Assorted links

1. Bryan Caplan, statistical theist?.  I sometimes say that the GMU blogging group is divided into theistic and atheistic thinkers, as we have several of both.

2. Tim Harford is switching to Twitter (don't tell Mario Rizzo).

3. Markets in everything?: pay for red lights to go green.

4. What is the main lesson of this short video?

5. Markets in everything: cell phone storage for high school students, liquidity premium exceeds carrying costs edition.

6. Liebowitz and Margolis on where the lock-in literature went wrong.

7. Walter Russell Mead on Obama.


#7- "Great speakers like Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had the power to concentrate your awareness on the core of the argument, to force those who disagreed to re-examine their positions, and to sway the great moderate middle to their side by logical arguments eloquently expressed." Yeah, that Lincoln sure convinced the South to... oh, wait...

Mead also mocks some unnamed person who called Obama "the Democratic Reagan," apparently forgetting that at the end of his second year Reagan faced pretty much the exact approval numbers, unemployment situation, and Congressional situation that Obama does now.

Some of the critics of Liebowitz and Margolis have overdone it, but I know that they are not being honest in this paper and that they actually recognize that such effects can and have happened, or at least have done so in certain circumstances that are not publicly in print.


Yeah, but in 1982 all you needed to do to restore growth was lower sky high interest rates you had control over. Interest rates are 0% now and still no growth.


I realize that it is inflammatory, but the answer is no. Just keep in mind that I edit a journal, which means that I see things others do not see, but about which I cannot speak more specifically. Just to be understanding, lots of people take strong positions publicly against longstanding, equally vociferous rivals/opponents, even when their actual positions are more nuanced and less hardline.

#5: $1 a day for storing a cellphone! Wow! Sounds high!

Allow me to be very clear here. There is no contradiction between what L&M have said publicly and what they have said privately. Private remarks have involved cases not discussed in any of their papers and also involving government intervention to tilt the playing field regarding the initial choice of an inferior technology, which then persisted due to lock-in effects. Their pro-laissez faire position that free markets will select techs that are not inferior to others is not compromised at all.

L&M quote this:

I am looking out at the Sears Tower in Chicago. The company must employ--what?--5,000 typists in that building alone. They now work on computers, not Remingtons. The hardware change to a new keyboard is trivial. The retraining cost of the workers is small--what, a week? Two? For a big gain, allegedly, in typing speed.

Do they honestly think that a life-long touch typist can retrain to use the Dvorak keyboard in two weeks?


It just seems kind of funny that someone can basically call someone a liar but ethical considerations makes it so they can't explain the charge.

Academics might be more polite if they could just call each other assholes sometimes.


Of course you're right that the economic challenges are different. I just thought it was funny that Mead mocked someone who was silly enough to think Obama could be like the awesome Reagan, when at this exact same point in Reagan's presidency folks were saying he had failed and that he probably wouldn't run for re-election.

Rosser : Don't slander in public without adequate proof.

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