Assorted links

by on July 2, 2009 at 10:08 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

1. Ezra Klein's new food column.

2. Washington Post markets in everything?  The paper has yet to respond, so do be aware there may be another side to this story. 

3. Why WalMart caved.

4. 1959.

5. The Kissing Experiment (2009).

6. The end of free banking in contemporary China.

7. California: The Haves and Have-Nots.

1 Josh July 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

Ezra Klein’s new food column. Let me guess: Glib, superficial musings on the science of food and farming where he appoints himself technocrat without making even a cursory attempt to consider what complexities lead others to opposing viewpoints.

<checks column>


2 Brian J July 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

McArdle seems to rule out the possibility that there is more than one reason why Wal-Mart decided to shape the process from the inside. But even if there’s only one reason, its financial interests, that’s enough of a reason to get involved. I go back and forth with being skeptical of a company like Walmart, but suffice it to say that if the company isn’t out merely to sabotage any reform efforts from within, it’s a positive development.

Also, McArdle is as vague as possible when she suggests that the company could shape the rules to lock out competitors. I would imagine that’s certainly a possibility, but exactly how is it going to be accomplished? Perhaps if she can’t say, she shouldn’t be suggesting.

3 Rich Berger July 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Essentially, Walmart decided to pay the protection money.

4 Andrew July 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

It may even be a cost savings for Wal-Mart which already has a national base and must deal with state regulation diversity while a competitor would start in one state and would have to deal with national regulations. Sweet.

5 Eric H July 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm

“Brian, she makes it perfectly clear that a large company like walmart can disproportionately afford to pay large fixed costs.”

“Fixed costs” compared to what? It’s Walmart’s bet that Target, another “large company” won’t be able to afford a government insurance mandate, at least according to this post at Cato.

6 David Whitaker July 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

“Walmart is run by morons who don’t see the most profitable path forward for themselves.”
Really, Yancey? WMT is the largest private employer in the USA, has one of the most sophisticated inventory and distribution management systems in the world, and had net income over $12 billion each of the last 3 years. Maybe they’re not morons?

7 Andrew July 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

“And how is that ruled out by what’s happening?”


Not to be snide, but to be snide, have you pondered the fact you are commenting on a blog called “Marginal Revolution”?

8 E. Barandiaran July 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I’m now in California, and I’m feeling at home. Months ago I told you how quickly California was becoming like my Argentina. You should write about the issue of IOUs as fake money, as it happened several times in Argentina (the first one I remember was at the national level in 1962, and then there were some at the provincial level during the late 1980s and the “patacon” issued by the Provincial Government of Buenos Aires in 2001, just before the collapse of December 2001). Your reader Floyd B. Pishko asks a good question but the answer depends mainly on the IOUs being accepted to pay state taxes.
I hope you also write about the cost/benefit analysis of California issuing its own money. California needs a large devaluation a la Argentina but the economists that usually write about the net benefit for small countries (much smaller than California) to have their own monies have said nothing. Please don’t tell me that California cannot legally issue its own currency–just look at the many think that the Fed and national government have done to bail out banks and companies.

9 AK-47 July 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

About “1959” :
Librarians Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner are smug fools.
Their idiotic snickering at books from the past because they do not conform to contemporary PC ideology is a disgrace.
That they want to “weed” moving and interesting books from a bygone era is a tragedy.
Who said “When I hear about destruction of culture, I want to reach for my
Avtomat Kalashnikova Sorok Cem ” ?

10 Brian J July 2, 2009 at 4:27 pm

“Not to be snide, but to be snide, have you pondered the fact you are commenting on a blog called “Marginal Revolution”?”

Not really. I understand the title and its relation to what is posted here. But sometimes, to me at least, people aren’t clear, so I ask them to be specific and elaborate.

11 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum July 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Thanks to all who participated in the kissing experiment. The polls are now closed, but my associated cognitive neuroscience experiment begins next week. You can follow the research live on Twitter @TheKissingBook.

12 anon July 3, 2009 at 8:04 am

Thanks to all who participated in the kissing experiment. The polls are now closed,

And thanks for linking to this AFTER the pictures were removed. Sheesh.

13 Han July 3, 2009 at 9:14 am

“The end of free banking in China”? How come?

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