Assorted Links

by on March 10, 2009 at 11:28 am in Economics | Permalink

  • Everything you want to know about smart grids from the very smart Lynne Kiesling.
  • "In the hubbub surrounding President Obama’s
    decision to cap salaries of commercial-bank CEOs at $500,000 (if they
    receive future federal funds), the salaries of college and university
    presidents have been flying under the radar."  Clarence Deitsch and Norman Van Cott look at the President's club.

1 Cyrus March 10, 2009 at 11:36 am

One can cheat at genetic insurance by surreptitiously having the test done ahead of time.

2 Superheater March 10, 2009 at 12:02 pm

“In the hubbub surrounding President Obama‚Äôs decision to cap salaries of commercial-bank
CEOs at $500,000 (if they receive future federal funds), the salaries of college and
university presidents have been flying under the radar.”

There’s a funny thing about the left. It’s very selective in it’s outrage. Hospitals, The Academy,
Professional sports teams, even Hollyweird all receive government money in varying degrees; nobody
is suggesting they stifle their pay at a 1/2 mill. Its very much like when President Reagan & Bush
starting giving speeches for money; there was no shortage of pundits willing to pillory them for
“prostituting” their office; when did you ever hear similar outrage about Bill Clinton.

I think to be a leftist; you inherently love hypocrisy.

3 Mike S March 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm

The hilarity is that the total of all of the presidents pay who make over $500K a year is less than or equal to the pay of 1 or 2 Bank CEOs.

Are they making too much? Probably yes, but they are still a full order of magnitude less pay than bankers.

4 indiana jim March 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Charlie wrote: “There was sort of an implicit argument that was ‘no one in a tax-supported organization should get paid more than $500K.’ Is that accurate?”

No; hypocrisy was the focus of the piece (see Superheater’s comment above yours for example).

5 Bernard Yomtov March 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Higher education has long occupied the role of scold, with its de facto CEOs being the high priests and priestesses of rebuke toward the business sector. Most of the rebuke has been little more than the promotion of class envy and covetousness, shielded by layers of political correctness. Corporate CEO compensation levels have been easy targets for this envy and covetousness.

This is just stupid.

6 Geoff NoNick March 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I’m not really scandalized by those education numbers – they’re all in the sub-$1M range and for public universities the average of those earning over $500K is only about $680K. Given the size and complexity of universities (particularly relative the size and complexity of activity that happens at a small investment bank) it’s hardly shocking, and indeed somewhat less than you would expect the head of private company that does government contracting to earn.

7 MM March 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm

If “size and complexity” is a basis for salary size, and the argument currently is that the financial instruments and indeed the system itself has/had become so complex that virtually no one was able to understand anything well enough to see disaster coming, well …

8 Neal March 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm

indiana jim wrote: No; hypocrisy was the focus of the piece (see Superheater’s comment above yours for example).

Of course, one way out of the hypocrisy is to demand that university presidents also receive a salary cap at $500,000. Perhaps Jo Ann Gora should take $1 per year until the financial crisis blows over? After all, there are poor grad students who need teaching jobs to survive …

9 assman March 11, 2009 at 12:57 am

“There’s a funny thing about the left. It’s very selective in it’s outrage. Hospitals, The Academy,
Professional sports teams, even Hollyweird all receive government money in varying degrees; nobody
is suggesting they stifle their pay at a 1/2 mill….I think to be a leftist; you inherently love hypocrisy. ”

There is no hypocrisy. Approaching government for a bailout is a sign of failure. And failures deserve to be punished not rewarded. Obama is just practicing meritocracy which is more right wing then it is left wing.

10 Ricardo March 11, 2009 at 2:04 am

Insurance is for reducing the variance of your expenses, not the average. On average, you will pay more with insurance than without it. If you think people doomed to very high health expenditures by genetics should get free medical care, okay, but it’s got nothing to do with insurance.

There is a Rawlsian interpretation of insurance as well. If a bunch of people get together not knowing which diseases they may or may not be genetically predisposed to, it’s probably in everyone’s self-interest to pool risk so that you don’t face the small probability of a catastrophic loss.

Aside from that, there’s the simple fact that Americans already get “free” medical care through the Emergency Room of their local hospital. Sure, you will receive a bill but a pretty large percentage of bills go to people who don’t pay them. If genetic screening means fewer health care costs get picked up by private insurance and more get picked up by hospitals who then start charging more to make up the costs of treating indigent patients, that’s already a de facto shift towards a kind of incredibly messy socialized health system.

11 Phil March 11, 2009 at 10:05 am

Assman

There are entire sectors of the economy built on substantial proportions of their money coming from
the government. If its legitimate to regulate pay of an INTERMITTENT recipient, its
legitimate to regulate pay in a CONSTANT recipient. If you can’t see that, then you truly are
the “assman”.

12 Bernard Yomtov March 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm

there’s the simple fact that Americans already get “free” medical care through the Emergency Room of their local hospital.

Oh really? You mean you can get regular treatment for cancer, or a physical exam, or prescriptions written, monitored, and filled at the emergency room? I take some medication regularly. Maybe I should just go to the emergency room and get them for free, instead of paying at the pharmacy.

13 Mick March 12, 2009 at 2:00 am

I take some medication regularly. Maybe I should just go to the emergency room and get them for free, instead of paying at the pharmacy.

You could and you should. Not to safe money but to learn a bit about something it appears you have no idea.

Go to your county hospital or any taxpayer paid hospital, prepare to wait, may be many hours. Eventually they will diagnose you and will give you medication.
Next time they will give you meds without bothering a doc. You still will have to wait.

It helps if you can make yourself looking like a homeless bum or, if you speak Spanish, pretend you are (il)legal immigrant.
If they ask you for the ID give them your library card and whatever address you feel like using.

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