Assorted links

by on June 2, 2009 at 10:12 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. My NYC talk Thursday night.

2. Nostalgianomics.

3. Outsourcing elder care, via India.

4. General Motors and Iraq.

5. Why are SUVs more profitable?

6. Why Colin Marshall postponed travel; and his review of Silent Light.

TA June 2, 2009 at 10:18 am

Re #4: probably Vietnam, not Iraq.

Dirk June 2, 2009 at 11:59 am

Re #4: I’ve seen it suggested that the financial system bailout will be Obama’s Iraq: lasting years, costing trillions, with no exit strategy and with the banks assuming the role of Iraq’s half-hearted attempts at self-government but really in it for the money from the US taxpayer.

The auto bailout is another huge disaster in the making. Why can’t we just embrace “creative destruction” and let these failed companies go?

AADL June 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Brink Lindsey’s article (and his earlier Cato White Paper on the subject) focuses on federal intervention in the economy, but glosses over the myriad of interventions at the state level. For example, Al Smith pioneered all sorts of proto-New Deal interventions in the People’s Republic of New York State in the 1920s. He advised FDR during the 1930s.
There is a book of essays on the New Deal in the States, but I am wondering if anyone out there knows of a general economic history textbook that focuses on government growth and intervention at the state level, as opposed to the federal level, which is generally the subject of most economic history texts.
Lots of horrible interventions occur mostly at the state level–think of occupation licensure, to name one. Zoning laws, state regulation of businesses, and state taxes are other examples.

Mike Linksvayer June 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

#3, good idea, but ends with this gem:

But he believes that India could teach the US and UK a lot about care of the elderly. “In America, healthcare is done for profit, so that skews the whole thing and makes it very inhuman in its values,” he says.

Ah yes, all those people he hired in India to look after his parents were doing it solely out of love for the elderly, not because he paid them, and the medications are 1/5 the price in India because their producers decided to not make a profit…

alex p June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Dude, you coming to NYC!?!? Thats AWESOME!!!!!

Andrew June 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm

5. SUVs are basically mini-vans. When I have to buy a mini-van, I will not be in a rational consumer state of mind.

Slocum June 2, 2009 at 10:11 pm

SUVs are more profitable for a combination of 2 reasons:

1. There is more profit on bigger, fancier vehicles generally (cars as well as SUVs), and

2. Big SUVs (and pickups) were the vehicle type that were protected longest by import restrictions and they were also those vehicles that the foreign transplants did not know how to make as well (since they did not produce and sell them in their home markets). Which left Detroit one last niche where the three companies main competition was each other (just like in the good old days). And lo, Detroit survived on those remaining (but dwindling) SUV revenues until the great 2008 gas spike destroyed that last source of sustenance. The end.

John Dewey June 3, 2009 at 3:16 am

from link 4:

“G.M. will also have to meet the administration’s environmental goals. There is no evidence G.M. is good at building the sort of small cars the administration demands. There is no evidence that there is a large American market for these cars.”

Americans have continued to buy vehicles with high carbon footprints. It should be clear that Americans either do not believe the runaway global warming predictions or else do not fear them.

Candadai Tirumalai June 3, 2009 at 10:44 am

The irony of the situation in India is that
only a small proportion of people can aford
to have their parents cared for. Then too
while it was the norm for elderly parents to
live with their son or daughter (much more
often the first), this is no longer so. Nursing
homes for the old have been growing. But as
elsewhere the elderly are not always happy
in them.
Some years ago I heard of a professor at MIT
selling his beautiful house to place his father
in a nursing home of quality, and was moved
by it.

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