Assorted links

by on July 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

1 kebko July 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm


Does it strike anybody else as odd that we have universal government education to the 12th grade level, and when faced with a bunch of citizens who can’t perform at the 9th grade level, the proposal is for a government program?

2 Robert July 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Tyler, can you blog about Lebron and where you would go if you were him?

3 salacious July 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Without getting into the merits, the discussion among Hayek acolyes in that ThinkMarkets comment thread reminds me ever so much of communist apologists scrambling to defend Marx….

4 Don the libertarian Democrat July 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I agree with Brad DeLong:

“Thus my analysis of the stimulus program is quite positive. And this analysis, remember, is not mine alone. It is modeled on the analysis of Milton Friedman’s teachers at the University of Chicago in the 1930s–men of whom he highly approved as having left him nothing to learn at the feet of John Maynard Keynes, men who called for a two-handed approach to the Great Depression:

* “the Federal Reserve banks systematically pursue open-market operations with the double aim of facilitating necessary government financing and increasing the liquidity of the banking structure†¦†
* “the use of large and continuous deficit budgets to combat the mass unemployment and deflation of the times†¦†

That two-handed strategy is the approach we are pursuing now, in a situation that in its level of short-term interest rates has considerable similarities to the Great Depression.

It seems a wise and prudent bet.”

The Chicago Plan of 1933, put forward by Irving Fisher, Henry Simons, Frank Knight, and Jacob Viner, among others, is still the best analysis and solution. Neither Hayek nor Keynes were correct in this case, although Keynes is closer to being correct.

BTW, I believe I once read some correspondence concerning these issues between Hayek and Henry Simons, but I can’t seem to track it down now.

5 johnleemk July 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

William and salacious,

Arnold Kling wrote a good brief piece about this seven years ago, where he says that though Austrians may have good ideas, they shoot themselves in the foot by being so dogmatic about them:

As if to validate this proposition, a thread on proceeded to vilify him and Bryan Caplan as pedestrian, “mainstream economists,” just because they don’t consider themselves Austrians:

Moving on, I found link #6 very interesting. I liked how Lindsey sums up:

“A similarly broad consensus exists for the following two propositions: On the one hand, a government safety net is needed to protect Americans from various hazards of life; on the other hand, that safety net shouldn’t bankrupt us.”

It’s too bad so many people, on both left and right, still seem more interested in waging those very culture wars Lindsey is decrying, than figuring out a system which works.

6 Allan July 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

It seems to me that the biggest beneficiary of a good school system is business. I don’t understand why businesses do not do more to pressure schools to do better or invest more in schools themselves to get good workers. It would seem to be an economic no-brainer.

7 Colonel Panic July 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm

@4 We’re trying to hire a mid-level network engineer. To that end, we use phone screens, in-person interviews, a written test, and a simple practical.

4 people passed the phone screen. On the day of the in-person part, two claimed they couldn’t make it (car trouble, death in the family). One candidate did okay on the written and then didn’t do very well on the practical. The second candidate bombed the written and then ran out the door five minutes into the practical.

IMO, when the economy was doing well, people could get jobs that they maybe shouldn’t have had, or employers were a little more lenient WRT requirements. Now that budgets are down to the bone (if not below), these people are having reality rudely thrust upon them.

8 pireader July 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm

From Hayek et al.’s letter–“many of the troubles of the world at the present time [1932!] are due to imprudent borrowing and spending on the part of the public authorities”

In the US, deflation was rampant; real GDP had fallen by a quarter; and the financial system was collapsing. Only a diamond-hard ideologue, utterly immune to the evidence of the world around him, could put that down to a government deficit.

Yet Hayek (and his co-signers) believed it. Whatver his other merits, he was a crackpot macro-economist.

9 jhe July 5, 2010 at 5:33 am

“your company has a do not hire unless you find a superstar who will work for cheap.” There, fixed it for you.

BTW, the most worrying thing about the MLR regulation article is that there are companies who have found markets where they can charge premiums so high that they can keep their MLRs near 60%. While I agree that the best answer would be to find out why those markets are (probably) so lacking in real competition, just telling the bastards to stop gouging people is a decent short-term move.

10 R. Richard Schweitzer July 5, 2010 at 11:34 am

On Medical Loss Ratio Rebates:

It remains to be seen whether the insurers will find it expedient to “roll-over” or will challenge this unconstitutional delegation of its legislative authority from Congress to the NAIC; which is a NON-GOVERNMENTAL “convention” of state insurance regulators.

Are we headed for an era of U.K.-style “QUANGOS?”

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