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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-06-26T05:52:00-04:00

 






"What to Do With a Broken Illinois: Dissolve the Land of Lincoln"

2017-06-26T05:48:00-04:00

John Kass, Chicago Tribune. Ouch, this is gonna hurt. Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper. But before we run out...     Related Stories"U.S. Ruled by Executive, Legislative, Judicial Branches… and Richard Cordray""The High Hidden Costs of Terrorism""Banks Told to Keep Skin in Game. They Securitized That Too"  John Kass, Chicago Tribune. Ouch, this is gonna hurt. Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper. But before we run out of the essentials, let's finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people's money.      Related Stories"U.S. Ruled by Executive, Legislative, Judicial Branches… and Richard Cordray""The High Hidden Costs of Terrorism""Banks Told to Keep Skin in Game. They Securitized That Too"  [...]



"Johns Hopkins researchers say they've unlocked key to cancer metastasis and how to slow it"

2017-06-26T05:41:00-04:00

Based on something a sophomore discovered.     Related Stories"Eating These Foods May Help Stop Prostate Cancer In Its Tracks​""The Cancer Treatment That's Helping to Change the Lives of Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia""Immunotherapy drug opens a new era of precision medicine for cancer"  Based on something a sophomore discovered.      Related Stories"Eating These Foods May Help Stop Prostate Cancer In Its Tracks​""The Cancer Treatment That's Helping to Change the Lives of Patients With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia""Immunotherapy drug opens a new era of precision medicine for cancer"  [...]



"The High Hidden Costs of Terrorism"

2017-06-26T05:25:00-04:00

A fine refutation of the why-worry-about-terrorism-you're odds-of-being-killed-are-so-small dopey argument.     Related Stories"Banks Told to Keep Skin in Game. They Securitized That Too""Why the Liberal Elite Will Never Check Its Privilege""Waiting in Ridiculously Long Lines is Washington’s Latest Status Symbol"  A fine refutation of the why-worry-about-terrorism-you're odds-of-being-killed-are-so-small dopey argument.      Related Stories"Banks Told to Keep Skin in Game. They Securitized That Too""Why the Liberal Elite Will Never Check Its Privilege""Waiting in Ridiculously Long Lines is Washington’s Latest Status Symbol"  [...]






"Banks Told to Keep Skin in Game. They Securitized That Too"

2017-06-26T05:01:00-04:00

Regulators think that they're smart. They may well be. But time after time, profit-seeking businessmen have proven they're smarter.     Related Stories"Why the Liberal Elite Will Never Check Its Privilege""Waiting in Ridiculously Long Lines is Washington’s Latest Status Symbol""Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions"  Regulators think that they're smart. They may well be. But time after time, profit-seeking businessmen have proven they're smarter.      Related Stories"Why the Liberal Elite Will Never Check Its Privilege""Waiting in Ridiculously Long Lines is Washington’s Latest Status Symbol""Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions"  [...]



Paragliding in Malibu

2017-06-25T05:51:00-04:00

In pretty 360 degree video.     Related Stories"26 photos that show what popular tourist attractions really look like""Google Earth just rolled out its biggest update yet — here's what's new""The Countries That Are Actually the Most Dangerous for Tourists"  In pretty 360 degree video.      Related Stories"26 photos that show what popular tourist attractions really look like""Google Earth just rolled out its biggest update yet — here's what's new""The Countries That Are Actually the Most Dangerous for Tourists"  [...]



"This surprising physical trait is what sets pro athletes apart from the rest of us"

2017-06-25T05:04:00-04:00

I wouldn't have guessed.     Related Stories"The Patriots’ Blueprint to Mastering Pick-for-Player Trades""The statistical revelation that has MLB hitters bombing more home runs than the steroid era""Don Yee bucks against system and NCAA with Pacific Pro Football"  I wouldn't have guessed.      Related Stories"The Patriots’ Blueprint to Mastering Pick-for-Player Trades""The statistical revelation that has MLB hitters bombing more home runs than the steroid era""Don Yee bucks against system and NCAA with Pacific Pro Football"  [...]



"The Patriots’ Blueprint to Mastering Pick-for-Player Trades"

2017-06-24T05:42:00-04:00

Belichick just seems to be, as Yogi would have said, smarter than the average bear.     Related Stories"The statistical revelation that has MLB hitters bombing more home runs than the steroid era""Don Yee bucks against system and NCAA with Pacific Pro Football""Kesselmania Runs Wild"  Belichick just seems to be, as Yogi would have said, smarter than the average bear.      Related Stories"The statistical revelation that has MLB hitters bombing more home runs than the steroid era""Don Yee bucks against system and NCAA with Pacific Pro Football""Kesselmania Runs Wild"  [...]



"This Is What Happens at a ‘Wine Orgy,’ According to ‘Cork Dork’ Bianca Bosker"

2017-06-24T05:10:00-04:00

"It’s probably not what you’re picturing."     Related Stories"Which chocolate brand is considered the most premium in the world?""How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business""A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King"  "It’s probably not what you’re picturing."      Related Stories"Which chocolate brand is considered the most premium in the world?""How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business""A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King"  [...]



"The twenty greatest albums of 1967"

2017-06-23T05:45:00-04:00

A pretty good year for music. Link via Michael Greenspan.     Related Stories"U2 comes back to Heinz Field with 'Joshua Tree'""Only Real Rock Fans Can Get 9/9 On This Quiz""Get started making music"  A pretty good year for music. Link via Michael Greenspan.      Related Stories"U2 comes back to Heinz Field with 'Joshua Tree'""Only Real Rock Fans Can Get 9/9 On This Quiz""Get started making music"  [...]



"The Empathetic Dog"

2017-06-23T05:26:00-04:00

"Other research found that dogs and people had a similar response to hearing the sound of a human baby crying."     Related Stories"22 incredible photos from where jumbo jets go to die""This infographic shows the most popular baby names in every UK city""What Makes The Spelling Bee So Hard"  "Other research found that dogs and people had a similar response to hearing the sound of a human baby crying."      Related Stories"22 incredible photos from where jumbo jets go to die""This infographic shows the most popular baby names in every UK city""What Makes The Spelling Bee So Hard"  [...]



"Which chocolate brand is considered the most premium in the world?"

2017-06-23T05:07:00-04:00

The supposedly best ones are too expensive for my, but your mileage may vary.     Related Stories"How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business""A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King""What Is City Chicken, Really?"  The supposedly best ones are too expensive for my, but your mileage may vary.      Related Stories"How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business""A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King""What Is City Chicken, Really?"  [...]



"Waiting in Ridiculously Long Lines is Washington’s Latest Status Symbol"

2017-06-22T05:50:00-04:00

Old and busted: having money to burn. The new hotness: having time to burn. Link via my older daughter.     Related Stories"Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions""The new, nearly invisible class markers that separate the American elite from everyone else""MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"  Old and busted: having money to burn. The new hotness: having time to burn. Link via my older daughter.      Related Stories"Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions""The new, nearly invisible class markers that separate the American elite from everyone else""MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"  [...]



"12 Possible Reasons We Haven't Found Aliens"

2017-06-22T05:44:00-04:00

Some reasons are preferable to others.     Related Stories"Data, Truth and Null Results""Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ""This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location"  Some reasons are preferable to others.      Related Stories"Data, Truth and Null Results""Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ""This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location"  [...]



"How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business"

2017-06-22T05:32:00-04:00

I was never a fan of hot coffee, but nowadays I buy the cold brew concentrate and enjoy it a lot.     Related Stories"A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King""What Is City Chicken, Really?""The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says"  I was never a fan of hot coffee, but nowadays I buy the cold brew concentrate and enjoy it a lot.      Related Stories"A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King""What Is City Chicken, Really?""The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says"  [...]



"A new drive-thru salad bar should scare McDonald's and Burger King"

2017-06-22T05:02:00-04:00

Y'all should come to Raleigh. Salad and Go sells 48-ounce salads, all priced between $5.74 and $8.23 depending on whether you add chicken, steak, or shrimp.     Related Stories"What Is City Chicken, Really?""The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says""Inside Amazon's Grand Plan to Control How You Eat"  Y'all should come to Raleigh. Salad and Go sells 48-ounce salads, all priced between $5.74 and $8.23 depending on whether you add chicken, steak, or shrimp.      Related Stories"What Is City Chicken, Really?""The dark side of poutine: Canada taking credit for Quebec dish amounts to cultural appropriation, academic says""Inside Amazon's Grand Plan to Control How You Eat"  [...]



"Elite High Schools Plot to Undermine College Admissions"

2017-06-21T05:51:00-04:00

Even given the low expectations I have for good sense in K-12 education, this is really dopey. The plan — by the Mastery Transcript Consortium, which counts over 100 top private schools as members — would have its participants stop...     Related Stories"The new, nearly invisible class markers that separate the American elite from everyone else""MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"A few notes from two Liberal paradises  Even given the low expectations I have for good sense in K-12 education, this is really dopey. The plan — by the Mastery Transcript Consortium, which counts over 100 top private schools as members — would have its participants stop reporting grades to college admissions offices and instead provide a new model for transcripts and portfolios. The consortium’s proposal would serve as one more step in a trend going back a century toward introducing vagueness and, by extension, discretionary power into college admissions. If, supposedly, wealthy people can give their offspring an unfair advantage on the SATs and getting good high school grades, wait until you see how large an advantage they can procure in getting good "portfolios".       Related Stories"The new, nearly invisible class markers that separate the American elite from everyone else""MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"A few notes from two Liberal paradises  [...]



"Why Not Try 'Medicare for All'? Glad You Asked"

2017-06-21T05:43:00-04:00

Megan McArdle: In businesses like this, people often look at the prices paid by marginal-cost consumers, and conclude it would be great if everyone got that price. But someone has to cover those fixed costs, or the seller goes bankrupt....     Related StoriesA few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives""Top Economics Blogs of 2017"  Megan McArdle: In businesses like this, people often look at the prices paid by marginal-cost consumers, and conclude it would be great if everyone got that price. But someone has to cover those fixed costs, or the seller goes bankrupt. I'd vote to give the woman an honorary degree in economics.      Related StoriesA few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives""Top Economics Blogs of 2017"  [...]



"Data, Truth and Null Results"

2017-06-21T05:20:00-04:00

Another famous result in psychology comes under fire. And the original author worsens his problem: Following a rather opaque discussion, Strack seems to come close to suggesting that the truth of claims in science can be known even in the...     Related Stories"Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ""This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location""Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained"  Another famous result in psychology comes under fire. And the original author worsens his problem: Following a rather opaque discussion, Strack seems to come close to suggesting that the truth of claims in science can be known even in the absence of statistical support.      Related Stories"Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ""This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location""Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained"  [...]



"Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ"

2017-06-21T05:02:00-04:00

Interesting, apparently sober and balanced evaluation of the evidence regarding the heritability of IQ vis-à-vis the controversy over the research of Charles Murray.     Related Stories"This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location""Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained""The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of"  Interesting, apparently sober and balanced evaluation of the evidence regarding the heritability of IQ vis-à-vis the controversy over the research of Charles Murray.      Related Stories"This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location""Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained""The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of"  [...]



"The new, nearly invisible class markers that separate the American elite from everyone else"

2017-06-21T04:56:26-04:00

Old story: wealthy people spend lotsa lotsa money in obvious ways, in "conspicuous consumption": bad, very bad. New story: wealthy people do NOT spend money in obvious ways, in "inconspicuous consumption": bad, very bad. You'd almost think that whatever wealthy...     Related Stories"MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"A few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives"  Old story: wealthy people spend lotsa lotsa money in obvious ways, in "conspicuous consumption": bad, very bad. New story: wealthy people do NOT spend money in obvious ways, in "inconspicuous consumption": bad, very bad. You'd almost think that whatever wealthy people do with their money, it will be bad, very bad.      Related Stories"MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"A few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives"  [...]



"The Amazon Tax"

2017-06-21T04:55:39-04:00

Interesting analysis of Amazon's principal strategy. UPDATE: Link fixed now. Thanks, Art.     Related Stories"Here's what you need to land America's best jobs""Grocery Stores: An American Miracle""There Was No ‘Golden Age’ of Air Travel"  Interesting analysis of Amazon's principal strategy.  UPDATE: Link fixed now. Thanks, Art.      Related Stories"Here's what you need to land America's best jobs""Grocery Stores: An American Miracle""There Was No ‘Golden Age’ of Air Travel"  [...]



"MTA to city’s workforce: Just stay home"

2017-06-20T05:39:00-04:00

I think ya gotta admire the creative way the New York train system is attempting to solve its problem.     Related StoriesA few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives"Stock market: overvalued or not?  I think ya gotta admire the creative way the New York train system is attempting to solve its problem.      Related StoriesA few notes from two Liberal paradises"Unelected bureaucrats are running our lives"Stock market: overvalued or not?  [...]



"This tool lets you see what the solar eclipse will look like from your location"

2017-06-20T05:30:00-04:00

Kinda cool.     Related Stories"Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained""The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of""Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results"  Kinda cool.      Related Stories"Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained""The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of""Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results"  [...]



"Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained"

2017-06-21T04:58:07-04:00

Unsurprising: it wasn't aliens. UPDATE: link included now.     Related Stories"The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of""Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results""Einstein was RIGHT about black holes: Groundbreaking experiment finds matter completely vanishes when pulled in by an 'event horizon'"  Unsurprising: it wasn't aliens. UPDATE: link included now.      Related Stories"The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of""Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results""Einstein was RIGHT about black holes: Groundbreaking experiment finds matter completely vanishes when pulled in by an 'event horizon'"  [...]