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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-02-20T05:49:00-05:00

 



"No Republicans Need Apply"

2017-02-20T05:49:00-05:00

On my truth meter this scores 100%: The people who believe that there can be no art, literature, culture, or life apart from politics are people who do not understand art, literature, culture, or politics, and whose lives are sad...     Related Stories"An Idea for Real Reform for Secretary DeVos""Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburbran Ones Often Don't""Nobody Knows Anything"  On my truth meter this scores 100%: The people who believe that there can be no art, literature, culture, or life apart from politics are people who do not understand art, literature, culture, or politics, and whose lives are sad and sadly deficient.      Related Stories"An Idea for Real Reform for Secretary DeVos""Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburbran Ones Often Don't""Nobody Knows Anything"  [...]



"An Idea for Real Reform for Secretary DeVos"

2017-02-20T05:41:00-05:00

Cut way back on the accreditation follies. I second the motion. When faculty ask administrators why they put up with the burgeoning accreditation nonsense, their excuse is always that it’s better than direct regulation by the federal government. The government,...     Related Stories"Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburbran Ones Often Don't""No Thug Left Behind""Nobody Knows Anything"  Cut way back on the accreditation follies. I second the motion. When faculty ask administrators why they put up with the burgeoning accreditation nonsense, their excuse is always that it’s better than direct regulation by the federal government. The government, after all, has designated accreditation by one of the monopolistic regional accrediting associations as what’s required to qualify for federally subsidized loans for students and other federal aid.      Related Stories"Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburbran Ones Often Don't""No Thug Left Behind""Nobody Knows Anything"  [...]



"Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburbran Ones Often Don't"

2017-02-20T05:33:00-05:00

As nice a summary of the recent research on charter schools as you'll likely see.     Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""No Thug Left Behind""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt"  As nice a summary of the recent research on charter schools as you'll likely see.      Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""No Thug Left Behind""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt"  [...]



"Are rising prices, interest rates and exchanges rates a good thing?"

2017-02-20T05:30:00-05:00

Scott Sumner posts an excellent exposition of a point from simple economics: The questions . . . Would it be a good thing if interest rates rose? Would it be a good thing if copper prices rose? Would it be...     Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""TANSTAAFL"  Scott Sumner posts an excellent exposition of a point from simple economics: The questions . . . Would it be a good thing if interest rates rose?Would it be a good thing if copper prices rose?Would it be a good thing if the dollar appreciated? . . . are all basically meaningless. In all three cases, the prices never change for no reason at all. In each case the real question is whether the thing that causes the price to change makes us better off or worse off.      Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""TANSTAAFL"  [...]



"Nobody Knows Anything"

2017-02-20T05:20:00-05:00

Matthew Continetti: We are three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the most unusual and unconventional man to inhabit the White House in a century, possibly ever, and the New York Times is already naming the frontrunner to...     Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""No Thug Left Behind""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt"  Matthew Continetti: We are three weeks into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the most unusual and unconventional man to inhabit the White House in a century, possibly ever, and the New York Times is already naming the frontrunner to replace him? The same media and consultant class that assumed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency in 2008 and again in 2016 presumes to declare how a Senate kerfuffle in February 2017 will affect Iowa caucus-goers in 2020? Who are these people? Where did they come from? What makes them so obtuse, so beholden to gossip, so given to wish-casting, so certain that their momentary impressions of trivial matters carry cosmic weight? Was it college that inflated their sense of self-worth? Is that what $50k a year buys you—a degree in smug? We may never know.      Related Stories"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs""No Thug Left Behind""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt"  [...]



"Cutting jobs, street repairs, library books to keep up with pension costs"

2017-02-20T05:01:00-05:00

Were Lord Keynes alive I think he'd have to modify his famous aphorism about the long run. The long run sometimes does arrive while we're alive. It's happening right now in California. Related: "California Teachers’ Fund Reduced Goal Will Hit...     Related Stories"European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""No Thug Left Behind""Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"  Were Lord Keynes alive I think he'd have to modify his famous aphorism about the long run. The long run sometimes does arrive while we're alive. It's happening right now in California. Related: "California Teachers’ Fund Reduced Goal Will Hit These Districts Most".      Related Stories"European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""No Thug Left Behind""Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"  [...]



"Is the Flamin' Hot Cheeto Bagel a Hungover Miracle or an Abomination?"

2017-02-19T05:52:00-05:00

My older daughter and her colleagues, as well as I, vote for "bad idea".     Related Stories"A food scientist explains why Doritos are the perfect snack""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""The 15 best buffets in America"  My older daughter and her colleagues, as well as I, vote for "bad idea".      Related Stories"A food scientist explains why Doritos are the perfect snack""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""The 15 best buffets in America"  [...]



"Why Stepping on a Lego Hurts Like Hell, According to Science"

2017-02-19T05:02:00-05:00

An answer to another of life's most pressing questions.     Related Stories". . . the world's strangest 'graveyards' where unwanted products are left to rot ""30 largest employers in the U.S.""34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North"  An answer to another of life's most pressing questions.      Related Stories". . . the world's strangest 'graveyards' where unwanted products are left to rot ""30 largest employers in the U.S.""34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North"  [...]









"The story behind Janis Joplin's landmark hit 'Me and Bobby McGee'"

2017-02-17T05:44:00-05:00

I didn't know the inspiration was a Fellini movie.     Related Stories"Lucille (guitar)""Dolly Parton And Lily Tomlin At The SAG Awards Are the Model For Awards-Show Speeches""Is Spotify Going Bankrupt In 2017? Wall Street Delivers Another Red Flag"  I didn't know the inspiration was a Fellini movie.      Related Stories"Lucille (guitar)""Dolly Parton And Lily Tomlin At The SAG Awards Are the Model For Awards-Show Speeches""Is Spotify Going Bankrupt In 2017? Wall Street Delivers Another Red Flag"  [...]



". . . the world's strangest 'graveyards' where unwanted products are left to rot "

2017-02-17T05:07:00-05:00

With pictures, of course.     Related Stories"30 largest employers in the U.S.""34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North""How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes"  With pictures, of course.      Related Stories"30 largest employers in the U.S.""34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North""How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes"  [...]



"Searching for California's Lost Viking Treasure Ship"

2017-02-16T05:48:00-05:00

One man's long, lonely search for a lost 16th century Spanish (earlier Viking?) ship in the California desert. Hey, stranger things have happened.     Related Stories"The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence""50th anniversary tributes to Summer of Love""This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization"  One man's long, lonely search for a lost 16th century Spanish (earlier Viking?) ship in the California desert. Hey, stranger things have happened.      Related Stories"The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence""50th anniversary tributes to Summer of Love""This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization"  [...]



"A food scientist explains why Doritos are the perfect snack"

2017-02-16T05:34:00-05:00

I didn't really need to know that exactly why Doritos are tasty, but I still found it interesting.     Related Stories"Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""The 15 best buffets in America""Here's how to make McDonald's 'secret' Big Mac sauce"  I didn't really need to know that exactly why Doritos are tasty, but I still found it interesting.      Related Stories"Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""The 15 best buffets in America""Here's how to make McDonald's 'secret' Big Mac sauce"  [...]



"30 largest employers in the U.S."

2017-02-16T05:16:00-05:00

I had never heard of a few.     Related Stories"34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North""How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation"  I had never heard of a few.      Related Stories"34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North""How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation"  [...]



"The Patriots Just Made Parenting Harder"

2017-02-16T06:45:39-05:00

As a former Phillies fan--take Gene Mauch and the '64 Phils; please!--I can empathise with the man. UPDATE: Link fixed now. Thanks, Michael.     Related Stories"North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""Patriots went outside when Falcons clogged the middle""Pats Fans Vs. the World"  As a former Phillies fan--take Gene Mauch and the '64 Phils; please!--I can empathise with the man. UPDATE: Link fixed now. Thanks, Michael.      Related Stories"North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""Patriots went outside when Falcons clogged the middle""Pats Fans Vs. the World"  [...]



"No Thug Left Behind"

2017-02-15T05:46:00-05:00

This sounds like a whole truckload of stupid. Equity advocates’ central premise is that teachers, not students, are to blame for the racial-equity discipline gap. They claim that teachers’ biases, cultural ignorance, or insensitivity are the gap’s primary causes. The...     Related Stories"Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""New undergrads are starting to not know how to use computers"  This sounds like a whole truckload of stupid. Equity advocates’ central premise is that teachers, not students, are to blame for the racial-equity discipline gap. They claim that teachers’ biases, cultural ignorance, or insensitivity are the gap’s primary causes. The key to eliminating disparities, they maintain, is to change not students’ but adults’ behavior.      Related Stories"Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos""European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt""New undergrads are starting to not know how to use computers"  [...]



"European debt crisis: It's not just Greece that's drowning in debt"

2017-02-15T05:41:00-05:00

It's difficult for me to believe that this can go on for too much longer.     Related Stories"NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law""Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"  It's difficult for me to believe that this can go on for too much longer.      Related Stories"NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law""Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"  [...]



"Liberals are wrong to gang up on Betsy DeVos"

2017-02-15T05:29:00-05:00

By a self-proclaimed Liberal: School choice is not a fantasy of right-wing ideologues. For parents of means, it is a reality. They are able to either pay for private schools or move to districts with high-quality public schools. What school...     Related Stories"New undergrads are starting to not know how to use computers""North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""Education statistics: Figures lie and politicians figure"  By a self-proclaimed Liberal: School choice is not a fantasy of right-wing ideologues. For parents of means, it is a reality. They are able to either pay for private schools or move to districts with high-quality public schools. What school choice advocates like DeVos want is simply for poor children to have the same opportunities afforded to those parents who are better off. Opportunities that, by the way, many liberal parents happily exercise for themselves. Link via Instapundit.      Related Stories"New undergrads are starting to not know how to use computers""North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""Education statistics: Figures lie and politicians figure"  [...]



"TANSTAAFL"

2017-02-15T05:05:00-05:00

One of the fundamental laws of life. Ignore it at your peril.     Related Stories"He Tried to Warn Us""NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law"  One of the fundamental laws of life. Ignore it at your peril.      Related Stories"He Tried to Warn Us""NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law"  [...]



"34 things no one tells you about the South before you move here from the North"

2017-02-14T05:50:00-05:00

"Cockroaches fly in the South," "You should never schedule a wedding in the fall," "Remember Waffle House," "There's more butter on the veggies than on the bread," "People actually listen to Garth Brooks," and more. Kinda related: "23 Kinda Important...     Related Stories"How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe"  "Cockroaches fly in the South," "You should never schedule a wedding in the fall," "Remember Waffle House," "There's more butter on the veggies than on the bread," "People actually listen to Garth Brooks," and more. Kinda related: "23 Kinda Important Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving From Texas To NYC".      Related Stories"How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes""Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe"  [...]



"New undergrads are starting to not know how to use computers"

2017-02-14T05:48:00-05:00

Technology just keeps changing. I was going to write "advancing" but changed my mind. "It would never happen a few years ago, but lately I've been noticing a trend of computer illiterate undergrads in my computing class. Guess a highschool...     Related Stories"North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law"  Technology just keeps changing. I was going to write "advancing" but changed my mind. "It would never happen a few years ago, but lately I've been noticing a trend of computer illiterate undergrads in my computing class. Guess a highschool kid these days doesn't have need for a computer at all?" And see "Smartphones Have an Unexpected New Rival".      Related Stories"North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels""NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law"  [...]



"North Carolina AD lays out academic fraud defense: NCAA 'overcharged' Tar Heels"

2017-02-14T05:46:00-05:00

Both Wolfpack and Duke fans had a lot of fun with this statement by Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham: "Is this academic fraud? Yes, it is by a normal person's standards. But by the NCAA definition [it is not]." (Translation: Sure, we're...     Related Stories"NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law""The 3 biggest tax mistakes retirees make"  Both Wolfpack and Duke fans had a lot of fun with this statement by Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham: "Is this academic fraud? Yes, it is by a normal person's standards. But by the NCAA definition [it is not]." (Translation: Sure, we're guilty as charged and guilty as hell, but you can't punish us! Nyah, nyah!) Among the things the Wolfpack fans linked to was "Spirit, not the letter of the law". And, related, do see this: "Fake Classes".        Related Stories"NC has a budget surplus. Should it fund tax cuts or ‘better schools and a stronger middle class’?""No escaping Downs' Law""The 3 biggest tax mistakes retirees make"  [...]



"A Popular Diet-Science Lab Has Been Publishing Really Shoddy Research"

2017-02-14T05:33:00-05:00

If should just be a rule: if no one can try to replicate it, it isn't science. I don't care what kind of data you're using.     Related Stories"Physicists who created 'pure nothingness' say they detected something astonishing inside of it""NASA / NOAA Climate Data Is Fake Data""Nobody Knows Where A Black Hole's Information Goes"  If should just be a rule: if no one can try to replicate it, it isn't science. I don't care what kind of data you're using.      Related Stories"Physicists who created 'pure nothingness' say they detected something astonishing inside of it""NASA / NOAA Climate Data Is Fake Data""Nobody Knows Where A Black Hole's Information Goes"  [...]



"How to improve anything you write in 2 minutes"

2017-02-14T05:00:00-05:00

Five simple suggestions.     Related Stories"Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe""Are Cardinals Or Robins Crashing Into Or Pecking at Your Windows?"  Five simple suggestions.      Related Stories"Experts are hailing this exotic fruit that tastes like pulled pork as a 'miracle' crop, which could save millions from starvation""20 Examples Of The Mandela Effect That’ll Make You Believe You’re In A Parallel Universe""Are Cardinals Or Robins Crashing Into Or Pecking at Your Windows?"  [...]