Assorted links

by on April 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Peter Boettke’s new paper on Henry Hazlitt.

2. Where do people go when they drop out of the labor force?

3. The sovereignty of American Indian tribes, interesting throughout.

4. Deregulation has lowered the prices of coffins.

5. Susan Sontag, an appreciation, and Doris Lessing, an appreciation.  They are both still underappreciated, especially on “the Right.”  It is easy to dismiss them for their worst utterances, but they both have been brilliant writers, albeit in very different ways.

6. Which entrepreneurs are benefiting from the violence in Syria?

Andreas Moser April 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

About #2: When I dropped out of the labour force, I returned to university: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/sabbatical/ I had planned to do this for a year or two, and now in the third year. I have become accustomed to earning much less, spending much less, owning less, but having more time and a better quality of life. Work is overrated.

axa April 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

You can live peacefully just because you’re socially aware. You don’t care that much about status generated by earning lots of money, you get status by other ways. I really hope you post was joke. If everybody choose what you chose, you’re (and everybody) is gonna be fucked up. Somebody has to make planes so we can go on vacations, plant lettuce and grow cows so we can eat, and make the vaccines that keep the world free of polyo and smallpox. I dropped out workforce in 2005, returned to academia and opened an small business with a friend in 2009 since I have a lot of free time.

I broke an arm having fun on my mountain bike in 2008 in 9 pieces, required 3 surgeries. I still ride 3-4 times a week in my awesome life full of quality moments. If I made fun on the surgeon that made my arm functional again I’d be an idiot. He’s a workaholic by your standards, but he chose that life and I’m pretty sure that a satisfying life for him. That’s just an example. Learn to respect other people life decisions, if not by respect itself at least for pragmatism.

Ps. telling other people that they are stupid does not make you smarter =)

JonF311 April 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

If everyone chose to be a Wall Street banker or a doctor we’d also be in trouble: who would do all the other necessary work? This is one area where Kantian ethics quickly fall to reductio ad absurdum, because there are plenty of things that not everyone would ever chose to do.

Luke Carlson April 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Concerning #3, I think you might find that correspondent’s blog interesting: andreaskluth.org. He also has a new book out.

Ed April 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I’m unemployed (or irregular part time employed) but still looking for a job. I was surprised how high my income was last year. The main problem is that I don’t know if I can duplicate that this year, but then in the last few years of my regular job I had no idea whether I would be laid off that year or not.

Based on my experience, you can sort of patch something together between welfare (whatever you can qualify for), bits of temporary or part time work, and assistance from relatives. You quickly learn which expenditures are not essential and to cut them. There are some that occur only because you are trying to keep a job working regular hours. I’ve found that I don’t necessarily have more free time, I’m still quite busy, but I have more control over my time, since I’m not expected to spend most of my day in a particular location. But you do have to gradually give up on the idea of being in the middle class, poor people have all sorts of expedients that allow them to live OK that middle class people look down upon.

Whether this becomes more common depends on whether employers replace more regular 9-5 jobs get replaced by temporary or part time work, or automation, or cut the take-home pay (adjusted for inflation) of such work to the point where their employees are better off shifting for themselves outside the formal labor force.

Skip Intro April 9, 2012 at 8:30 am

“poor people have all sorts of expedients that allow them to live OK that middle class people look down upon”

Could you expand on this a bit, please?

Ed April 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I thought it was pretty obvious. Here are two big ones -go without health insurance and use the hospital emergency rooms as needed. Go without higher education, and just accept that you and your children won’t be doctors/ lawyers. These aren’t even borderline illegal. Most middle class people would have a heart attack if you suggest they do this to save some money.

Rich April 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Actually this is pretty ingenious.

JonF April 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

Your kids can still go to college if they wait until they are old enough to qualify as independent students and can get full financial aid; they can even speed that along by living separately and paying taxes for two years (without being claimed on your income tax as dependents). This is how I got through college.

The Other Jim April 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm

#2 — Hey, this is great news! I used to feel horrible for people who couldn’t find a job after more than 99 weeks, but Ezra says that they just don’t WANT jobs! Or maybe they’re just don’t want to divert energy from their schoolwork, those hardworking little whippersnappers. Or they could be easing into a well-deserved retirement, or maybe they were too disabled to work in the first place but mean people had been forcing them to.

Also, he tells us the employment picture is going to get even worse, no matter how super-awesome the Obama Recovery is. So let’s be sure we don’t let catastrophic unemployment get us down about the big honking Obama Recovery.

Thanks Ezra! Somehow you always put a positive spin on things these days. For the last three years anyway.

I predict you’ll have a sudden change of heart in seven months.

the spam robots are getting better and better April 9, 2012 at 2:31 am

He got his so why should he care?

Andrew' April 9, 2012 at 4:51 am

It’s not Ezra.

I don’t see how they get to this from the chart.

“bout 35 percent of the people who have dropped out of the labor force since the recession began in 2007 do want a job, but they’ve become too discouraged to fire off resumes. That’s not good. The other 65 percent are people who have left the labor force and don’t want a job.”

Becky Hargrove April 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm

2) Two issues about this problem haven’t really been considered yet: maintenance of housing stock, and maintenance of community infrastructure. Both will be somewhat impaired, as early-retired boomers and younger people without substantial work find themselves needing to tend to the repairs of family-owned older homes. That, plus a community tax base that was formulated in better times. And these are the ‘lucky’ individuals who will have a place to live in the future, if they can afford taxes and upkeep to do so.

JonF April 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

I’ve seen stats (on the Atlantic’s site) showing that the plurality of workforce drop-outs are spouses or domestic partners of people who are working (mainly but not exclusively women). This means we are going to back to the 60s in terms of more single earner couples. Not as big a problem with regards to housing, health insurance etc as it would be if the drop-outs were all single people with no alternate means of support.

Barnley April 8, 2012 at 9:15 pm

“Where do people go when they drop out of the labor force?”

Back to their parent’s house.

Slugger April 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I did not click the links, but #4 appears to be an obvious answer to #6

BenG April 9, 2012 at 2:54 am

Tyler, can you elaborate on how the Funeral Rule can be categorized as deregulation? Seems to be it’s exactly the opposite, and basically akin to requiring that all printers be compatible with generic toner cartridges. I guess it’s an empirical question, but I’d bet money Congress didn’t accomplish anything besides ban an output-enhancing form of price discrimination.

BenG April 9, 2012 at 3:15 am

And… some quick googling has revealed that, in fact, it’s an empirical question which appears to have already been answered: http://faculty.som.yale.edu/fionascottmorton/documents/statecasketsalesrestrictionsapointlessundertaking.pdf

Steve Sailer April 9, 2012 at 4:22 am

Re: Indian sovereignty. Indian casinos, like most casinos, are depressing, but Indian reservation golf courses have been a big aesthetic success. Since environmental rules don’t apply, Indian reservations in California can get golf courses built in about 1/10th the time that anybody else can. Barona Creek northwest of San Diego is a particularly lovely example.

http://www.hcn.org/issues/204/10553

Andrew' April 9, 2012 at 4:55 am

2. Do people really not want a job if it was offered or are they just tired of banging their heads on a wall for worse and worse prospects.

Let’s say 2 years into unemployment you find all you can get is a very low end job. All of a sudden you no longer want a job. Are we pretending there is no margin to “job”?

Andrew' April 9, 2012 at 5:06 am

5. Interesting.

I imagine myself as a leftist antagonizing over not having written enough about “my sexuality.”

Here is me writing about my sexuality: “Not enough!!!”

NAME REDACTED April 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

I know some who dropped out of the labour force because they couldn’t pay their student debt. By dropping out they were able to avoid payment and collect disability.

chuck martel April 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

Why should native Americans wish to have a “government” that emulates and measures its success like the one that stole all their land? If the natives are poor, it is only in comparison to their conquerors, which isn’t too hard to figure out, since the whites ended up with everything that had any value.

Yancey Ward April 9, 2012 at 10:38 am

At some point in the last 3 years, the term “jobless recovery” seems to have vanished from the mainstream media’s lexicon.

freethinker April 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

the paper on Hazlitt: I expected an academic paper but it turned out to be an exercise in hagiography

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