"  [...]



"Top 10 cars stuck on dealer lots that are ripe for deals"

2017-03-28T05:34:00-04:00

Anybody want a Buick Lacrosse? How about a Buick Cascada? O.K., final offer: a Buick Verano (the one advertised by Peyton Manning).     Related StoriesTwo related to cars"Here’s a look at Donald Trump’s 6 most exotic cars, past and present""The story of the Risky Business Porsche 928 | The Car Stays in the Picture"  Anybody want a Buick Lacrosse? How about a Buick Cascada? O.K., final offer: a Buick Verano (the one advertised by Peyton Manning).      Related StoriesTwo related to cars"Here’s a look at Donald Trump’s 6 most exotic cars, past and present""The story of the Risky Business Porsche 928 | The Car Stays in the Picture"  [...]



"NCAA stands firm on allegations against Louisville, Pitino"

2017-03-28T05:21:00-04:00

"The NCAA enforcement staff isn't budging on allegations made against Rick Pitino in the University of Louisville's ongoing case that is soon to go before the organization's committee on infractions." I, for one, hope the NCAA finds a similar backbone...     Related Stories"20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""A free-agent culture: How transfers are killing Cinderella""Throwing In The Chair: What’s Up With Bob Knight?"  "The NCAA enforcement staff isn't budging on allegations made against Rick Pitino in the University of Louisville's ongoing case that is soon to go before the organization's committee on infractions." I, for one, hope the NCAA finds a similar backbone for Cheater Hill aka Chapel Hillary. But I wouldn't bet a nickel on it.      Related Stories"20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them""A free-agent culture: How transfers are killing Cinderella""Throwing In The Chair: What’s Up With Bob Knight?"  [...]



"20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them"

2017-03-28T05:02:00-04:00

As someone commented upon hearing this news, "Cal-Berkeley is damage. The Internet is routing around it."

As someone commented upon hearing this news, "Cal-Berkeley is damage. The Internet is routing around it."

(image)



"Obamacare's Backfire"

2017-03-27T05:52:00-04:00

Ironman at Political Calculations performs a simple analysis that yields an interesting conclusion: Beginning in 2014, millions of lower income-earning Americans became eligible to have fully government-subsidized health insurance coverage through the U.S. government's Medicaid welfare program thanks to the...     Related Stories"Media Narrative Chart""Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore""We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State"  Ironman at Political Calculations performs a simple analysis that yields an interesting conclusion: Beginning in 2014, millions of lower income-earning Americans became eligible to have fully government-subsidized health insurance coverage through the U.S. government's Medicaid welfare program thanks to the expansion of eligibility for that program provided for by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is more popularly known as Obamacare. Unfortunately, that expanded access to health care may very well have caused an increase in death rates due to drug overdoses in the United States to such a degree that the overall estimated life expectancy of Americans has declined. He explicitly states that a richer analysis should consider possible confounders. But this is a fine start. Related: "How the feds are fueling America’s opioid disaster".      Related Stories"Media Narrative Chart""Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore""We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State"  [...]



"We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State"

2017-03-27T05:43:00-04:00

Bad news: Aside from excessive meddling, the other big complaint against regulation is that it hurts the economy. No one really knows by how much, but "there is ample evidence that regulation has expanded and that this expansion has limited...     Related Stories"Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore""Tourism thriving, economy expanding in North Carolina despite bathroom bill desertions""Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?"  Bad news: Aside from excessive meddling, the other big complaint against regulation is that it hurts the economy. No one really knows by how much, but "there is ample evidence that regulation has expanded and that this expansion has limited economic growth," as Ted Gayer and Philip Wallach of the Brookings Institution recently wrote. One study estimates that regulation has shaved 0.8% off the U.S. annual growth rate which — if confirmed by other studies — would be huge. Related: "Congress must stop death by decree: The biggest restraint on economic growth is federal red tape". "Deconstructing the Administrative State" Some possible approaches to improving matters: "Trump Wants to Deconstruct the Regulatory State? Good. Here’s How You Start". "A Blueprint for Reforming the Federal Government". Confirming Gorsuch to the Supreme Court could well help: "Gorsuch’s Collision Course With the Administrative State".      Related Stories"Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore""Tourism thriving, economy expanding in North Carolina despite bathroom bill desertions""Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?"  [...]



"Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore"

2017-03-27T05:41:00-04:00

Excellent summary and it's especially nice that the website Pension Tsunami is discussed. Reading that every so often is like watching a head-on car crash in slow motion.     Related Stories"We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State""Tourism thriving, economy expanding in North Carolina despite bathroom bill desertions""Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?"  Excellent summary and it's especially nice that the website Pension Tsunami is discussed. Reading that every so often is like watching a head-on car crash in slow motion.      Related Stories"We're In Denial About Growing Administrative State""Tourism thriving, economy expanding in North Carolina despite bathroom bill desertions""Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?"  [...]






"Tourism thriving, economy expanding in North Carolina despite bathroom bill desertions"

2017-03-27T05:30:00-04:00

Maybe a good topic for an undergraduate paper. North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest told Texas lawmakers this month that the economic effect of the boycott in his state was “less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of the state’s annual...     Related Stories"Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Limits of Hasbara: A sober look at just who is lining up against Israel and why."  Maybe a good topic for an undergraduate paper. North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest told Texas lawmakers this month that the economic effect of the boycott in his state was “less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of the state’s annual gross domestic product.      Related Stories"Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Limits of Hasbara: A sober look at just who is lining up against Israel and why."  [...]



"Why do inequality-obsessed Californians want to feed at the federal trough?"

2017-03-27T05:03:00-04:00

Philip Greenspun asks a good question. I asked “The Bay Area isn’t sufficiently wealthy and productive to pay for its own trains? Why does a Walmart employee in Alabama have to pay for a Google or Apple executive’s train?”     Related Stories"Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Limits of Hasbara: A sober look at just who is lining up against Israel and why.""Should a Scientist Believe Anything Anyone Says?"  Philip Greenspun asks a good question. I asked “The Bay Area isn’t sufficiently wealthy and productive to pay for its own trains? Why does a Walmart employee in Alabama have to pay for a Google or Apple executive’s train?”      Related Stories"Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Limits of Hasbara: A sober look at just who is lining up against Israel and why.""Should a Scientist Believe Anything Anyone Says?"  [...]



"A MacGuyer of Slow-Cooked Meats at Franklin Barbecue"

2017-03-26T05:46:00-04:00

Franklin's BBQ used to available, if I recall correctly on Foody Direct, but they don't seem to be there now. (But you can get Snow's and Black's which I suspect will be pretty good.)     Related StoriesTwo related to cars"These historical menus show how drastically the way we eat has changed""20 soda brands you'll never taste again"  Franklin's BBQ used to available, if I recall correctly on Foody Direct, but they don't seem to be there now. (But you can get Snow's and Black's which I suspect will be pretty good.)      Related StoriesTwo related to cars"These historical menus show how drastically the way we eat has changed""20 soda brands you'll never taste again"  [...]



"19 charming small villages you've probably never heard of but should definitely visit"

2017-03-26T05:00:00-04:00

I don't know about visiting but the pictures are pretty.     Related Stories"Akshardham Temple""In which areas of the world is English most useless?""We Put All 10,000 Places in the Atlas on One Map"  I don't know about visiting but the pictures are pretty.      Related Stories"Akshardham Temple""In which areas of the world is English most useless?""We Put All 10,000 Places in the Atlas on One Map"  [...]



"A free-agent culture: How transfers are killing Cinderella"

2017-03-25T05:42:00-04:00

Interesting. Transfers are making it more difficult for mid- and low-major programs to build strong teams capable of making Cinderella runs in March.     Related Stories"Throwing In The Chair: What’s Up With Bob Knight?""What It's Like to Play with LeBron James""Why Tiger Woods didn't win more majors, according to one Hall of Fame golfer"  Interesting. Transfers are making it more difficult for mid- and low-major programs to build strong teams capable of making Cinderella runs in March.      Related Stories"Throwing In The Chair: What’s Up With Bob Knight?""What It's Like to Play with LeBron James""Why Tiger Woods didn't win more majors, according to one Hall of Fame golfer"  [...]



"Throwing In The Chair: What’s Up With Bob Knight?"

2017-03-25T05:04:00-04:00

This strikes me as quite sad.     Related Stories"What It's Like to Play with LeBron James""Why Tiger Woods didn't win more majors, according to one Hall of Fame golfer"Will Patriots trade Garoppolo or keep him? Two views.  This strikes me as quite sad.      Related Stories"What It's Like to Play with LeBron James""Why Tiger Woods didn't win more majors, according to one Hall of Fame golfer"Will Patriots trade Garoppolo or keep him? Two views.  [...]



"These Are the Quirkiest Baby Names In Every State"

2017-03-24T05:46:00-04:00

"Quirky" is, for my money, too kind. Related: "The worst baby names in the entire world".     Related Stories"The 14 most expensive skyscrapers built in the last 20 years""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  "Quirky" is, for my money, too kind. Related: "The worst baby names in the entire world".      Related Stories"The 14 most expensive skyscrapers built in the last 20 years""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  [...]



"The 14 most expensive skyscrapers built in the last 20 years"

2017-03-24T05:04:00-04:00

The most expensive one on this list supposedly cost $15 billion.     Related Stories"These Are the Quirkiest Baby Names In Every State""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  The most expensive one on this list supposedly cost $15 billion.      Related Stories"These Are the Quirkiest Baby Names In Every State""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  [...]



"We got a peek inside a $20 million apartment in the latest skyscraper to dramatically alter Manhattan's skyline"

2017-03-23T05:51:00-04:00

360-degree views of Manhattan from the 56th floor of a building near the Empire State Building would be very cool and I imagine difficult to get tired of. But the $20 million is a problem.     Related Stories"These Are the Quirkiest Baby Names In Every State""The 14 most expensive skyscrapers built in the last 20 years""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable"  360-degree views of Manhattan from the 56th floor of a building near the Empire State Building would be very cool and I imagine difficult to get tired of. But the $20 million is a problem.      Related Stories"These Are the Quirkiest Baby Names In Every State""The 14 most expensive skyscrapers built in the last 20 years""This Court Case Proves Why the Oxford Comma is Valuable"  [...]



"The Limits of Hasbara: A sober look at just who is lining up against Israel and why."

2017-03-23T05:46:00-04:00

Nicely argued. Key bit: When it comes to Jews, anti-Semitism generates the absurd. If you think capitalism is evil, you can focus on the “international banking conspiracy” led by the Rothschilds. If collectivism offends you, there is always Karl Marx...     Related Stories"College Classes In Name Only?""Shaking up the Conventional Wisdom on Salt: What Science Really Says about Sodium and Hypertension""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis"  Nicely argued. Key bit: When it comes to Jews, anti-Semitism generates the absurd. If you think capitalism is evil, you can focus on the “international banking conspiracy” led by the Rothschilds. If collectivism offends you, there is always Karl Marx to be the focus of your wrath, not to mention the Soviet revolution led by such “Jews” as Lenin and Stalin. The Arab/Israeli dispute is not about land, settlements, green lines, or roadmaps. It is about Jews.  When Jordan’s King Hussein occupied the West Bank, no one spoke of occupation or the need to create a democratic, secular state of Palestine. If the Israelis were Muslims, the world would no more care about what they did than it cares about Iran’s control of Sunni Arabs in its western provinces, China’s occupation of Mongolia, or Turkey’s partition of Cyprus.      Related Stories"College Classes In Name Only?""Shaking up the Conventional Wisdom on Salt: What Science Really Says about Sodium and Hypertension""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis"  [...]



Two related to cars

2017-03-23T05:45:00-04:00

"4 Reasons for the Death of America's Car Culture". The vibrant love between car and man that inspired an entire culture of auto devotees now seems to be dwindling. The gear-head enthusiasts will always motor on, I am sure, but...     Related Stories"These historical menus show how drastically the way we eat has changed""20 soda brands you'll never taste again""Is their crossroads cuisine ‘the next big thing’?"  "4 Reasons for the Death of America's Car Culture". The vibrant love between car and man that inspired an entire culture of auto devotees now seems to be dwindling. The gear-head enthusiasts will always motor on, I am sure, but what happened to the average American? Simple respect and appreciation for the metal beast has shifted to sheer disinterest in cars. The following is the sad, draft-obituary of America’s car culture . . . "How to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner like an elite-level Formula One driver".      Related Stories"These historical menus show how drastically the way we eat has changed""20 soda brands you'll never taste again""Is their crossroads cuisine ‘the next big thing’?"  [...]



"eHealthMe: Personalized Health Information"

2017-03-23T05:43:00-04:00

I used this to look up the possible side effects of a medication. While there a bunch of place on the Web that provide that information, this site has some information that I don't recall seeing elsewhere. In particular, it...     Related Stories"Melatonin: What’s on the label isn’t in the bottle""eHealthMe: Personalized Health Information""How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments"  I used this to look up the possible side effects of a medication. While there a bunch of place on the Web that provide that information, this site has some information that I don't recall seeing elsewhere. In particular, it tells you the number of complains the FDA has received about a medication's side effects, the percentage of total complaints a specific complaint accounts for, and a few characteristics--age and gender, for examples--of the people who did the complaining.      Related Stories"Melatonin: What’s on the label isn’t in the bottle""eHealthMe: Personalized Health Information""How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments"  [...]



"Should a Scientist Believe Anything Anyone Says?"

2017-03-22T05:51:00-04:00

Edward Archer, a "Computational Physiologist currently serving as Chief Science Officer for EnduringFX," energetically argues "No." I agree. And I'd add that this is one of several reasons economics tends to outperform other social sciences: we don't pay much--or even...     Related Stories"Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The 3 Ways That Parallel Universes Could Be Real""The Rhode Island Model Can Save Medicaid"  Edward Archer, a "Computational Physiologist currently serving as Chief Science Officer for EnduringFX," energetically argues "No." I agree. And I'd add that this is one of several reasons economics tends to outperform other social sciences: we don't pay much--or even any--attention to what people say about why they do what they do.      Related Stories"Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The 3 Ways That Parallel Universes Could Be Real""The Rhode Island Model Can Save Medicaid"  [...]



"Melatonin: What’s on the label isn’t in the bottle"

2017-03-22T10:39:59-04:00

Like many people I don't sleep as well as I used to. I've read a little about melatonin--some people swear by it--and what I've read has induced me to avoid it for now. This piece increases my wariness.     Related Stories"eHealthMe: Personalized Health Information""How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments""Did You Get Bit By A Lyme-Infested Tick? Here's What To Do"  Like many people I don't sleep as well as I used to. I've read a little about melatonin--some people swear by it--and what I've read has induced me to avoid it for now. This piece increases my wariness.      Related Stories"eHealthMe: Personalized Health Information""How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments""Did You Get Bit By A Lyme-Infested Tick? Here's What To Do"  [...]



"College Classes In Name Only?"

2017-03-22T05:23:00-04:00

Chester Finn is concerned about the rapid increase in "dual enrollment" classes. ("These are courses offered for college credit to students who are still enrolled in high school, typically in eleventh or twelfth grade.")     Related Stories"School Choice Moves Apace in States""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  Chester Finn is concerned about the rapid increase in "dual enrollment" classes. ("These are courses offered for college credit to students who are still enrolled in high school, typically in eleventh or twelfth grade.")      Related Stories"School Choice Moves Apace in States""Cruel cuts signal pension crisis""The Hate Group That Incited the Middlebury Melee"  [...]



"Shaking up the Conventional Wisdom on Salt: What Science Really Says about Sodium and Hypertension"

2017-03-22T05:09:00-04:00

Little that I haven't read elsewhere, but if you haven't followed the recent research, this is a nice short summary.     Related Stories"He Got A Bad Grade. So, He Got The Constitution Amended. Now He's Getting The Credit He Deserves.""Why did the ancient Greeks in the Persian wars use runners as messengers, couldn't they have used horses? Wouldn't that have been faster?""Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship"  Little that I haven't read elsewhere, but if you haven't followed the recent research, this is a nice short summary.      Related Stories"He Got A Bad Grade. So, He Got The Constitution Amended. Now He's Getting The Credit He Deserves.""Why did the ancient Greeks in the Persian wars use runners as messengers, couldn't they have used horses? Wouldn't that have been faster?""Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship"  [...]



"Rapidly Changing Technology Has Ravaged the American Workforce. But AT&T Is Determined to Teach Its Old Workforce to Use Its New Equipment."

2017-03-22T05:01:00-04:00

Even after all these years, the creativity and adaptability of American businesses still startles me.     Related Stories"Why shoppers still love going to discount retailers""Staples and Office Depot Are Being Ripped to Shreds by Amazon and the Internet""What it's like to use Suiteness, the website that gives you access to the most exclusive hotel suites in the world"  Even after all these years, the creativity and adaptability of American businesses still startles me.      Related Stories"Why shoppers still love going to discount retailers""Staples and Office Depot Are Being Ripped to Shreds by Amazon and the Internet""What it's like to use Suiteness, the website that gives you access to the most exclusive hotel suites in the world"  [...]



"Cruel cuts signal pension crisis"

2017-03-21T05:52:00-04:00

From the San Francisco Chronicle: For a small but probably growing number of California’s government workers, the worst-case scenario is here: The failure to adequately fund public pensions is leading to devastating reductions in their promised retirement benefits. If the...     Related Stories"The Rhode Island Model Can Save Medicaid""Should a Scientist Believe Anything Anyone Says?""College Classes In Name Only?"  From the San Francisco Chronicle: For a small but probably growing number of California’s government workers, the worst-case scenario is here: The failure to adequately fund public pensions is leading to devastating reductions in their promised retirement benefits. If the pension problem were a cloud of carbon monoxide, there would be no more need to wait for a canary to keel over. What are Liberals going to say when governments across the country start reneging on one of their most sacred promises? In California, don't tell me, I know: it will be the fault, no doubt, of Howard Jarvis and Ronald Reagan. I mean what about the rest of the country? Related: "Even San Francisco, Flush With Tech Wealth, Has Pension Problems" and "Collapsing pensions will fuel America’s next financial crisis".      Related Stories"The Rhode Island Model Can Save Medicaid""Should a Scientist Believe Anything Anyone Says?""College Classes In Name Only?"  [...]