by Tyler Cowen
on October 26, 2011 at 7:54 am
1. MIE: “Why not create a chrome trout?” From Courtney.
2. The problem of female labor supply in Italy.
3. Simon Dale’s Hobbit House in Wales.
4. Scaring tourists with a stick for 60k a year? And here is growing etrogs.
5. Walking robot requires no power sources, just give it a push (video).
6. Why we don’t see significant principal write-downs.
Funny, I can look at pictures from war zones without flinching but link 1 turned my stomach.
Looked like a dead rat to me……
“You asshat, you cooked the golden goose!”
“Nothing of the sort, I goldened the cooked goose!”
5. …and a downward slope. They reinvented the wheel.
Agreed. “No power source” only if you ignore gravity. But, it’s still neat.
Reminded me of Theo Jansen’s wind-powered contraptions.
And the Slinky.
Oh, and regarding link 2: This really leaves me scratching my head. This Yglesias guy even recognizes that women who don’t participate in market exchanges are doing productive work that just isn’t captured by official statistics. But instead of concluding that there may be something wrong with relying on them, he seems to think humans should just change their behaviour so that it finally is captured by statistics. What a remarkable way of thinking.
And that he apparently thinks a women who stays at home does the exact same job as a maid is even more astonishing.
Also interesting he glibly refers to “big government Sweden” and “small government America”
Let’s leave aside that our absolute total government spending (Fed, state, and local) is 10x Sweden’s GDP. On a per GNP basis which is the favored indicator (but ignores economies of scale and such) just US Federal spending doesn’t lag Sweden’s (which I’d guess manages a lot of what we’d call State and Local at their Federal level)
Women should work so they can pay taxes to support the state. Can we call this “feudaliberalism”?
Or, how ’bout the government fixes its known tax collection problems BEFORE indebting itself.
I think that Matt knows that, I think that he is lamenting that he cannot tax them.
2. So I guess Elizabeth Warren would think Italy is paradise, and Linda Hirshman would think it is hell. To each her own, I say. (Although, alas, I suspect that both Prof. Warren and Prof. Hirshman don’t share my tolerance, and would impose their own preferred system by fiat if they could.)
What is the link that joins the San Francisco fright artist and the etrog grower both under the head of #4? Two kinds of Californians?
I love the reflexive genuflecting to the idea that keeping a house is hard, full-time work. Back when you had to wash by hand, sew clothes, stoke the stove with firewood and the furnace with coal, hand-pump and carry water, take the rugs out and beat them etc, etc — OK. But with modern conveniences? Sorry, no. Having nothing you *have* to do but cook and clean is exactly like retirement. Having little kids at home? OK, I’ve done it, and that’s harder — but still more enjoyable and less stressful than most paid work. And, of course, the Italians have only 1.2 kids anyway, so it’s not like they’re home taking care of big broods.
But…none of this can account for a decline in the Italian growth rate since the female labor force participation (although low) has been rising, not falling.
And notice how he refers to house-keeping wives as doing “unpaid” work. What about the fact that the husband’s earning is what maintains her lifestyle? If not for social stigma, anyone would want to be live-at-home and do house work instead of humiliating corporate or academic work.
How much would it cost to hire a third party to clean your house every day, take care of the kids, do shopping, etc? In the U.S., probably a minimum of $50,000 a year.
You could homeshool your kids. You could volunteer part time. There are a lot of things to do besides paid work or watching soaps.
Regarding the San Francisco guy who makes his living scaring the sh*t out of people, very funny that a big guy can get laughs out of scaring people who are elderly or who can’t fight him. It would serve this scumbag right if he attacked someone who could fight back and hurt him badly. But then all your f*cking lefty readers would object. Ghetto scum can attack innocent people all they want but self-defense is horrible.
That guy scares tourists who then wait around to watch him scare other tourists.
Larry, please take a deep breath. I’ve seen the guy in person, he doesn’t “attack” anyone. He just shouts and shakes his bushes. I’m not a little kid or old lady, and he scared me too. It was funny. Everyone who I saw walk past him after me seemed to enjoy it. Lighten up.
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