by Tyler Cowen
on March 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm
in Web/Tech |
1. What Michael Lewis reads.
2. The U.S. Postal Service is not efficient.
3. How to improve chat roulette.
4. How much does debt matter?
5. Canadians don't give much to the arts.
6. Statistical time travel.
“I don’t actually see the point of limiting communication to a haiku.”
I find this quite unsettling in a writer.
Canadians don’t give much to the arts partly (mostly?) because they generally believe it’s the government’s job to support ‘em.
I’m supposed to listen to the _Washington_ _Post_ about Washington’s Postal service? Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?
Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.
I don’t see what we’re supposed to learn from a study of debt that doesn’t look at levels of government spending. Isn’t it clear that debt, by itself, is just time-shifted taxes? Would our current spending spree be any less scary if Congress had doubled income-tax rates or imposed a 25% VAT to finance it instead of putting it on the tab? A frugal government using debt is fine; a spendthrift government using taxes is awful. So debt, by itself, isn’t a measure of much.
The U.S. Postal Service is not efficient
And in other breaking news, the Sun rises in the east.
The CBC article says that Canadians give less to the arts than they give to other sectors. There is no comparison to other countries, nor is there any conclusion drawn about direct or indirect subsidies. Tyler, why did you give this link this headline? Are you insinuating that indirect subsidies to the arts are better than direct (Canadian-style) government subsidies? I mean, if you have strong opinions, you could write a book about it (entitled “Good and Plenty”), wherein your analysis simply traces the history of arts funding in the USA as it unfolded and labels it as “successful” simply because it happened that way. This is the conservative’s view of the world: if it is in the past, it must be worth preserving.
My grandparents had their mail delivered twice a day. Has the USPS lost huge amounts of efficiency over the years? Does all the automated mail sorting make it less efficient?
I ordered some boxes from usps.com and they tell me it will take 7 to 10 days to deliver. utterly ridiculous.
except that it took them 21 days to actually deliver.
the masters of logistics they are not.
its time to admit that government, once again, has failed to deliver. sell it to the highest bidder and lets move on and screw up some different industry.
Since these days most pieces move directly from my mailbox to my waste basket (and it seems most apartment complexes in cities have a bin dedicated for this task), I am tempted to think USPS is undercharging for its standard mail services and presorts. Perhaps newspapers agree. A quick glance at the numbers suggests USPS has half the revenue but twice the weight from ‘junk mail.’
I agree with rluser. It seems that 90% of the mail I receive goes to my wastebasket, and another 5% to 6% goes there once I open it and look at it. So we basically have a government agency delivering tons of junk mail and a handful of useful items. I don’t know what the answer to the problem is, but it could point to the reason for the decline of efficiency.
The USPS is, like the navy, mandated by the constitution. Should we expect the navy to turn a profit every year? Even if it cost a dollar to send a letter anywhere in the U.S., that still seems like quite a bargain. There are many more,and much bigger, money holes in the govt.
Americans complain about their postal service, but it’s much better than the Canadian equivalent. You get saturday delivery, and you don’t even have to walk to the corner to mail something: you just leave it in your postbox! Also, we’ve been used to fast rising postal rates for years. Of course, with non-denominated postage you don’t tend to notice.
Basically, the current USPS position seems to be “we want to become more like Canada Post”. Which sucks, but is not the end of the world given how much we already envy you.
Looks like you are a specialist on this because you just made it so easy to be with you, motivated me to learn more on the subject! May I ask you, do you devote a lot of effort to it because you seem to be so in tune with Shahrukh Khan
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