Arrived in my pile

by on May 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm in Books, Uncategorized | Permalink

Jean Pisani-Ferry, The Euro Crisis and its Aftermath.

George J. Borjas, Immigration Economics.

David Colander and Roland Kupers, Complexity and the Art of Public Policy: Solving Society’s Problems from the Bottom Up.

Cass Sunstein, Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State.

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, Beautiful Game Theory: How Soccer Can Help Economics.

derek May 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Sunstein: …offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity.

How about giving me a choice whether I deal with you. Or as the regulatory agency that I deal with says, “what we do is not subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

Jan May 25, 2014 at 7:07 am

Yes, all the regulation should be optional.

I love Canada, but it’s weird in some ways. I just watched a documentary about the last 40 years of language law fights in Quebec. God, how much time and economic potential has been squandered on that issue.

chuck martel May 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

” offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity.”

We like and respect you but you still can’t put your deck that close to the street and local ordinances forbid parking a boat and trailer in your driveway. You can surely understand that we’re talking about the dignity of the human community here, not just your own personal dignity.

So Much for Subtlety May 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

In this highly readable synthesis of insights from law, policy, economics, and psychology, Sunstein breaks down the intricacies of the regulatory system and offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity.

So it is still jackboots to the face, but you will have to learn to love the people who are wearing them.

Beautiful Game Theory is the first book that uses soccer to test economic theories and document novel human behavior.

Well let’s hope it is not the last. Because there are so many lessons to be learned and I don’t think this book is going to cover them all. For instance, Italian football is probably just as corrupt as it ever has been. The British took a sport to Italy, A. C. Milan being a British cricket team originally, and the Italians made it so very Italian. And it still is. Increased wealth has not produced a sustained demand that referees are not bought and sold. Development has not improved governance at all. As we see with Gulf oil money getting the World Cup.

People are stubborn things. They do not change. Humans are not fungible.

ThomasH May 25, 2014 at 7:27 am

Resentment a “regulations” is not a policy. Would we really be better off with no health and safety regulations at either local or national level with everything left to tort suits? What’s the alternative to telling regulators to do cost benefit analysis and trying to prevent capture?

Adrian Ratnapala May 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

Resentment is in fact a policy, and a viable alternative.

If you want your laws to be good laws, you should subject them to scrutiny. That is they need to pass some kind of burden of proof. That is the default response to new (and sometimes even old) regulation should be skepticism.

Dismalist May 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Much as I sympathize with Derek, Chuck, and So Much, property rights have never been absolute. The boat in your driveway is an eyesore to me. Better this is dealt with locally, with or without behavioral economics, than by a central agency. A most important point made in the Voluntary City is that HOA’s have become a fourth level of government virtually immune to legal redress, in other words a fascist state, writ small. Piecemeal engineering with lower levels of government are the better way forward, again with or without behavioral economics, a red herring.

derek May 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Don’t take me wrong. I have no problem with rational regulation. The code that I deal with are a series of measures enacted after an event. The health and safety regulations intend to keep me and my workers alive. But let’s discard the notion that this is about human dignity, or as the fashion was, that I am a client of the regulatory agency. I’m not, I am forced by law to deal with them whether I agree or not. They seized the house of one of their ‘clients’ a short while ago for non payment of some fees or another.

Government is a blunt instrument, and Sunstein is being disingenuous. Most regulations are either useless, contradictory or simply anti-competitive or empire building measures. If I ignore them and refuse to cooperate I’m liable to get shot. That is the reality, and if regulators and legislators asked whether this or that measure was worth shooting someone over, it may engender some reality into the process.

I got a nice letter from the government, threatening seizure of assets or imprisonment if I didn’t pay $10.56. Cass Sunstein, I respectfully submit, can shove it up his a$$.

Jan May 25, 2014 at 7:09 am

Yeah, derek, you’ll probably get shot if you don’t cooperate with regulations.

So Much for Subtlety May 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Much as I sympathize with Derek, Chuck, and So Much, property rights have never been absolute.

I wonder why the Left makes this argument so often? Freedom has never been absolute either. But I know the difference between a freely chosen job and picking cotton under the lash. Do you?

This just sounds like a rationalization – because we can take a little bit of other people’s property rights, we ought to be free to take as much as we want! There being no difference between jury duty and the Gulag.

However, by all means, let’s keep as much government local as possible. But Sunstein’s behavioral psychology is still the problem because he wants to make Fascism hug-able. I hope he can’t succeed but he might.

false_equality May 25, 2014 at 3:27 am

“But I know the difference between a freely chosen job and picking cotton under the lash.”

But do you know the difference between homeowners associations and Fascism?

Roy May 25, 2014 at 5:02 am

Is it that real Fascists are brave enough to come after you themselves.

andrew' May 25, 2014 at 6:56 am

Before I try to get philosophical, a boat is an eyesore? Why?

chuck martel May 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

Auto salvage yards are nearly always required to have fences that hide the presence of the junk cars. Why? Aren’t these places that could be called “long term parking facilities”? How is a salvage yard really any different than an airport parking lot? It’s odd that a vehicle for which people paid a lot of money and washed and coddled for some years, should, in its dotage, become offensive to their eyes. Maybe there’s a relationship between auto salvage yards and adult retirement communities.

Pierre May 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I took a class with Piketty 10 years ago, but my real master was. Jean Pisani-Ferry. Glad to see his books are on Tyler’s list.

Michael May 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm

I am interested with Immigration Economics. I got lots of friends who migrated from different countries. In a very young age, one of them lived in four countries and still counting. Since they won’t tell me the reason for departing from their homeland, I am dying to know why do they keep on moving from different place to another. I’m just curious.

Ray Lopez on the Euro Crisis May 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

@ Jean Pisani-Ferry, The Euro Crisis and its Aftermath. – I was in Greece during the crisis, had money in Greek banks, and knew of people who had money in Greek banks, and all of us took all or some of our money out and put it into non-Greek banks. I am surprised Greece did not go the way of Cyprus. We all participated in a ‘rational run’, and only by chance did the EU save Greece. They are not out of the woods yet, as GDP is stagnant or falling still. Personally I don’t have much money in Greek banks (just enough to cover expenses on the real estate there). I think Ferry’s book will be a “backwards looking” book in that it will describe what happened and attempt to form some policy conclusions, but since economics is non-linear–how do you know when the sand pile will collapse?–I don’t see much relevance to this book.

ThomasH May 25, 2014 at 7:16 am

Will it address how to unravel the Euro while leaving the free trade area.

Steve Sailer May 25, 2014 at 3:12 am

Sunstein ā€¯offers a new way of thinking about regulation that incorporates human dignity.”

After all, there’s nothing more dignified than “cognitive infiltration.”

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2010/01/sunstein-and-agent-provocateurs.html

Chip May 25, 2014 at 6:56 am

There is the human dignity of A owning his property and then there’s the dignity of B, who has less property than A.

Rest assured, the govt will decide wisely.

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