Assorted links


7. From the comments

I just don't believe in success, as a definable commodity. As soon as you name it it's useless to me. People tend to express this as a criticism of materialism or consumption, which elicits groans. To me, though, those are epiphenomenal.

Will Wilkinson

I think when my kid plays a song on the piano, I'm going to tell them "Hon, that was epiphenomenal!"

Re (6):

"Nobody (I think) is talking about ZMP1."

I thought that was the major thrust of ZMP arguments. It takes effort to fire a useless (or worse-than-useless: NMP) employee. When times are good, it isn't worth the effort. (What if the fired ZMP worker sues? Yes, employers really do worry about that.) When times are bad, and cutbacks are required, the ZMPs are the first to go. When the good times return, they won't be rehired. They become part of structural unemployment.

Isn't that the ZMP argument?

ZMP2 and ZMP3 "workers" aren't workers at all--they aren't working! (They are part of the "labor force" because they are looking for work, but they aren't actually working.)

(3) It's not ''decline of the (North) American economists'', it's ''rise of the European economists''. European universities and research centers increasingly value peer-reviewed published research. Such wasn't the case not so long ago. The productivity of North American economists is fine, thank you.

(6) is bogus:

His ZMP1 is thoroughly useless or severely retarded workers, while ZMP2 and ZMP3 are just workers who can't find jobs, or employers who don't have the money to pay workers.

So his ZMP2 and ZMP3 are just typical reasons for unemployment, not worker marginal productivity; while his ZMP1 is people absolutely unproductive, not marginally unproductive.

It's like he didn't realize "ZMP" was about Marginal productivity, so he renamed it "Zero Value" Marginal Productivity. A delusion that comports with his fetish for the central planner, and is he also dabbling with the labor theory of value?

And another thing: there is a good chance that the "public shame" elevator would end up shaming people who don't deserve it. There are plenty of people who may look like healthy young (or young-ish) adults but due to an injury or some illness that is not outwardly visible could not manage even a flight of stairs.


Except in the case of some of the preceding commenters.

In Boston, the MBTA trains make a shaming announcement when somebody is preventing the doors from closing. It doesn't seem to make much difference. The kind of person who prevents the door from closing is typically not much affected by shame.

Usually they are using an iPod and wearing a backpack. The backpack gets stuck in the door and they don't notice.

Backpacks on the T are a pet-peeve. A person wearing a backpack takes up twice as much space on a crowded train, and is usually unaware of the protrusion. Take em off or use a briefcase.

{{WTF is "epiphenomenal"? .....damn! There's a whole wikipedia article on it. Who knew!}}

Actually, Rahul, you probably did know, but simply knew it as Type-E Dualistic.

Andrew, except, as I stated, often there's a reason someone may be on the elevator instead of in the stairwell. I tried taking the stairs once at a job site in Lansing and I ended up trapped in a stairwell at 3 am and the only other person on site was 3 floors up from me in a server room. I ended up having to break out.

For subways/transit systems, here in Vancouver, BC, Canada, riders can get fined for holding open the Skytrain doors. Except the people I see most often holding open the Skytrain doors are Transit Police.


@Andy: I refer you to the "Objections" section of the post I mentioned above.


Great, but what about the shares of publications in *top* journals? This is an infuriatingly simple-minded analysis. Suppose high schoolers opened a bunch of econ journals and started "publishing" --- would you conclude that the econ profession was being overrun by high-schoolers? No? Then why would you conclude that here? It's the same thing. How about the number of people who play soccer outside of Europe? It's gone up? Ah, so European soccer is in decline? This is the kind of shitty thinking that deserves to be publicly shamed, regardless of whether the result is true or not.

"From 30 seconds of googling I found out that in 2009, Asians made up 4.5% of the US population and that in 2005 Asians made up 9.57% of musicians in the top 24 orchestras in the country."

j r ... that was actually _not_ the inference I made - and your inference is even worse. How many asian children play classical instruments as opposed to the other races? What is the quality of play shown by these small children? How does it translate to them being very good musicians when they grow up? How many of them get to the 'ivy league' of solist (or at least chamber music) musicians? And I didn't mean orchestra playing specifically as in order to get through the auditions, the technical mastery may often be higher criterium than musical feeling.

Those taxes aren't bizarre. Some of them are stupid, and some are uncommon, though I'd bet California has (or had) pretty much all of those.

Look at the "flush tax". Sewer service has to be paid for somehow. I've lived places where sewer service was an item on my property tax bill, where it's a surcharge on the water bill, and where it's a separate bill. Charging a tax on septic systems (exactly equal to the sewer tax) seems more odd than the idea of paying for sewer service.

#4: A) can anyone name a candy that requires refrigeration and is made from flour? B)The "flush tax" sounds like a good idea C) the "sex sales tax" is just a standard sin tax, there are how many tens of thousands of those in this country? D) vending machine fruit tax is genuinely strange

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