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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-08-22T05:51:00-04:00

 



"The Simple Reasons Why Amazon is Not a Monopoly"

2017-08-22T05:51:00-04:00

Short, simple, and to the point. I really think the anti-Amazon folks should get another word.     Related Stories"California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""Support for NC charter schools remains strong; despite disappointing results from national poll""James Mattis: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy"  Short, simple, and to the point. I really think the anti-Amazon folks should get another word.      Related Stories"California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""Support for NC charter schools remains strong; despite disappointing results from national poll""James Mattis: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy"  [...]






"James Mattis: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy"

2017-08-22T05:36:00-04:00

One of several pieces I've read recently that depict General Mattis as a fine gentleman.     Related Stories"Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope""California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore"  One of several pieces I've read recently that depict General Mattis as a fine gentleman.      Related Stories"Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope""California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore"  [...]



"Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope"

2017-08-22T05:25:00-04:00

"Caught between vast, self-regarding waves of boomers and millennials, Generation X is steeped in irony, detachment, and a sense of dread. One of their rank argues that this attitude makes it the best suited to preserve American tradition in these...     Related Stories"California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore""Ghost Voters"  "Caught between vast, self-regarding waves of boomers and millennials, Generation X is steeped in irony, detachment, and a sense of dread. One of their rank argues that this attitude makes it the best suited to preserve American tradition in these dark new days."      Related Stories"California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore""Ghost Voters"  [...]



"Media Spreads Dangerous Lie That Bodybuilder Was Killed by Protein Shakes"

2017-08-22T05:00:00-04:00

I saw the headlines on the story in reported in various places, thought "That doesn't sound right," but shrugged and moved on. Turns out, it wasn't right.     Related Stories"The 50 best restaurants in America""We went to Waffle House — the American highway staple beloved by truckers — and discovered why Anthony Bourdain and chefs are obsessed with it""Why Goldbely Thinks People Will Pay $300 for Barbecue"  I saw the headlines on the story in reported in various places, thought "That doesn't sound right," but shrugged and moved on. Turns out, it wasn't right.        Related Stories"The 50 best restaurants in America""We went to Waffle House — the American highway staple beloved by truckers — and discovered why Anthony Bourdain and chefs are obsessed with it""Why Goldbely Thinks People Will Pay $300 for Barbecue"  [...]



"California Can’t Fix Its Housing Problems"

2017-08-21T05:48:00-04:00

But, hey, this sounds almost like progress: Even California’s liberal Democrats are starting to understand that the state’s housing crisis is fundamentally a supply-and-demand problem. Related: the NY Times profiles a woman who commutes three hours (one way) to San...     Related Stories"Alan Greenspan's 'Irrational Exuberance': Then and Now""How To (Spot A) Lie With Economic Statistics""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore"  But, hey, this sounds almost like progress: Even California’s liberal Democrats are starting to understand that the state’s housing crisis is fundamentally a supply-and-demand problem. Related: the NY Times profiles a woman who commutes three hours (one way) to San Fran from Stockton.      Related Stories"Alan Greenspan's 'Irrational Exuberance': Then and Now""How To (Spot A) Lie With Economic Statistics""What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore"  [...]






"How To (Spot A) Lie With Economic Statistics"

2017-08-21T05:43:00-04:00

Jeffrey Dorfman, Professor of Economics at U. of Georgia, does an excellent job dispensing with some common errors.     Related Stories"A Quick Theory of the Industrial Revolution (or, at least, an answer to 'Why Europe?')""Who coulda seen this coming?"Two on soda taxes  Jeffrey Dorfman, Professor of Economics at U. of Georgia, does an excellent job dispensing with some common errors.      Related Stories"A Quick Theory of the Industrial Revolution (or, at least, an answer to 'Why Europe?')""Who coulda seen this coming?"Two on soda taxes  [...]



"What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore"

2017-08-21T05:23:00-04:00

Lefty site Salon covers a story reported by even more left site The Nation. Last week the respected left-liberal magazine The Nation published an explosive article that details in great depth the findings of a new report — authored in...     Related Stories"Ghost Voters""Are U.S. Cities Underpoliced?""Changes in the corporate landscape"  Lefty site Salon covers a story reported by even more left site The Nation. Last week the respected left-liberal magazine The Nation published an explosive article that details in great depth the findings of a new report — authored in large part by former U.S. intelligence officers — which claims to present forensic evidence that the Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in July 2016. Instead, the report alleges, the DNC suffered an insider leak, conducted in the Eastern time zone of the United States by someone with physical access to a DNC computer.      Related Stories"Ghost Voters""Are U.S. Cities Underpoliced?""Changes in the corporate landscape"  [...]



"Ghost Voters"

2017-08-21T05:18:00-04:00

"Some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens."     Related Stories"Are U.S. Cities Underpoliced?""Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy"  "Some 3.5 million more people are registered to vote in the U.S. than are alive among America’s adult citizens."      Related Stories"Are U.S. Cities Underpoliced?""Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy"  [...]



"Are U.S. Cities Underpoliced?"

2017-08-21T05:00:00-04:00

Alex Tabarrok briefly reviews a forthcoming REStat paper that suggests the answer is "Yes."     Related Stories"Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""The Myth of Cosmopolitanism"  Alex Tabarrok briefly reviews a forthcoming REStat paper that suggests the answer is "Yes."      Related Stories"Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""The Myth of Cosmopolitanism"  [...]



"Gary Sanchez a different player since lunch with A-Rod and J.Lo"

2017-08-20T05:08:00-04:00

The article doesn't explain this: given these results, why shouldn't the whole team eat with A-Rod and J.Lo?     Related Stories"Ranking the 16 Most Important People in the Patriots’ Dynasty""It's Time for the NFL to Remember What It Means to Get Gronked""Everything You Need to Know About Messi and Ronaldo"  The article doesn't explain this: given these results, why shouldn't the whole team eat with A-Rod and J.Lo?      Related Stories"Ranking the 16 Most Important People in the Patriots’ Dynasty""It's Time for the NFL to Remember What It Means to Get Gronked""Everything You Need to Know About Messi and Ronaldo"  [...]



"Ranking the 16 Most Important People in the Patriots’ Dynasty"

2017-08-20T05:01:00-04:00

No surprise about #1 and #2, but the rest are interesting.     Related Stories"Gary Sanchez a different player since lunch with A-Rod and J.Lo""It's Time for the NFL to Remember What It Means to Get Gronked""Everything You Need to Know About Messi and Ronaldo"   No surprise about #1 and #2, but the rest are interesting.      Related Stories"Gary Sanchez a different player since lunch with A-Rod and J.Lo""It's Time for the NFL to Remember What It Means to Get Gronked""Everything You Need to Know About Messi and Ronaldo"  [...]



"The Battle of Los Angeles"

2017-08-19T05:48:00-04:00

Something caused the anti-aircraft guns to fire in Los Angeles on February 24, 1942.     Related Stories"The Essence""A US president born in 1790 has two living grandsons""What we get wrong about technology"  Something caused the anti-aircraft guns to fire in Los Angeles on February 24, 1942.      Related Stories"The Essence""A US president born in 1790 has two living grandsons""What we get wrong about technology"  [...]



"5mb IBM hard drive (1956)"

2017-08-19T05:01:00-04:00

A small reminder--if you need one--of just exactly how much things have changed.     Related Stories"Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it's scary how accurate he was"  A small reminder--if you need one--of just exactly how much things have changed.      Related Stories"Learning to Learn: You, Too, Can Rewire Your Brain""Google says machine learning is the future. So I tried it myself""Bill Gates made these 15 predictions in 1999 — and it's scary how accurate he was"  [...]



"What Music Do Americans Love the Most? 50 Detailed Fan Maps"

2017-08-18T05:50:00-04:00

My two takeaways from this: The states of the Confederacy are still . . . distinctive. By far the most surprising map to me is Metallica's. (This is for a recent Billboard Top 100 list, so if you're looking for...     Related Stories"Van Morrison will salute his blues heroes on new album, 'Roll With the Punches'""If You Eat This Salad, You Might Have a Baby""Want You Back"  My two takeaways from this: The states of the Confederacy are still . . . distinctive. By far the most surprising map to me is Metallica's. (This is for a recent Billboard Top 100 list, so if you're looking for Ludwig von or Ol' Blue Eyes, they're not here.)      Related Stories"Van Morrison will salute his blues heroes on new album, 'Roll With the Punches'""If You Eat This Salad, You Might Have a Baby""Want You Back"  [...]



"Top 10 Male Actors with Iconic Voices"

2017-08-18T05:45:00-04:00

"With these voices, it'd be hard for these gentlemen to prank call anyone."     Related Stories"Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A Conservative Sex Comedy""Extremely Loud and Incredibly Long""10 Mind-Blowing Hidden Clues You Never Noticed In Classic Movies"  "With these voices, it'd be hard for these gentlemen to prank call anyone."      Related Stories"Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A Conservative Sex Comedy""Extremely Loud and Incredibly Long""10 Mind-Blowing Hidden Clues You Never Noticed In Classic Movies"  [...]



"The 50 best restaurants in America"

2017-08-18T05:31:00-04:00

If you're in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, or DC, you have your choice of more than one from this list. ("We combined six noteworthy lists compiled by food critics, experts, and diners to come up with a definitive ranking of...     Related Stories"We went to Waffle House — the American highway staple beloved by truckers — and discovered why Anthony Bourdain and chefs are obsessed with it""Why Goldbely Thinks People Will Pay $300 for Barbecue""I Made 5 Famous Scrambled Egg Recipes And Found The Very Best One"  If you're in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, or DC, you have your choice of more than one from this list. ("We combined six noteworthy lists compiled by food critics, experts, and diners to come up with a definitive ranking of the best restaurants in the country.") Otherwise, you'll have to settle for only one choice or a place that's less than the "best".      Related Stories"We went to Waffle House — the American highway staple beloved by truckers — and discovered why Anthony Bourdain and chefs are obsessed with it""Why Goldbely Thinks People Will Pay $300 for Barbecue""I Made 5 Famous Scrambled Egg Recipes And Found The Very Best One"  [...]



"Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy"

2017-08-17T05:51:00-04:00

"Companies that structured some work into the form of part-time virtual jobs would find several upsides — first, a vastly expanded applicant pool."     Related Stories"The Myth of Cosmopolitanism""Newark Terrorized by Whole Foods""Hold On To Your Wallets: Light Rail Edition"  "Companies that structured some work into the form of part-time virtual jobs would find several upsides — first, a vastly expanded applicant pool."      Related Stories"The Myth of Cosmopolitanism""Newark Terrorized by Whole Foods""Hold On To Your Wallets: Light Rail Edition"  [...]



"Libertarian Bob Luddy’s Contribution to Education Reform"

2017-08-17T05:39:00-04:00

Bob Luddy is the founder of the Thales Academy schools here in Wake County and he sounds like an amazing man. Here's one tidbit: In 2013, the town of Rolesville, North Carolina got a new public high school that cost...     Related Stories"Raw Numbers: Charter Students Are Graduating From College at Three to Five Times the National Average""Is the AER Replicable? And is it Robust? Evidence from a Class Project""UNC's arrogance over academic scandal has tainted the school's once-great image"  Bob Luddy is the founder of the Thales Academy schools here in Wake County and he sounds like an amazing man. Here's one tidbit: In 2013, the town of Rolesville, North Carolina got a new public high school that cost $76 million. A year later, Thales opened a $9 million high school two-and-a-half miles away. Though much smaller, when divided by the number of students each building can accommodate, the Thales school cost half as much. In addition to the video in the piece linked above, here's another worthwhile look at Thales (7.5 minute video).      Related Stories"Raw Numbers: Charter Students Are Graduating From College at Three to Five Times the National Average""Is the AER Replicable? And is it Robust? Evidence from a Class Project""UNC's arrogance over academic scandal has tainted the school's once-great image"  [...]



"The Most Anthologized Poems of the Last 25 Years"

2017-08-17T05:25:00-04:00

A few of the usual suspects and a whole bunch of others.     Related Stories"14,995 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have""CRB: War Without End""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  A few of the usual suspects and a whole bunch of others.      Related Stories"14,995 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have""CRB: War Without End""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  [...]



"14,995 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have"

2017-08-17T05:12:00-04:00

The top two countries are obvious, but who number three is surprised me.     Related Stories"The Most Anthologized Poems of the Last 25 Years""CRB: War Without End""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  The top two countries are obvious, but who number three is surprised me.      Related Stories"The Most Anthologized Poems of the Last 25 Years""CRB: War Without End""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  [...]



"A Quick Theory of the Industrial Revolution (or, at least, an answer to 'Why Europe?')"

2017-08-16T05:48:00-04:00

Interesting conjecture that I, as a non-specialist in this line of research, hadn't heard before.     Related Stories"Who coulda seen this coming?"Two on soda taxes"Is the AER Replicable? And is it Robust? Evidence from a Class Project"  Interesting conjecture that I, as a non-specialist in this line of research, hadn't heard before.      Related Stories"Who coulda seen this coming?"Two on soda taxes"Is the AER Replicable? And is it Robust? Evidence from a Class Project"  [...]



"Changes in the corporate landscape"

2017-08-16T05:34:00-04:00

Arnold Kling explains.     Related Stories"Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""The Most Successful CEO of His Generation Steps Down""The Myth of Cosmopolitanism"  Arnold Kling explains.      Related Stories"Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""The Most Successful CEO of His Generation Steps Down""The Myth of Cosmopolitanism"  [...]



"CRB: War Without End"

2017-08-16T05:29:00-04:00

Scott Johnson at Power Line asserts, "At that price [$19.95/year] the CRB [Claremont Review of Books] affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States of America." I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but I think that...     Related Stories"The Most Anthologized Poems of the Last 25 Years""14,995 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  Scott Johnson at Power Line asserts, "At that price [$19.95/year] the CRB [Claremont Review of Books] affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States of America." I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but I think that for 20 bucks a year, you'll get a lot to read.      Related Stories"The Most Anthologized Poems of the Last 25 Years""14,995 nukes: All the nations armed with nuclear weapons and how many they have""This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"  [...]



"The Myth of Cosmopolitanism"

2017-08-16T05:25:00-04:00

This piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times is over a year old, but seems just as relevant now. But no less than Brexit-voting Cornish villagers, our global citizens think and act as members of a tribe. They...     Related Stories"Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""Newark Terrorized by Whole Foods""Hold On To Your Wallets: Light Rail Edition"  This piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times is over a year old, but seems just as relevant now. But no less than Brexit-voting Cornish villagers, our global citizens think and act as members of a tribe.  They have their own distinctive worldview (basically liberal Christianity without Christ), their own common educational experience, their own shared values and assumptions (social psychologists call these WEIRD — for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic), and of course their own outgroups (evangelicals, Little Englanders) to fear, pity and despise. And like any tribal cohort they seek comfort and familiarity: From London to Paris to New York, each Western “global city” (like each “global university”) is increasingly interchangeable, so that wherever the citizen of the world travels he already feels at home.      Related Stories"Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""Newark Terrorized by Whole Foods""Hold On To Your Wallets: Light Rail Edition"  [...]



"The Most Successful CEO of His Generation Steps Down"

2017-08-16T05:22:00-04:00

I'd never heard of him before this. Apparently, I wasn't alone: "In fact, most Americans, even those well versed in business, have probably never heard of Stephen Hemsley, the outgoing boss at America's largest insurer . . ."     Related Stories"Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""Who is winning with the fiduciary rule?"  I'd never heard of him before this. Apparently, I wasn't alone: "In fact, most Americans, even those well versed in business, have probably never heard of Stephen Hemsley, the outgoing boss at America's largest insurer . . ."      Related Stories"Changes in the corporate landscape""Stay-At-Home Moms Could Be the Secret to Energizing America's Economy""Who is winning with the fiduciary rule?"  [...]



"This simple trick keeps pollution out of your car"

2017-08-16T05:04:00-04:00

If you don't want to read the whole thing, the trick is this: keep your windows closed and turn the A/C on.     Related Stories"CRB: War Without End""Massive Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know, Including Full List of Affected Vehicles""A US president born in 1790 has two living grandsons"  If you don't want to read the whole thing, the trick is this: keep your windows closed and turn the A/C on.      Related Stories"CRB: War Without End""Massive Takata Airbag Recall: Everything You Need to Know, Including Full List of Affected Vehicles""A US president born in 1790 has two living grandsons"  [...]