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Things one middle-aged economist finds interesting



Updated: 2017-05-29T05:50:00-04:00

 



Hopeful signs from two blue states

2017-05-29T05:50:00-04:00

The hope actions are being absolutely forced upon them, but they're still good news. "Oregon Set to Privatize Several Agencies: A woefully ailing pension system is forcing the profligate state into fiscal responsibility". "‘The Worse, the Better’ Could Be the...     Related Stories"How Team Obama tried to hack the election""Regime Change by Any Other Name?""NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045"  The hope actions are being absolutely forced upon them, but they're still good news. "Oregon Set to Privatize Several Agencies: A woefully ailing pension system is forcing the profligate state into fiscal responsibility". "‘The Worse, the Better’ Could Be the Greeting At Collapse of Connecticut".      Related Stories"How Team Obama tried to hack the election""Regime Change by Any Other Name?""NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045"  [...]



"How Team Obama tried to hack the election"

2017-05-29T05:32:00-04:00

Jeez. I think Trump invented a secret time machine, traveled back five years, and hypnotized and blackmailed people in his unique eviiiiiiil way to accomplish this. Wait and see: the Liberals will propose it.     Related Stories"Regime Change by Any Other Name?""NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack"  Jeez. I think Trump invented a secret time machine, traveled back five years, and hypnotized and blackmailed people in his unique eviiiiiiil way to accomplish this. Wait and see: the Liberals will propose it.      Related Stories"Regime Change by Any Other Name?""NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack"  [...]



"NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045"

2017-05-29T05:09:00-04:00

Lots of luck New Yorkers. You'll need it. (Link via Metafilter.)     Related Stories"Regime Change by Any Other Name?""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  Lots of luck New Yorkers. You'll need it. (Link via Metafilter.)      Related Stories"Regime Change by Any Other Name?""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  [...]



"Regime Change by Any Other Name?"

2017-05-29T05:04:00-04:00

Victor Davis Hanson reviews the various "deplorable" actions of the Obama Administration. It's a long list.     Related Stories"NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  Victor Davis Hanson reviews the various "deplorable" actions of the Obama Administration. It's a long list.      Related Stories"NYC’s Subway Commute To Get Worse Until At Least 2045""Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  [...]






"Family-of-four build their dream £1.2m six-bedroom house in less than FOUR days after buying it in flat pack"

2017-05-28T05:04:00-04:00

I wouldn't want to spend over $1 million on a kit. But four days sounds pretty good.     Related Stories"United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided""Mom-and-Pop Joints Are Trouncing America's Big Restaurant Chains""The Farm Bill Comes Due"  I wouldn't want to spend over $1 million on a kit. But four days sounds pretty good.      Related Stories"United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided""Mom-and-Pop Joints Are Trouncing America's Big Restaurant Chains""The Farm Bill Comes Due"  [...]



"Why did NCAA strip FSU, Bowden of wins when UNC, Penn State scandals are much worse?"

2017-05-27T05:49:00-04:00

Good question. But the NCAA still has the chance to get UNC right.     Related Stories"Kobe Bryant celebrates Warriors’ offensive greatness in video""This is what 30 years of Caps disappointment looks like, in one column""Scaling the World's Most Lethal Mountain in the Dead of Winter"  Good question. But the NCAA still has the chance to get UNC right.      Related Stories"Kobe Bryant celebrates Warriors’ offensive greatness in video""This is what 30 years of Caps disappointment looks like, in one column""Scaling the World's Most Lethal Mountain in the Dead of Winter"  [...]



"Kobe Bryant celebrates Warriors’ offensive greatness in video"

2017-05-27T05:06:00-04:00

Black Mamba praises "The Golden Democracy". Go Dubs.     Related Stories"This is what 30 years of Caps disappointment looks like, in one column""Scaling the World's Most Lethal Mountain in the Dead of Winter""The reckoning: When rights-fee bubble bursts, college sports will be changed forever"  Black Mamba praises "The Golden Democracy".  Go Dubs.      Related Stories"This is what 30 years of Caps disappointment looks like, in one column""Scaling the World's Most Lethal Mountain in the Dead of Winter""The reckoning: When rights-fee bubble bursts, college sports will be changed forever"  [...]



"Listening To Blade Runner"

2017-05-26T05:45:00-04:00

Short video. I learned something.     Related Stories"9 Amazing Performances From Actors Who Stopped Giving A Damn"Excerpt from The Life of Brian"Forty Years Later, ‘Annie Hall’ Is Still a Work of Genius"  Short video. I learned something.      Related Stories"9 Amazing Performances From Actors Who Stopped Giving A Damn"Excerpt from The Life of Brian"Forty Years Later, ‘Annie Hall’ Is Still a Work of Genius"  [...]






"There are 5 major services that let you stream live TV over the internet — here's how they compare"

2017-05-26T05:07:00-04:00

It will be time soon for our family to "cut the cord," so this was useful.     Related Stories"TV Fool""In the golden age of sports studio hosts, here's an attempt to draft 30 of the best""Dolly Parton And Lily Tomlin At The SAG Awards Are the Model For Awards-Show Speeches"  It will be time soon for our family to "cut the cord," so this was useful.      Related Stories"TV Fool""In the golden age of sports studio hosts, here's an attempt to draft 30 of the best""Dolly Parton And Lily Tomlin At The SAG Awards Are the Model For Awards-Show Speeches"  [...]



"Dubai wants to drag icebergs from Antarctica for fresh water"

2017-05-27T06:38:40-04:00

For years and years I used to tell my microeconomics students that one response to the water shortage in California caused by price controls was a proposal to use icebergs for fresh water. But unlike the company described in the...     Related Stories"Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ebola""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  For years and years I used to tell my microeconomics students that one response to the water shortage in California caused by price controls was a proposal to use icebergs for fresh water. But unlike the company described in the this article as believing "they would not melt significantly during the voyage" the information I had indicated that melting was a big worry. But the engineers--practical, as always--proposed to wrap the icebergs in plastic, on site in the Antarctic. And I told the students if you think that will be cheap, guess again. Such are the potential costs of tampering with the price system.      Related Stories"Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ebola""United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"  [...]



"The Real DC Subway Map"

2017-05-25T05:46:00-04:00

From "Peruvian Chicken and Pupusas" on the Red Line to "You Overslept and Missed Your Stop" on the Yellow Line, the DC subway map as you've never seen it before. Related: the "DC Restaurant Map".     Related Stories"The Hidden Realities of U.S. Incarceration""Hilarious forecast: Spring in Finland""Trump the Witch"  From "Peruvian Chicken and Pupusas" on the Red Line to "You Overslept and Missed Your Stop" on the Yellow Line, the DC subway map as you've never seen it before. Related: the "DC Restaurant Map".      Related Stories"The Hidden Realities of U.S. Incarceration""Hilarious forecast: Spring in Finland""Trump the Witch"  [...]



"The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ebola"

2017-05-25T05:07:00-04:00

Don't panic is the message. Ebola is a scary disease, made much more scary by some wildly exaggerated claims in some books and movies. So, before we talk about Ebola, let's talk about another scary disease called "rabies." It's a...     Related Stories"Astronomers are freaking out that this star is ‘flashing’""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Where have all the insects gone?"  Don't panic is the message. Ebola is a scary disease, made much more scary by some wildly exaggerated claims in some books and movies. So, before we talk about Ebola, let's talk about another scary disease called "rabies." It's a virus, serum transmitted -- meaning contact with blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids from an infected individual is needed to transmit the disease. Thousands of people die of it worldwide, every year. Once you've sickened with it, become symptomatic, the symptoms are pretty horrible, and there's really no effective treatment. People who develop the symptoms are very likely to die. In fact, the number of people who have survived active rabies can be counted on one hand with fingers left over.      Related Stories"Astronomers are freaking out that this star is ‘flashing’""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Where have all the insects gone?"  [...]



"America’s Schools Are Built For Tomorrow’s Followers"

2017-05-25T05:00:00-04:00

They always have been. But now they really need to change.     Related Stories"Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""Urban schools will fail if disruptive students remain""Voucher critics are seizing on D.C. test scores. They’re missing the point."  They always have been. But now they really need to change.       Related Stories"Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""Urban schools will fail if disruptive students remain""Voucher critics are seizing on D.C. test scores. They’re missing the point."  [...]



"The Hidden Realities of U.S. Incarceration"

2017-05-24T05:50:00-04:00

Some information here I did not know. The truth, by contrast, is that about half of prisoners were convicted of violent offenses, and that some of the others committed violence but pleaded guilty to lesser offenses. Even the fifth of...     Related Stories"Luther's World: Understanding the man who was the powerhouse of the Reformation""I've been biking in traffic for decades, and this is one of the best safety gadgets I've ever used""The real reason why Spaniards eat late"  Some information here I did not know. The truth, by contrast, is that about half of prisoners were convicted of violent offenses, and that some of the others committed violence but pleaded guilty to lesser offenses. Even the fifth of prisoners who are locked up for drugs tend to be mid-level dealers, not users or low-level distributors. And, while decades-long sentences make the news, most prisoners who committed crimes not involving the most serious violence are out within a year or two. In other words, while incarceration has undoubtedly soared—even relative to crime, which has dropped substantially since the early 1990s—our propensity to throw people in prison has simply not reached the heights of ridiculousness that many assume.      Related Stories"Luther's World: Understanding the man who was the powerhouse of the Reformation""I've been biking in traffic for decades, and this is one of the best safety gadgets I've ever used""The real reason why Spaniards eat late"  [...]



"Mom-and-Pop Joints Are Trouncing America's Big Restaurant Chains"

2017-05-24T05:42:00-04:00

Wait. I thought everybody would fall before before bad Big Business. Apparently not.     Related Stories"United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided""Why Amazon is eating the world""The Farm Bill Comes Due"  Wait. I thought everybody would fall before before bad Big Business. Apparently not.      Related Stories"United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided""Why Amazon is eating the world""The Farm Bill Comes Due"  [...]



"United Airlines' 'Re-Accommodation' Could Have So Easily Been Avoided"

2017-05-24T05:34:00-04:00

A gaduate school classmate of mine, Thomas Hazlett, explains why airline seats--and radio spectrum--should be auctioned more frequently.     Related Stories"The Farm Bill Comes Due""Mom-and-Pop Joints Are Trouncing America's Big Restaurant Chains""Get Ready for the Pillorying of Pence"  A gaduate school classmate of mine, Thomas Hazlett, explains why airline seats--and radio spectrum--should be auctioned more frequently.      Related Stories"The Farm Bill Comes Due""Mom-and-Pop Joints Are Trouncing America's Big Restaurant Chains""Get Ready for the Pillorying of Pence"  [...]



"Astronomers are freaking out that this star is ‘flashing’"

2017-05-24T05:06:00-04:00

No matter what the story turns out to be, it seems like they'll be new science.     Related Stories"Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Where have all the insects gone?""The Universe"  No matter what the story turns out to be, it seems like they'll be new science.      Related Stories"Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Where have all the insects gone?""The Universe"  [...]



"Why Amazon is eating the world"

2017-05-23T05:52:00-04:00

Interesting article on a big reason for Amazon's success. Related: "Death by Amazon".     Related Stories"Companies need workers — but people keep getting high""Leading a Team to the Top of Mount Everest""'Jeff Bezos Is a Different Species': Buffett and Munger praise Bezos, Amazon  Interesting article on a big reason for Amazon's success. Related: "Death by Amazon".      Related Stories"Companies need workers — but people keep getting high""Leading a Team to the Top of Mount Everest""'Jeff Bezos Is a Different Species': Buffett and Munger praise Bezos, Amazon  [...]



"The Farm Bill Comes Due"

2017-05-23T05:47:00-04:00

I understand that it is almost certainly politically impossible, but can't we--please--stop pretending every farm in America is a few dozen acres on the edge of bankruptcy and then stop subsidizing them?     Related Stories"OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Get Ready for the Pillorying of Pence"  I understand that it is almost certainly politically impossible, but can't we--please--stop pretending every farm in America is a few dozen acres on the edge of bankruptcy and then stop subsidizing them?      Related Stories"OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Get Ready for the Pillorying of Pence"  [...]



"Get Ready for the Pillorying of Pence"

2017-05-23T05:35:00-04:00

I expect that this is, sadly, true.     Related Stories"Go ahead. Move to Norway""Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""OPEC is dead"  I expect that this is, sadly, true.      Related Stories"Go ahead. Move to Norway""Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""OPEC is dead"  [...]



"Go ahead. Move to Norway"

2017-05-23T05:29:00-04:00

Guy writes an op-ed for the New York Times stating that given how bad America currently is he's thinking about moving to Norway. Jazz Shaw responds.     Related Stories"Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism"  Guy writes an op-ed for the New York Times stating that given how bad America currently is he's thinking about moving to Norway. Jazz Shaw responds.      Related Stories"Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win""OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism"  [...]



"Major changes could come to L.A. schools after charter school movement's big win"

2017-05-23T05:04:00-04:00

Another indication that, slowly but surely, school choice is winning.     Related Stories"OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Right or Privilege? What Everyone Gets Wrong About Health Care"  Another indication that, slowly but surely, school choice is winning.      Related Stories"OPEC is dead""Moving Beyond Economy-Sapping 1970s Environmentalism""Right or Privilege? What Everyone Gets Wrong About Health Care"  [...]



"OPEC is dead"

2017-05-22T05:51:00-04:00

As the old expression goes, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys. Related: "The New Oil Reality".     Related StoriesHopeful signs from two blue states"How Team Obama tried to hack the election""Regime Change by Any Other Name?"  As the old expression goes, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys. Related: "The New Oil Reality".      Related StoriesHopeful signs from two blue states"How Team Obama tried to hack the election""Regime Change by Any Other Name?"  [...]