Assorted links

by on July 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Milton Friedman chats with a young David Brooks.

2. Indiegogo for an electronic library of Leonard Read.

3. Robot writes Torah at Berlin’s Jewish Museum.  And Michael Covel interviews me about many things.

4. Why hasn’t the internet made labor market search easier?

5. Future Grammys to have a Chinese feel.

6. What the rich really like are high asset prices.

Just Another MR Commentor July 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

#1 Man Brooks really looks like a nerd even back then – by the way we need to do more to open up higher education to talented immigrants, all seats at American universities should be bidded on globally.

Just Another MR Commentor July 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Although, to take off my troll mask for a second, I see Milton Friedman was about to fall into a trap himself if that black guy hadn’t saved him by saying “I’m not familiar with that one example” when Milton Friedman brought up the computing (microprocessor) industry, causing Friedman to switch to the Model-T as his example. In the history of the development of the US computer industry I think it’s pretty hard to take the involvement of the US government out of the equation. Good thing that guy save Friedman from saying something very idiotic.

Jan July 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Was Brooks always Canadian?

Andrew' July 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm

“all seats at American universities should be bidded on globally.”

Lost me on that one. Not just no, but hell no. This position is a parody of open borders. But don’t worry, to the extent that it matters and is wrong, they already are.

Rich Berger July 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm

He was unimpressive even then.

Kevin Frei July 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I remember reading Brooks say that his ideological conversion came when he tried to debate Milton Friedman and got trounced. I bet he was referring to this interview!

Greg July 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm

#1 also includes a young Steven Calabresi, now a prominent law professor, and Harry W. Crocker, who would go on to become a conservative writer.

T. Shaw July 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

#6: Really? Who’d’a thunk!!!

Must they caption the obvious?

Brian Donohue July 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I don’t think it’s obvious at all. The only time you want high asset prices is when it’s time to sell.

The latest Krugman argument is interesting.

He’s attacking hard money Austrians, who hate QE and don’t want to see their dollars devalued.

Other lefties ignore the debasement/Austrian issue and decide QE is only for the rich because it props up asset prices.

Those damn rich- whichever way you slice it, you just know they’re up to something.

T. Shaw July 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I guess high prices can be a chimera.

Just saying.

So, I’d take two ice picks and jam them in my eyes before I’d read Krugman’s asinine assaults on straw men, or anything else he spawns.

F. Lynx Pardinus July 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm

This site needs Reddit-style downvote buttons, so we can skip over the pathetic “I want to show everyone how cool I am by claiming to hate economist X” posts. I assume there’s similar nonsense toward Cowen and Tabarrok on left-wing blogs.

anon July 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

-1

Maurice de Sully July 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm

The only time you want high asset prices is when it’s time to sell.

I don’t understand this comment.

An increase in asset value is useful even if you are not selling the specific asset. If my house goes up 100% in value in the next year, the fact that I won’t be selling the house won’t change how great a result that is for me. I will be much wealthier whether I sale or not, no?

Brian Donohue July 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I was thinking in terms of someone who, in general, is ‘a buyer’ or ‘a seller’. Young people will be buying financial assets for the next few decades. For these people, lower prices on assets are good news, just like lower prices on blue jeans. What you really want is a run up in prices just before you cash out.

Most people don’t accumulate houses like financial assets, but the drop in home prices over the past several years is very good news for those who are either first time or upgrade buyers now.

BC July 12, 2014 at 1:07 am

“Those damn rich- whichever way you slice it, you just know they’re up to something.”

Indeed. Piketty showed us how higher capital shares favor the rich, (temporarily) sparing us from hearing how higher labor shares also benefit the rich, because the wealthy go to the best schools and tend to earn the highest wages. Worst of all though, are those jobs that pay no wages, unpaid internships, since only the wealthy can afford to take those zero-wage jobs.

mulp July 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm

It is not obvious because “price === value” is what everyone has been taught, but value does not equal labor input is also taught viciously – if you can force 1000 people to work 1000 hours for $5 per hour, then you probably paid too much if unemployment is higher than 4% because you failed to clear the market of all idle unskilled labor – any thing that involves 1000 laborers is clearly unskilled.

On the other hand, CYNK pretty clearly has virtually no labor input other than a bunch of skilled liars. From zerohedge yesterday:

“Well that escalated quickly… CYNK Technologies – which we first exposed to the world here – has gone from dumb to dumber. “Traders” just bid CYNK at $18.50, no, $20.32 this morning (on less than 100,000 shares) meaning this asset-less, revenue-less shell of exuberance now has a market cap over $5.4 $5.9 billion.”

That is after it reported:

“Case in point – CYNK Technology Corp, a listed company that as of this morning has a market capitalization in excess of $1 BILLION.

According to official filings, the social media development company had one employee, no website, no revenue, no product, and no assets.”

…at the beginning of the week:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-07/market-top-meet-1-billion-company-zero-revenues

Clearly one laborer is worth $5 billion because the free market says so and according to Greenspan, fraud is impossible in a free market. And he also believes price defines value.

Mike W July 12, 2014 at 10:48 am

I love this from today’s WSJ:

“The SEC on Friday halted trading in Cynk—whose price had shot up more than 100-fold since mid-June—because of concerns about “potentially manipulative transactions” in the stock, the regulator said. The sole employee Cynk has listed couldn’t be reached for comment.”

Isn’t this just the Wolf of Wall Street dynamic in a penny stock? Seems to be much ado about nothing.

prior_approval July 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

‘Robot writes Torah at Berlin’s Jewish Museum’

In Istanbul, at the Topkapi museum, it is still a person reading the Qur’ān – but some religions are more backwards than others, apparently. After all, the Bible was the first printed work in the Western world, right?

Jan July 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

You so German, PA! [Likes to visit Turkey, thinks somereligions are backwards]

prior_approval July 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Well, except for the fact I was born to American parents and grew up in NoVa, and remain an American citizen.

Jan July 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm

But the transformation is nearly complete.

8 July 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

#5 If it were up to the Chinese people, the Grammy’s would have a Korean feel.

Ray Lopez July 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Future Grammy Award ceremonies to have Chinese feel
Special events featuring Chinese music will be held during future Grammy Awards ceremonies, according to a partnership announced today by the host of the awards and the Chinese Musicians’ Association in Shanghai….In the future some special events will be held to highlight Chinese music during the Grammy Awards.

You do know that Oriental music is 5 to 7 beats while Western music is two or three beats (African music is often one or two beats). Hence Chinese music “sounds weird” to Westerners. This will go over as well as the Transformers IV Chinese product placement and kowtowing to China did I’m afraid (it will go over very well)

Chris July 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm

David Brooks dressed like a hipster before it was cool.

sourcreamus July 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Is there a way to find out who the other people in the video are? Some of them look familiar but I can’t place them.

NW LAW July 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The student who challenges Brooks is Steven Calabresi (I’m 99% sure). I couldn’t place it at first, but it’s him.

He’s a very influential constitutional and comparative law professor. Founded the federalist society. Been a prof at NW Law for a long time. I took his comparative con law class last semester. Great professor. Very smart. Very open-minded. Makes for good class discussion. I like professors who are smarter than everyone in the room but don’t pretend to have all the knowledge in the universe.

Andrew' July 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm

It’s good to know that 40 years later government is still shirking its duties in bankruptcy in ways we can discuss in exactly the same terminology. Consistency.

Greg July 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

One of them is H.W. Crocker III, a conservative writer.

Justin July 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

#4 “Search isn’t really about searching”

Crooked Timber is getting Hansonian!

Andrew' July 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Well, I was going to say it was a very interesting article, but it wasn’t about why the internet hasn’t worked. But your comment is better.

Ray Lopez July 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

@#3 – Covel? A disguised Greek ? or perhaps Baltic surname, see below. Turning around the clever pun involving trojan viruses, “Beware of Geeks bearing Gifs” we can say: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”. And what does Covel do? What Trojan Horse gift does he bring? He spots trends, or creates trends, to profit off them, since it’s well known that there is a slight serial correlation in short term stock market trends, meaning you can make money off of fads or trends or herd behavior (‘heard on the Street’). A sort of legal pyramid scheme involving ideas rather than money. Hence he rides on TC’s coattails. Evil. Pure genius evil.
RL
Michael Covel is a systems researcher, private trader & the author of 5 books including the bestsellers Trend Following & The Complete TurtleTrader.

How does Michael Covel pronounce his last name? Co-vell. “Co” rhymes with toe. “Vell” rhymes with bell. Equally accented each syllable. It was shortened from Covalesky, which was shortened originally from Kavaliauskas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Eckhardt_%28trader%29
Prior to founding ETC, Eckhardt was also involved in the Turtle Trading experiment,[2] set up by partner, friend and fellow trader Richard Dennis. The goal of that experiment was to settle a philosophical disagreement between the two partners, to determine whether the skills of a successful trader could be reduced to a set of rules (i.e. can trading be taught?). The experience was overwhelmingly successful with novice traders ending up making $100 million. Eckhardt, who believed trading could not be taught, had effectively lost his bet with Dennis.

Donald Pretari July 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

#3…It would be interesting to know if Karaites embrace this technology.

Andrew' July 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I don’t know Karaites’, but I do know Ka-Razy.

Donald Pretari July 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

Well we can both agree that you don’t know, Andrew’.

andrew' July 13, 2014 at 6:05 am

Donald. Get ready.

Dave July 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Re job searching: most jobs are found via networking, not internet searches.

mulp July 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

That because the Internet has not made it possible to be an oil rig roustabout in North Dakota from the computer in the job center in Philly, which you get to by walking and bus because you can’t afford a car, and neither can any of your non-criminal friends and family.

And your network of friends will not include anyone working in North Dakota because none of the businesses there provide transportation, room, and board.

That’s why the military is the only way out – if they hire you, they provide transportation, and full room and board.

It was once true that many US employers would provide transportation, room and board. But then economists argued that employers should not do so because the market will always provide the free transportation, room, and board that the unemployed poor people need.

Especially given the Internet provides everything you need for free.

The Engineer July 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm

The illegal immigrants somehow get to their jobs. How did the ones in my Home Depot parking lot looking for day labor work get there?!?

Chris S July 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Re: job searching, the (one) problem is that the barrier to apply for a job is very low. Create a profile, browse jobs, then just click to apply! Great!

But then anyone who even thinks they are anywhere close to qualified, or even if they know they are not but the job seems cool, clicks and applies. So it is impossible to see the signal through the noise – the hiring manager is faced with 200 (2000?) applications with only five qualified candidates among them.

That’s the real reason “side-door” job searches are more successful – it just gets your resume to the top of the pile and, if you’re qualified, that may be all the help you need. Especially when the hiring manager’s alternative is to go back to the giant pile of noise.

ElamBend July 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Not to mention that this firehose of applications has raised the expectations of hiring managers leading them to raise their demands and numbers of qualifying factors, thus always looking for the perfect candidate. Until someone suggests a pre-selected acquaintance/contact that will fit the bill.

Finch July 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Is it legal to charge $100 to apply? Like a school would?

Jonfraz July 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

If it isn’t illegal; it would quickly be made so, due to public outrage. However, I am job searching currently and it’s no longer “click and apply” as it was last time I searched (eight years ago) . Everything I have applied for has required filling out a lengthy online application, and the process can take up to an hour. So at least some job openings are placing enough of a barrier to applications that they avoid mass spamming of resumes.

Kevin Erdmann July 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

The rich all want the same thing, and it certainly is something that will hurt you. We know this. What they want may be self-contradictory, incoherent, or economically illiterate. But we can be certain that they are aligned against us. I hear that they even beat up their own mothers as a right of passage.

Kevin Erdmann July 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Rite

Todd K July 11, 2014 at 6:20 pm

The beginning of part two gives everyone’s name:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-tL3GMgR_w

Zach July 11, 2014 at 6:53 pm

The Internet changes all of this. It’s possible to find all the publicly advertised jobs in any given field, anywhere in the world, in a matter of seconds. With a little more effort, it’s possible to get lots of information about firms that may be hiring, even if they haven’t advertised vacancies. And, much more than in the past, its possible to get lots of information about potential employers, to assess whether the jobs they have on offer are in fact likely to be good ones.

This is a very panglossian view of the internet job search. The trouble with internet job searches is that they are incredibly low yield on both ends. Sure, you can submit your resume with just a few clicks of a mouse. But there’s no guarantee that a human will ever even look at that resume. It just goes into a database that HR people can query. And of course, the HR people get spammed with people who aren’t really qualified for the job.

In a way, it’s like the paradox of online dating. There’s such a blizzard of bad choices, the good matches can never find each other.

Zach July 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm

In fact, I think my objection answers Quiggin’s question. Unemployment isn’t a search problem, it’s a matching problem. For N job seekers and M jobs, the number of possible matches grows as NxM, while the number of filled positions can be no larger than min(N,M). The matching problem gets *harder* as the pool grows larger, not easier.

ChrisA July 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm

As someone who is regularly hiring people, I have found that the good people simply do not apply for on-line jobs. We always post our openings on the internet, since it is cheap and easy to do, and we actually have good screening techniques to identify potentially suitable candidates. I don’t just leave this up to HR, one time I didn’t believe them when they said they had had no suitable applications and reviewed all of them myself. Several hundreds junk CVs, badly spelled and incoherent and no-one with any reason to call. So generally we hire using traditional methods, with recruiters, advertisements in newspapers, referrals by current staff, speaking to academic staff to find their talented students and where they went. Which is all a lot of work quite honestly. I think the reason that good people do not apply online is because the signal you send by applying online is that you are someone who is not actually worth hiring. If you look easy to hire, people thinks this sends a negative signal about the capabilities. Its the classic “play hard to get”, whether people are consciously thinking this way or not, that’s what they do.

andrew' July 12, 2014 at 4:39 am

Hmmm. On the other side I feel like it just doesn’t work. But only as on a spectrum of how the traditional methods don’t work either, they just yield a result more often.

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