by Tyler Cowen
on April 20, 2017 at 12:20 pm
1. Germany as social capital innovator.
2. The war against Chinese restaurants. And how the Chinese view Ivanka.
3. Will there be a shortage of shelter dogs? And part II.
4. Profile of Teresa May.
5. What is happiness?, according to Wikipedia. And Ross Douthat covers Girls (NYT).
6. Jeffrey Sparshott at WSJ covers The Complacent Class.
4. The White House misspelled Theresa too.
Spelling mistake, or Straussian take?
Obviously the former for the White House, but 50/50 for Tyler.
1. So Germany manages to soften the blow of recession by cutting hours – “Kurzarbeit” – instead of cutting wages. That’s the theory. In practice, as anyone who has ever tried to go part-time will tell you, workers end up doing the extra work unpaid. It was a wage cut in all but name. Still, better to have 80% of a job than no job at all.
‘workers end up doing the extra work unpaid’
Obviously, you have no experience of Kurzarbeit, as that is both illegal and will be quickly called out by a company’s competitors – the money for Kurzarbeit comes from the government, after all. Actually, that reality is one reason (among several) that companies will do their best to avoid Kurzarbeit, as it locks them into following the rigid rules of what is still referred to as the Arbeitsamt – and the overhead of complying with the rules.
‘It was a wage cut in all but name’
Kurzarbeit has a definite time span in which it can be used as it is paid for by the government, and is a not a permanent change in the contracts that workers have. Further, while Kurzarbeit is being used, a company is basically not allowed to reduce its workforce – essentially, it is part of the bargain of using Kurzarbeit.
I suspect that it also plays a role in maintaining a skilled workforce, and makes careers in highly cyclical industries like manufacturing and construction more attractive to people. The U.S. seems to be in a pattern wherein every recession entails massive layoffs, and then when growth picks up again a few years later companies complain that they cannot find workers with the requisite skills or experience. Well, they got laid off, unemployment ran out, and they either got on disability, took early social security, or have moved on to a different career.
5b- I admit I can not imagine a distinguished collumnist of a presrigious Brazilian newspaper writing about a TV series. Brazilian newspaper columnists write avout policy, economics, defense and science. Not TV series’ girls. Only in America.
I totally agree, Ross could do with a little machismo, but I found him so likable the one time I met him at the local book fair, I would like to chalk his dumber columns up to his trying to hang in there, in a job where Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins illustrate how to have total security.
Such is life in Trump’s America. Everything’s quality, even newspapers’ – is going down.
If this is true it’s pretty sad. Is Brazilian TV considered so far beyond the pale that nobody with any respect would write about it? Are there no programs of value?
TV section writers write about TV, but I only saw once of a serious columnist writing about a TV program on a prestigious Brazilian newspaper.
I haven’t seen it, but I am pretty sure “Girls” is a drearier version of Teleboobies.
There shouldn’t be a big dividing line like that within society. Serious vs. frivolous. Sounds very boring to me.
Some things are must not interesting. Most TV shows are not. Brazilian serious columnists only write about important things. In Brazil, oe can not seek a reputation writing about the gametheory implications to dealing with the North Korean nuclear program and the next day write about soap operas.
That is such a classic bit of trolling. It requires an actual reasonable level of knowledge of Brazil as well.
Well done. You are improving. For a fat retired White accountant from Ohio.
I am not from Ohio. You cpuld at least invent more interesting place for me. My family history goes back to 13 th Century Portugal, it is one of the most ancient Brazilian families.
That is the point. You could not be more white bread if you tried. You try to pretend you are interesting but it doesn’t work.
2. What’s an abomination is a Chinese restaurant masquerading as a Japanese sushi restaurant. Look closely as the sushi chef behind the counter. Is he Japanese or is he Chinese? Imposters should be deported. Or transferred to a Chinese restaurant.
Over 1/3 of Japanese restaurants in my area are run by Koreans. They must had been victims of Imperial Japan’s propaganda that multi-ethnics Empire of Japan was a homogeneous, single race state. It’s not their fault that they were brainwashed.
I have been told Amwrican soldiers were taught how to tell apart Japanese and Chinese fottprints. Have you seen that man’s footprints? Doesn’t he look like the guy at left (scrolldown for the photos)?
I am a trained sushi chef! This is in fact one of the things I forget about myself. It was an Orange Coast College night class, years ago.
I would go with quality, and a stubborn commitment to Nigiri in face of monster roll madness.
1. Solid article, but it misses the fact that the Betriebsrat (which is always translated as works council) is more important in a company than any union. A company with a Betriebsrat is never allowed to ignore it, even if the same company steps out of the Manteltarifvertrag or industry-wide collective agreement. For example, the Betriebsrat has essentially full access to a company’s books at a level that one of the company’s corporate directors would have – it makes it quite difficult to argue about cutting wages when the representatives are able to look at the books, including how much management is paying itself. Basically, unions are secondary to the Betriebsrat at the practical level of employee representation within a company.
I see that Breitbart is explaining that Bill O’Reilly was really a centrist all along. I will throw that in for comic relief.
(With shout out to George Mason!)
By the Breitbart and alt-lite perspective O’Reilly is sort of a centrist. Or at least he’s an object of their derision as a neo-con ‘conservative’.
Could you pass an ideological Turing test of what the Breitbart readers believe politically?
Even if I had beliefs about the median Breitbart or Huffington Post reader, what would that do for you?
One aspect of this reveling in the new “alt right” conservative is the implicit idea that conservatives who came before them, like O’Reilly, are actually center-right and pretty mild. So yes, O’Reilly is a centrist because they can be compared to new kids on the block like Richard Spencer.
If the center had moved, wouldn’t the popular vote have done so?
#1 makes me think about Open Book Management. I think it would be good for everyone if it caught on.
Also to me it looks like Cost disease might be caused by a lack of trust. Let MD’s, RN’s and teachers do their best.
Though the article in 1 is pretty broad, it tends to underplay just how instrumental the legal framework of Kurzarbeit can be in preserving a manufacturing company during a recessionary period. Kurzarbeit as a tool is not a management style.
Wikipedia is a marvel of human cooperation. I wish I could say the same about the Marginalrevolution comments section.
5 – Older whiskey; younger women; faster cars/motorcycles; and more money.
Girls? If it were not so effing risible, I’d feel sorry for America’s poor, benighted youth.
1. Auto industries in Mexico and Brazil do something mix reduced working hours and salaries (kurzarbeit) with stopping production for some time (furlough). In the US auto industries only go with furlough.
The short-time work idea is not that alien on the other side of the Atlantic. Why the auto industry and its workers have developed a certain flexibility to deal with boom/bust cycles while other business don’t? I have no idea how this came to be. I’ve read that the VW and Mercedes in Latin America agree with labor unions some kind of kurzarbeit every recession. As the author says, unions from the ” from an Anglo-Saxon perspective, should look like rigidities”.
Perhaps, labor unions are not that evil, or the accumulated experience of the auto industry leads to taking boom/bust cycles as a reality such as gravitation.
#5 Happiness is crushing the Fatherland’s enemies.
2. On Ivanka. Seems in part a remarkably shallow and bilious article for a magazine specializing in Foreign Policy.
Yishu Mao out of the three is the only one who actually seriously tries to connect to a “deeply-held trope”.
Though on second thought actually I don’t think a “trope” can be “deeply-held.” So even the heading is screwed up.
5b. Have any of you MR readers watched the series? I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile but I’ve been too buisy.
Good show for the first 2 seasons. Season 3 begins a terrible slide and the story becomes really disjointed.
I am not sure how well it ages. 2012 was a different time and the story-lines and characters felt pretty novel to most viewers at the time. The writing was genuinely good and I think it’ll hold for a 2017 audience.
1. But they don’t seem to be any good at internal re-valuation. Germans get paid far less than is typical in Nortg America. Salaries for even PhD engineers are roughly comparable to salaries for engineers with bachelors degrees fresh out of college in the US
…but living in Germany is quite affordable, even cheap.
It’s somewhat cheaper than the US, housing certainly isn’t though. I would say the salaries there are unnessary low and the somewhat cheaper prices of SOME goods do not compensate for that. Salaries are on the order of 50% of US salaries compared to maybe 10% cheaper goods
Salaries are indeed a lot lower, owing much to the “Tax Wedge” of high income taxes + social security costs, which means employers often pay up to double of what the employee sees on his bank account.
But then, since the Government is often providing stuff that in the US private enterprises would, things like kindergarten, schools universities, transportation infrastructure and security often come much cheaper or in better quality.
Those dog shelter article is from 2015, has no citations for it’s claims, and there are no secondary sources to back up the notion that there is a shortage of shelter dogs.
The blog seriously suggested we import dogs from overseas. What could possibly go wrong? Total biased opinion piece without quantitative content. It also ignored the soaring costs of shelters.
I think you need to do a bit better. The biggest downside from importing to me seems to be cost. But if its simply from mexico, presumably the cost shouldn’t be too much more then moving dogs across the country.
I don’t know what you are referring to with, “what could possibly go wrong”. Did you have something in mind?
It’s a speculative piece that we *will* have a shortage. The main citation from the HSUS is in the second part. This blogger also tracks shelter outcomes based on annual report data, and if you drill down by region in the righthand nav you’ll find primary source data.
Here’s the ASPCA’s recent report: https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics. It supports a broad drop in both intake and euthanasia.
Both breeders and rescuers have a hard time with this possibility, but if you look at the latest annual reports from shelters in Northeast and Northwest, you’ll see that much – if not most – of their intake comes from outside the region, usually from the South and Southwest.
The best hot takes on Douthat come from Chapo Trap House.
#6 The Complacent Millennials http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/19/millennials-arent-job-hopping-any-faster-than-generation-x-did/
“””The increasing job tenure of college-educated Millennials is consistent with a decline in employer switching among all working-age adults since the 1980s. The reasons for the decline are not well understood. Recent research indicates that the rise of dual-career households, the decline in middle-skill jobs, occupational licensing and the need for employees to retain health insurance cannot account for much of the decline in job-switching.”””
5 – A good example of how much leverage women have lost through feminism and why it devalues them to try to act like boys. Prediction: a resurgence in popularity of female modesty.
5b) “The New York Times published 37 articles about the show…’Girls’ didn’t have (and didn’t seek) the kind of aspirational influence achieved by its young-hip-bedhopping-urbanite predecessors ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Friends.'”
Not too long ago, the mainstream press — and I assume the NYT still fancies itself as part of the mainstream press — defined popular culture based on what was actually popular. Sex and the City and Friends (and Seinfeld, Cheers, ER, etc.) were indeed actually popular shows. Now, cosmopolitan elites substitute their own tastes for everyone else’s. Regular Americans don’t count, even when it comes to “popular” culture. Note, here, one doesn’t get the idea that the NYT covers “Girls” as some sort of exotic “alternative” art to round out their coverage of culture. Instead, it’s mainstream among cosmopolitan elites, and that’s what matters. Ironic, that after decades of trying to be more “inclusive” along some dimensions, the mainstream media is in this sense more exclusive and insular than ever. One more example of the cultural division between cosmopolitan elites and middle Americans. This identity dimension — as compared to race, religion, gender, economic class, etc. — is the least recognized of all, so under-recognized that we don’t really have a good name for it.
Should they only write about the most popular TV shows? Should the dining out section admit they are out of touch, repent, and cover Real Middle American interests like Bud Ice and McDonalds?
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