• Economics,  Greenspan


    Alan Greenspan impressed me on the Daily Show last night.

    One minor thing, they ran out of time before Greenspan could fully respond to Jon Stewart’s question of “Why do we favor investment over work?”. The question was in response to the stock market jumping in response than a greater than expected prime rate cut. The question does demand a long answer, and the part Greenspan didn’t have time to get to was

    “The tax code is used to incentivize investment and work (a very approximate answer, it does that whether we want it to or not). The role of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the money supply and ensure that a dollar a year from now buys about as much as a dollar today.”

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  • Economics,  Web

    Shock Doctrine

    A well done piece of propaganda is Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, available on MySpace TV. It’s another attempt to get everyone riled up about income disparity, which no one seems to mind. Unmentioned is the fact that it is an indie film, being released on a social networking site, and being given away. Hardly something that would happen in a poor society.

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  • Barnett,  Economics,  The Gap

    Maybe countries are in the Gap for a reason…

    From the Economist Blog

    Why would anyone with a robust sense of reality simply assume that each national jurisdiction contains the seeds of a viable economy? If we insist on thinking of development as a matter of national growth, we may well consign most of the bottom billion, and their children and their grandchildren, to unrelenting poverty trapped within their UN-recognised national prisons. Our real moral concern should not be the Central African Republic, but its unfortunate denizens. The best thing for their prospects may simply be to get out–to leave for a place where growth has already commenced. The West’s many attempts to jumpstart growth where the world’s poorest already reside has yet to work. So why does the international community insist on betting the poor’s lives on the gamble that it will, finally, some day?

    While development has worked in some places, South Korea and Taiwan come to mind, there is little compelling evidence that a society locked into antiquated social capital can shift to a modern one absent the destruction of the existing social capital. The shocks would be a significant war, or a tyrannical government (i.e. China) willing to uproot society.

    Its food for thought anyway.

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  • Economics,  Funny,  Links,  Religion,  Robots

    Quick links while uploading

    An assortment of things I’ve read while I’ve been uploading things today

    • The golden age of Chicago prostitution – The Everleigh sisters are respoinsible for the term “get laid”. An interesting read – the more things change…
    • Rifle Robots!
    • John Allen Paulos has a new book out soon, I think it’s going to a more civil (and knowing Paulos well written and interesting) version of the recent Richard Dawkins screed. My favorite blurb from the Amazon page “A Lifelong Unbeliever Finds No Reason to Change His Mind”
    • How to build your business without quitting your day job
    • Firefox tune-ups
    • Conan O’Brian hates my homeland – favorites

      Home to more than 800 species of unregulated breast implants.

      Burkina Faso
      In the traditional tribal language, that’s Burkina for “land of” and Faso for “people who want to get the hell out of Burkina Faso.”

      You’ll come for the enticing beauty of the Caribbean Sea. You’ll stay because you’ve been kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a Dodge Dart.

      East Timor
      It takes a lot to admit you live on the bad side of Timor.

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  • Atlanta,  Economics,  Ethanol,  Islam,  Photography

    Saturday link roundup

    • A nice how-to on HDR photography
    • Survivorman is blogging again!
    • The greatest living American you’ve never heard of.
    • The world’s stupidest Fatwas, my favorite –

      Many Muslims believe that unmarried men and women should not work alone together—a stricture that can pose problems in today’s global economy. So one Islamic scholar came up with a novel solution: If a woman were to breast-feed her male colleague five times, the two could safely be alone together.

      The injuction against the Polio vaccine is scary though.

    • It seems that tires will outlive us all
    • More on the Kathryn Johnson case
    • A Slate article on the ethanol haters, of which I am one. He leaves out the fact that creating ethanol takes more energy than it produces.
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  • Economics,  In Appreciation

    Friday in appreciation, volume II

    The In Appreciation for this week goes not to a person, but to the economic force known as Capital Flight. Wikipedia defines it accurately as

    when assets and/or money rapidly flow out of a country, due to an economic event that disturbs investors and causes them to lower their valuation of the assets in that country, or otherwise to lose confidence in its economic strength. This leads to a disappearance of wealth and is usually accompanied by a sharp drop in the exchange rate of the affected country (devaluation).

    Modern technology makes it easy to move money from one country to another; giving an immediate cost to bone headed economic decisions and plundering. For examples, think of governments defaulting on debts and anything that has happened in Zimbabwe over the past few years.

    So Capital Flight, for enforcing some degree of fiscal and monetary responsibility on the governments for the world, you get my second Friday In Appreciation.

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  • Cycling,  Economics,  Immigration

    Finally, a problem we can blame on the Mexicans

    It’s not a major problem, but from some reason they (Mexicans) bicycle approaching traffic, which is the way it’s done in Mexico, but not in America. This endangers the cyclist as the amount of time between perception and action is dramatically reduced for both parties, which means that they have less time to avoid each other. It’s particularly bad at night. Also the Tullock Effect is reduced as avoidance is not the clear responsibility of either party.

    I saw three people doing it yesterday.

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