by Tyler Cowen
on April 14, 2010 at 7:17 am
1. Markets in everything.
2. Markets in everything: hockey night in Liberia.
3. Markets in everything, Sarah Palin edition.
4. Markets in everything: zoos don't help animals.
5. Paul Romer at Blogger's Forum.
“Elephants in captivity lived an average of 19 years compared to 56 years in the wild.”
And in the wild they pay a much lower percentage of their PPP for healthcare.
The Sarah Palin story (1) needs comparison to other nationally prominent speakers and (2) is standard signaling/negotiating — although green-only m&ms are much more impressive than bendy straws.
It also brings to mind the plan some US universities have to fund teaching positions for long time African leaders to induce their retirement from active political life.
That was Palin’s demands to Cal State, a publicly-funded university. Do we have your permission to be angry now?
You would then be angry at Cal State, no?
That Liberia story gets written about every 6 months by a parachute journo who thinks it’s revolutionary that people in the developing world wear used clothing from the developed world. The (dubious) angle this time is hockey, but it’s basically African teenagers emulating their North American peers, many of whom who wear sports jerseys.
Tom: Yes, but just as we would be angry when the government doles out checks to special interests, shouldn’t we also be angry with the special interests for lobbying for those checks?
E. Barandiaran: Thanks for the reference. I stand corrected.
anon @ 1:44: I don’t quite understand what you’re trying to say. Are you saying that anyone who receives funding from the government forsakes the right to negotiate business contracts in every sphere? For example, a public school receiving No Child Left Behind funding would have to concede every demand that, say, a teacher’s union made? Of course you can demand that government give you a private jet, but that doesn’t mean that you should get it.
Rahul, my interest in the story was because someone was able to find a discarded “contract” involving a well-known politician. Read the reference I have given in my comment to Libert’s comment. At the end of the reference you can read this:
“Regarding the excerpt of Palin’s contract, he said: “I find it interesting that among shredded documents you find one that’s completely intact related to the contract.””
Please note that the university VP making the comment refers to a document related to the contract, not to the contract itself. An intact document among shredded documents? Too fishy.
Zoos Don’t Help Animals
Zoos are originally created to entertain people (mostly children), not for education or to have people appreciate animals more. Every memory I have of going to the zoo was mostly for the fun of it, even on school field trips to the zoo. I think the claim that zoos are educational is more like a tool to encourage more people to take their children to zoos.
I think that the quality of zoos for animals have improved greatly. But this only happened because the general public wanted this to happen. Zoos are not servicing animals, they are servicing people. I think its the animal shelters that care for animals and teach the animals to live in the wild to be released, while zoos are for people to look at exotic animals. It’s probably the animal shelters that reduced extinction in some species.
I wonder if Tyler and/or Alex ever check Kevin Kelly’s blog. KK’s an excellent provocateur but I can’t recall any links to him from MR. Here are links to a couple of recent posts.
As Much Privacy As You Can Afford: “Apparently there is a service that will provide the current location of any cell phone for $95…. If I were willing to pay $100 could I prevent Best411 from tracking me?”
How to Thrive Among Pirates: “I was in China, in part, to answer this simple question: how does the China film industry continue to produce films in a land where everything seems to be pirated? If no one is paying the filmmakers, how (why) do they keep producing films? But my question was not just about China. The three largest film industries in the world are India, Nigeria and China. Nigeria cranks out some 2,000 films a year (Nollywood), India produces about 1,000 a year (Bollywood) and China less than 500. Together they produce four times as many films per year as Hollywood. Yet each of these countries is a haven, even a synonym, for rampant piracy. How do post-copyright economics work? How do you keep producing more movies than Hollywood with no copyright protection for your efforts?”
I find nothing at all remarkable about Palin’s ‘demands’ (which actually probably came from a business manager or advance man). In fact, they’re remarkable in that they’re so unremarkable. She’s currently the most popular speaker in the country, and her crazy demands amount to asking for some water and a straw for her lecture? Oh, for shame!
As for her request for transportation, A Lear 60 isn’t actually that big of an airplane. It carries only 6-8 passengers, and weighs 14,000 lbs. Given that Palin is probably traveling with a small entourage (publicist, business manager, secretary, perhaps a reporter or two, that sort of thing), it sounds to me like she’s requesting about the smallest airplane that would work for her needs.
Incidentally, the *smallest plane Pelosi flies in is the C20B, which is essentially a Gulfstream III. It is more than twice the size of a Lear 60. The Gulfstream V, which she also uses, is about six times the weight of a Lear 60, and almost as long as a DC-9. And the big plane she uses on occasion is a 757.
The left should be careful with its ‘outrage’. Making hay out of silly stories like this is going to make them look desperate. Lord knows there’s enough real ammunition to use against Palin. They don’t need to be engineering ‘news’ this lame.
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