Assorted links

by on August 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Fifteen strange beaches.

2. Do measures of policy uncertainty have predictive value?

3. Ricardo Reis endorses a version of Austro-Portuguese business cycle theory (pdf).

4. Good and bad pragmatism, by Scott Sumner.

5. 1946 Alcatraz menu.  I liked the second comment too.

6. New book on the Singapore health care system.

7. The cash transfers idea is picking up steam.

Z August 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

#5: The comment is the interesting bit. Tools can change the craftsman or at least force a change in priority of skills. In my college days I had to type my papers. I was not a great typist so I hand wrote them, made edits and walked through the requirements of the final document. Similarly, my early training in programming was done by hand. You wrote you code out and the instructor reviewed it before allowing access to the computer. The actual typing was the final task.

Today, young people type first, design after.

kiwi dave August 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

5: While I agree 2 is interesting, what I really find to be striking is the timing — in 1946, millions of Europeans were starving, not to mention mass starvation in Asia, and even Britain still had strict wartime rationing. Yet in America, federal criminals — the lowest level of society — were getting meat twice a day, fresh milk, eggs, fruit and fruit juice. To the average European in 1946, that menu would have seemed like unimaginable luxury.

kiwi dave August 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Apologies for the duplicate comment.

Z August 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I had the same reaction. That’s a great looking menu even by today’s standards. Then again, OJ has gained 100 pounds while in the can so maybe over feeding prisoners is common.

Rahul August 14, 2013 at 3:00 am

Are we sure that menu isn’t a fake? Might be pretty easy to whip something up, give it a legacy look and unleash it upon the web.

Dismalist August 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Lowest level of society they may have been, but if they were expected to understand words like croquettes and anglaise,the absolute level couldn’t have been that low!

dirk August 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Reminds me of the story where an ex-con tells a man who is about to go to prison that prison isn’t so bad. “On Mondays they bring in the best chefs in the world and we feast. You’re going to love Mondays. On Tuesdays they bring in a symphony comprised of the best musicians in the world to performs for us. You’re going to love Tuesdays. On Wednesdays… Do you like sodomy? No? You’re going to hate Wednesdays.”

Mike August 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

The story i heard (from an alcatraz tour guide, so …) was that prisoners were well fed to encourage good behavior and cut down on escape attempts. Based on their record, it must have at least helped.

Urso August 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I agree it looks great, but menu puffery is not a new concept. How many times have you ordered “fresh fish of the day, pan-seared to perfection” only to get a soggy catfish filet with a lemon slice? So caveat cenator.

It sharply reminded me of the old menus they display in galley of the WWII ships you can tour in Pearl Harbor.

Roy August 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I really like the first comment to the second comment.

Setting up a system of formatting was very simple, until the last 15 years it was much easier, on a typewriter than on a modern word processor because every character and space was of uniform length.

Andrew' August 14, 2013 at 5:13 am

“Today, young people type first, design after.”

I literally came here jonesing for a place to make a joke about “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” and there must be a god.

msgkings August 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm

You owe him a bj

collin August 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

In terms of Singapore and the health care system, how much does the system have an effect on the countries extremely low birth rate?

mulp August 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Presumably it was a key resource in implementing the population control policy. However, population control was a decision of the Singapore central planners who are optimizing the economy, reducing wasted production and excess resources, while maximizing the beneficial production that maintain the central planners’ jobs.

Cliff August 14, 2013 at 12:13 am

Is part of their plan to reduce population their large subsidies for having children?

kiwi dave August 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm

5: While I agree 2 is interesting, what I really find to be striking is the timing — in 1946, millions of Europeans were starving, not to mention mass starvation in Asia, and even Britain still had strict wartime rationing. Yet in America, federal criminals — the lowest level of society — were getting meat twice a day, fresh milk, eggs, fruit and fruit juice. To the average European in 1946, that menu would have seemed like unimaginable luxury.

Thanatos Savehn August 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Krugman and Stiglitz weave pretty sophistries and peddle them to gullible economic tourists. Who cares?

prior probability August 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Re: #2 & #4 and every fifth post (or so) on MR — if we all just ignored Krugman, wouldn’t he just go away?

Pithlord August 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm

No.

Andrew' August 14, 2013 at 5:26 am

If a tree falls in a deserted woods, it still requires fiscal stimulus.

Donald A. Coffin August 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Re #7: Nice to see some experimentation with one of the oldest ideas anyone has ever had regarding anti-poverty programs…and Milton Friedman must, somewhere, be smiling.

Donald A. Coffin August 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Re #7: Nice to know that some experimentation is being done on one of the oldest ideas economists have had about anti-poverty transfers…and, somewhere, Milton Friedman must be smiling.

Brendan Perrine August 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Those beaches were interesting to look at. On #7 the part about thatched roofs and how they need ot be replaced so often seem true. I don’t think I have ever seen a charity advertising giving better roofs to poor people though that need to be repaired less so they would depreciate less and tatched roofs sort of are a low investment trap.

Richard Thomas August 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I received the following response on inquiring about your Aug 23 lecture at CSC. Are you sure it is open to the public?

Thank you for your interest in CSC programmes.

We are regret to inform you that our training is catered primarily for Public Officers from Government .

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Stathis Kassios August 14, 2013 at 3:53 am

Thank you for sharing the paper by Ricardo Reis !

philemonloy August 14, 2013 at 8:32 am

FYI: The Singapore healthcare book is also available as a free pdf from the Brooklings site: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/press/books/2013/affordableexcellence/affordableexcellencepdf.pdf

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