Assorted links

by on October 4, 2013 at 11:45 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Lots of links on quantum field theory and string theory.

2. An older piece on the wisdom of earmarks, more relevant than ever.

3. The Karachi stock exchange is up 44 percent this year.

4. Scott Sumner on Chinese ghost cities.

5. How much peer review is there at open access journals?  And the supply chain for dog in Vietnam.

6. David Wilezol on *Average is Over*.

7. The Blizzident (there is no great stagnation).

Jeff October 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

That toothbrush may not actually save time, it’s appearance suggests it would take quite some time to keep clean.

Andrew' October 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

We give you the 3D printed Blizzident cleaner!

Go Kings, Go! October 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

#6

Last night me’n the spawn watched this music video and that music video and then, I realized…like I was shot…like I was shot with a diamond…a diamond bullet right through my forehead…And I thought: My God…Average Is Over.

Nikki October 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

It appears you have horror to befriend.

Ironman October 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

The Blizzadent toothbrush is certainly popular in the econoblogosphere today….

mulp October 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm

2.

The TEA Party and conservatives succeeded in replacing pork barrel trading with amputation trading.

Repeatedly, the right-wing of the Republican Party has forced Boehner and McConnell to trade in amputations, with Obama agreeing to have Democrat fingers and toes cut off in exchange for Republicans agreeing to have fingers and toes cut off.

At first glance it looked like Obama had agreed to cut off more fingers and toes of Democrats than Republicans had agreed to cut off in his deal with Boehner. The sequester did not cut off a tax cut big toe of Republicans but instead proposed a conditional cutting off a Democrat big toe of welfare and cutting off a Republican big toe of military spending. All Congress had to do was come up with its own replacement amputations. But Congress could not take responsibility for its own cuts, so now it is Obama who is to blame for the amputation of big toes.

Obama did not scream in pain but remained cool. Democrats did not rise up and lynch Obama. That forced the right to claim cutting the military big toes wasn’t a sacrifice either.

Then Obama traded amputations in the lame duck deal Biden and McConnell brokered at the end of 2012, cuts in spending in exchange for cuts in the Bush tax cuts, which were instead of entire foots being cut off.

Again, Obama was cool about the whole think and kept the Democrats from forming a lynch mob yet again.

Obama has demonstrated a willingness to cut off fingers and toes very dear to those who supported him, like the “public option”. Republicans and conservatives keep trying to get Democrats to turn on Obama, and keep trying to get Democratic voters to turn on Obama and Democrats, like the noise Republican give to the union health care fund issues.

But the thing Democrats and unions understand is the Republicans want to cut off the union heads because arms and legs is not enough, and cut off the head of aid to the poor, disabled, and elderly.

The TEA Party are like the mobs cheering at the beheadings in France and calling for more because they still don’t feel like they have won their liberty after the cheering stops.

LBJ and FDR would never be able to operate without pork. FDR blatantly bought political support by directing money for projects to communities where the local pols was useful to buy along with the voters who would get jobs. LBJ kept detailed accounts of who owed him and who he owed and who he knew wanted something.

Obama agreed to the opposition to pork because he arrived in the Senate when it was totally out of control. So why doesn’t Obama schmooze with members of Congress? Yeah, like LBJ or FDR would pull a friend or foe aside at a party and offer “tell you what, if you give me your vote, I’ll only cut your project by 60% instead of eliminating it” or “tell me, which of your favor programs do you want me to cut when I talk with Boehner”. Or “which tax hike will you push McConnell to support if I only cut your project 20% instead of 60%?”

Michael October 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Yeah, it really is a horrible thing that now politics is about actual policy, and not just a backroom spend-a-thon.

mike October 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I think of these comments by mulp as a type of talk-therapy for him. Don’t be too hard on him, he just needs to get this out of his system.

Bobby Jean October 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

LBJ and FDR would never be able to operate without pork. FDR blatantly bought political suppor…t

Im pretty sure that is an argument against pork.

Alex Godofsky October 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

#2 sort of begs the question: what is the virtue of “getting stuff done” and why do we want the legislation that is only passed through pork-trading?

JWatts October 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

#2 sort of begs the question: what is the virtue of “getting stuff done”

The hypothesis is that the elimination of Pork Barrel spending will result in less Legislation, particularly less sweeping Legislation.

Progressivism pretty much depends on continuous institutional and cultural changes. And “getting stuff done” in a Legislative sense, is essential to Progressivism to push the institutional changes forward.

So, the elimination of Pork Barrel spending has decreased the institutional change component of Progressivism.

Daniel Dostal October 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Not entirely true. Continuous change is undesirable. The speed at which change should occur is an unsolved riddle, one which probably does not have an universal answer.

sansone October 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

thank you so very much for link #1. i didn’t think i’d be able to get the gist of quantum field theory in the span of two hours (with a background in college physics) but i did.

Givco October 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Here’s something for tomorrow’s Link o Rama, something dear to econometricians:

You learned math wrong but your kids will learn math right.

Ray Lopez October 5, 2013 at 4:45 am

On the dog meat trade in Vietnam, two points in the article of interest to me: (1) I’d heard before that dogs are tortured before being killed under the fallacy it makes the meat taste better, and this article confirms it; (2) it’s a fallacy to say that dog meat take less energy to raise than say cattle or chickens, since you have to factor in the energy it takes to raise dog food, which is mostly high-level protein. So depending on the metabolism of dogs it could well be less energy efficient to raise dogs over say chickens.

Ronald Brak October 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

4. A fairly common pattern in developing countries has been for people to move off the land and into a regional city and then a generation later many of their children will tend to move to large cities leaving the regional city with slow or stagnant population growth. But China went through the demographic transition before becoming highly urbanized and its population will peak in about 13 years. So it may not be long before regional cities have rapidly shrinking populations and a huge overhang of unneeded infrastructure.

Andrew' October 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Don’t really buy the Chinese building boom excuse because all our abandoned spec projects look exactly the same.

Brandon Berg October 6, 2013 at 6:58 am

2. We should let Congress spend our money so that it can spend even more of our money later.

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