Sunday, March 29, 2015

Remembrance of Clintons past

Here is a link to an interesting article about the Clintons in the Washington Post, written by George Will.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Woman's Life

Here is a link to a nifty painting sequence of a woman's life.  Very nicely done.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How income inequality benefits everybody

Here is a link to an insightful article by George Will titled "How Income Inequality Benefits Everybody".

Most aspects of income inequality are poorly understood by most people.  For example:

  • Do you prefer more income inequality if it comes with a better standard of living for everyone or less inequality if it comes with a lower standard of living for lower income classes?
  • Which is better for lower income classes, a rich person that spends his income on consumption - thereby creating demand for consumer goods that produces jobs, or a rich person that does not consume - thereby not creating demand for consumer goods?  Which of the two takes a bigger share of consumer goods production?  If the rich person doesn't consume, what happens to the income - does it produce jobs or not - what kinds of jobs - do they foster more or less growth?  Is growth necessary for a growing average standard of living?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care

John Cochrane has written an insightful paper on health care.  According to John, the focus should be on Supply, not health insurance.  He make a good case that the Supply problem is Government interference with the competition that leads to cheaper, high quality health care.  He also discusses the distortions produced by low co-pays.

Optical Illusion: Rooftop

A nifty rooftop optical illusion.

Five Minute Management Course

5-Minute Management Course

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower,
when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel..'
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked
in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'
'It was Bob the next door neighbor,' she replies.
'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Matt Ridley: Fossil Fuels Will Save the World (Really)

Here is a link to a good article by Matt Ridley that puts the fossil fuel - climate change issue in perspective.

Don Boudreaux on Political Parties

Quotation of the Day…
by Don Boudreaux on March 15, 2015
… is from page 283 of the 1975 HarperPerennial printing of the third (1950) edition of Joseph Schumpeter‘s brilliant and pioneering 1942 treatise, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy:
A party is not, as classical doctrine (or Edmund Burke) would have us believe, a group of men who intend to promote public welfare “upon some principle on which they are all agreed.”  This rationalization is so dangerous because it is so tempting.  For all parties will of course, at any given time, provide themselves with a stock of principles or planks and these principles or planks may be as characteristic of the party that adopts them and as important for its success as the brands of goods a department store sells are characteristic of it and important for its success.  But the department store cannot be defined in terms of its brands and a party cannot be defined in terms of its principles.  A party is a group whose members propose to act in concert in the competitive struggle for political power.
Politics is about the gaining, the maintaining, the extending, and the exercise of power.  Period.  It’s true that the world is chock-full of naive people who sincerely believe that politics is about promoting the public welfare through collective action.  Such people occasionally, if not typically, even manage to win political office.  But the chief role that such naive people play in politics is to serve as useful idiots for realistic people who pursue and hold power.  What better way to burgle your victims’ homes than for them, in their naiveté, actually to invite you in and gladly to give you the keys to their lock-boxes?  What better way to gain at your neighbors’ expense than to convince them that your regular visitations are those of a deeply caring and altruistic servant, and that your routine removal of their properties during these visitations are done only to further their, their children’s, and their neighbors’ welfare?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Scott Walker and Ted Cruz According to Tim Carney

Tim Carney of the American Enterprise Institute makes some good points about the comments of Scott Walker and Ted Cruz at the Iowa Ag Summit.  If Carney is right, Cruz is the winner.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Emergency Escape: Flying a Minimum-Radius Turn

Thomas Turner’s excellent article “High Density Altitude Turn” [“Safety Pilot,” August 2014] is on target.  Turner establishes that the higher the airspeed the greater the turn radius in a level standard rate turn and that the effect is compounded by high density altitude.  He points out the implications of the phenomena for safer high density altitude flying.  This article addresses a related issue: how to make an emergency turn with the smallest radius consistent with appropriate safety.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Employers’ Arbitrary and Abusive Power Over Workers

Here is a link to Don Boudreaux's excellent post of his letter to a correspondent who is concerned about alleged "employers' arbitrary and abusive power over workers".

Gun-Free Zones Put Innocent in Danger

Here is a link to an article by John Lott in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that addresses the wisdom, or lack thereof, of gun free zones.

Friday, March 06, 2015

The Ferguson Police Department

I believe that there is abundant evidence that Eric Holder's Department of Justice is not trustworthy.  However, that does not imply that I believe that it never speaks at least some truth.

With the above in mind, here are some of my maximum likelihood estimates.

  • The kind of unacceptable police behavior described in the report is not unique to the Ferguson Police Department.
  • Many Police Departments and the majority of Police Officers take their responsibilities seriously and attempt to act appropriately.
  • The evidence vindicates Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting.
  • The behavior of the media and and those of Sharpton's ilk is at least as concerning as possible inappropriate Police Department and Police Officer behavior.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Find Out How Old You Are

Here is a link to a great video that presents kids with a typewriter - that's right - a real typewriter.

It is really funny.


Bertrand Russell -
Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true.

Samuel Butler -
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

Samuel Butler -
All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.

John Shedd -
A ship in a harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.

Samuel Butler -
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.

Italian proverb -
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

Henri Arnold -
The wise person questions himself, the fool others.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Dynamic Scoring: How to make the Political Back and Forth About the Economic Impact of New Laws, Particularly Tax Laws, Far Worse

Here is a link to an article in the NYT by Gregory Mankiw about the theoretically desirable but practically impossible mandated change to Dynamic Scoring by the Congressional Budget Office.

As Mankiw notes, it takes us from patently false (Static Scoring) to patently impossible to do right (Dynamic Scoring).  One thing that we can be sure of is that the BS Scoring will be unequivocally up.

Monetary and Keynesian Doctrines Overturned?

John Cochrane on "Doctrines overturned", in this case Monetary and Keynesian doctrines.

Here is the link.