Assorted links


And don't trust start-up job creation data that is presented without accompanying new firm job destruction data. New firms create a lot of new jobs, but a lot of them don't last long. The dynamism of these new firms is still obviously important, but as the link suggests - the impact on employment growth is easily overstated.

Btw - I think I saw you yesterday on Clarendon Blvd, mid-day.

I think what people need to realize that job growth comes from small firms who become medium-size.

New firms don't destroy jobs, by definition. Job creation and destruction are defined in the data as positive or negative employment growth at the firm level, respectively. A firm which goes from 0 to N workers has created N jobs.

And a firm that goes from N to zero workers has destroyed N jobs.

Most research tend to find that these are the same firms.

How can a firm go from 0 to N and N to 0 workers at the same time? It's either one or the other.

Now, there are quite a lot of firms that go from 0 to N workers one period and then N to 0 another period. Davis, Haltiwanger, and coauthors discuss this. I guess that this is what you're referring to, in which case we'd agree.

The annual BDS data are good to look at for this. They do find an "up or out" dynamic for young firms.

Right - but young firms do.

Minneapolis was also recently ranked the country's "Gayest" city. I guess Minnesota is the new California.

The bitcoin article sounds suspiciously like a push piece. I do enjoy this comment from that article: "Someone took his real cash and gave him a .jpg of gold coins with a leprechaun next to them."

"Real cash," as in a cotton-fibre printout of the leprechaun-esk AbeLincoln.jpg

"Real cash," as in something that can reliably, easily, and universally be transferred in exchange for goods and/or services.

Maybe he already put all his money in bitcoins and is desperately trying to sell them?

I'm unimpressed by the weather deaths trend column. It's all bluster. He's acting like he's proving a much bigger point than the one he's actually making.

While fewer people die in severe storms than they used to, due to enhanced forecasting and warnings and safety procedures, that's not the critical point here -- even if an "environmental guru" claims it is. The point -- which Bourdreaux doesn't even address -- is that climate change is driving an increase in intensity and frequency of storms. That's a claim being made in several recent published papers.

So, yeah, I can spend $4000 to put a tornado shelter into my basement-less home, and doing so will allow me to survive a now more-likely F4 or F4 tornado, but I'm out $4000. Moreover, the proper comparison for an economist to make is the number of deaths now vs. the counterfactual number of deaths if human climate change were properly addressed.

But most important, if I'm one of the new dead -- i.e. a victim of a storm that would not have happened minus human-induced climate change -- I don't care whether the death rate overall is down. I'm still dead.

Shrug. Other papers say otherwise.

2010 is in the books: Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE] remains lowest in at least three decades, and expected to decrease even further… For the calendar year 2010, a total of 46 tropical cyclones of tropical storm force developed in the Northern Hemisphere, the fewest since 1977.

Also, lots of people die from a lack of affordable energy too. You need to consider those costs as well.

Wow. you have found the climate deniers' web sites. Good for you.

I'm talking about papers in real journals.

The good people at Environmental Research Letters will be devastated to hear you don't consider them a "real journal."

Maybe instead of calling people names, you should read the studies at the links. You've cited exactly nothing in support of your arguments.

He started the Pirate Party in Sweeden, of course he's going to have all his money in BitCoins, his dislike of central power makes Alex look like Stalin's right hand man.

Richard Florida's piece seems both suspicious and using too many qualitative variables for a measure thats suprisingly easy to judge quantitatively. I guess the only issue becomes one of self selection. i.e: if alot of geezers retire in city "X" because it's warm and cheap, then they might drag down the overall fit index.

I do recall that strictly looking at people that are obese by bmi (a flawed but purely quantitative metric), Colorado came top, and the south edged towards the bottom (I'm looking at you Mississippi).

I agree that putting ALL of your savings in bitcoin is a fool's errand. But, given current trends, what is the EV of a bitcoin in 12 months? 3? 24? How does that compare to other potential investments?

What is the probability that if you put $100 in today, that at some point in the next year, that the price of bitcoin doubles, allowing you to pull out your $105 & leave $95 work of bitcoin in your account?

I'm having a harder & harder time NOT going in a little.

"But, given current trends, what is the EV of a bitcoin in 12 months?"

Probably a value very close to what it is now. I'm not an EMH troll, but the author of that doesn't make a good case for the bitcoin being mispriced.

The key question is "how much wealth do people want to store in Bitcoins?" Then divide that by the expected quantity.

I think Bitcoins can work, but the biggest hurdle is that so much of the bitcoin community are a-holes, idiots, and tax evaders. I look at that guy's photo and find myself hoping Bitcoins go to $0.00 just to wipe off the smug expression.

Can I also interest you in some tulip bulbs, and a lovely new home in San Bernardino?

"The AFI rates the relative fitness of America's 50 largest metros based on data from the U.S. Census, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and The Trust for Public Land City Park Facts, among other sources. The AFI takes both personal health indicators (statistics on specific diseases, obesity, smoking levels, etc.) and community and environmental factors (health care access, community resources that promote fitness, etc.) into account."
That second part means they are measuring inputs, whereas you'd think they are just measuring outcomes. A bad idea, I'd say.

You don't seem to understand that we are now in a post-scientific world where outcomes are taken as given and only attributes now need be measured.

On the Boudreax op ed--he is responding to this WashPost oped ( about climate change, which never mentions a word about deaths from weather. Not once! Huh? It's a total non sequitor. Instead of betting that deaths will go down in the future, why not make a bet that the costs of dealing with climate change will go down. How's his A/C bill doing today here in the DC area on a record-setting day and an ozone air pollution alert day? Does he want to bet me that his A/C costs are goign to be higher or lower in 10 years? Sure we will adapt to climate change if we need to, but that doesn't mean it's going to be cheap, nor does it mean that it wouldn't be cheaper to make modest changes in energy production and consumption today to avoid the costs of up-armoring our houses and keeping the A/C on from March-November in the future...

Really? Not a word about deaths from weather?

"No, better to focus on the immediate casualties"
"I’m pretty sure that’s what residents are telling themselves in Joplin today."

Even under the most pessimistic global warming predictions over the next decade, the amount of energy used by your a/c won't change much, all other things being held equal.

The predictions are a handful of degrees per century so let's say 1 degree per decade as a conservative estimate for our purposes.

Air conditioning load is roughly proportional to the delta-temperature from inside to outside for the range you are considering. So assume 70 degrees inside and average of 85 F outside while a/c is running. Now increase that to 86 F outside. (yes, I know a/c are less efficient the hotter it is outside, but that doesn't matter much).

Your bill will be 16/15 of your bill today. 1/15th increase over a decade.

Ironically, the actions taken to mitigate AGW are probably a greater threat to your AC bill than AGW itself.

You're looking at the global average, which is not representative of what we experience in the summer in the US. It's going to be more common to for the average american to experience 90+ degree days than days when it's 30 or below (that's a reversal of what's going on today, when 90 degree days are actually very rare for many americans), and the number of 90+ days is just going to climb.

The whole point of environmental economics is to point out that there's a tradeoff with costs on both sides. Fossil fuels have low private costs (what you pay at the pump), but they have sizable external costs to health (lung and heart disease, infant mortality etc), national security (e.g. wars in middle east), and from climate change (high food prices, having to install AC in northern cities and run them more elsewhere, etc). It just seems crazy to deny these costs and throw up our hands and suggest we have to live them because coal and imported oil are such a good deal--hey we can always build more tornado proof trailer parks if we need to. At some point it's just cheaper to stop blowing up the environment than it is to pay to protect ourselves against the damage we cause.

By your own standard, TallDave should be skeptical. It's been freezing here in NE Illinois for the past few years.

Next time don't be that guy. It's not right when the people arguing against warming do it, and it's not right when people arguing for warming do it.

How’s his A/C bill doing today here in the DC area on a record-setting day and an ozone air pollution alert day?

SEER rating keep going up.

Not surprising that affluent cities are more fit. The wealthy get more out of their later years, so they have more incentive to invest in their health and will go to extremes like not eating meat and drinking their own pee (no kidding). But as with most matters concerning Richard Florida, I fail to see his so-called point.

My guess is that the decline of job creation among entrants is entirely due to the decline in labor force growth. If you look at the BDS and BDM spreadsheets, establishment size tends to be stable over time, so more employment growth = more job creation in new establishments.

Forget which cities are the "fittest" I want to know which cities are the "fastest". Comb through race results for every city for 5k, 10k, half and full marathons and then rank per-capita, fastest times.

I'll happily make two bets with Boudreaux:

- that economists with no knowledge of thermodynamics or fluid mechanics at a university funded by the coal industry will continue to produce illogical puffery saying that global warming is not a problem.

- that he cannot explain the basic physics of why carbon dioxide absorbs more infrared radiation than oxygen. I mean, they are practically the same stuff, aren't they? O2 vs. CO2? Explain that, pinheads.

Yes as EVERYBODY KNOWS that "basic science" is all that's needed to model the environment or the earth's atmosphere, pinheads! Just the other day I ate broccoli and my skin turned green!

Do you know that CO2 absorption of infrared increases logarithmically as a function of CO2 concentration? That a doubling from 195 ppm tens of thousands of years ago to the current 390 ppm has the same effect as another doubling to 780? And that it would take another doubling to 1560ppm to get the same effect again?

This is a common confusion, caused, I suspect, by the fact that absorption vs. wavelength spectra are often plotted on a logarithmic scale. The absorption of infrared radiation is saturated (i.e.further increases in CO2 make little difference [quote mining alert]) in the range 13.5 microns to 17 microns but the peak thermal radiation from the Earth's surface is at 10 microns. In the part of the spectrum where the atmosphere is optically thin (viz. around 10 microns, where most of the energy is), the relevant equation is the Beer-Lambert Law, which is linear, not logaritmic.

Does he need to explain the latter?

And does handwaving about University funding make him wrong?

(Do you also handwave about the funding of the people on the other side, who are getting nice juicy grants and cushy careers?

Or is that different?

If so, how and why?

Show your work.)

(Also, it may well be that his piece was "illogical" - but you haven't told us what was illogical about it, or how. )

also, mine your own bitcoin!

Not really feasible unless you can generate more money than the cost of electricity needed to perform the computations, but it could be fun!

Newsflash: Startups created a lot of new jobs during the internet bubble, fewer today.

Is Kevin Drum the new Ric Romero?

I recommend looking at Chart 5 in the original reference ( It makes the Bush years look much better and the Obama years look much worse.

Boudreaux is also the same person who tried to argue that the warnings provided by the US government national weather service played no role in saving lives from Katrina.

His argument is bizarre. It's like a string of non-sequtors with no logical coherence.

His diatribe is also aimed at a straw man. If more tornado deaths was the big worry in global warming, we wouldn't be
having this discussion. The big worry is that we get a run away greenhouse effect that we cannot
control and that puts the earth in a state that is much less amenable to civilization than
the Holocene. Even aside from that over-arching concern, there is a lot of fairly recent paleoclimate data
that tells us we should be really really worried about the possibility of very sudden, very rapid (decades) melting of the greenland icecap and the ice shelves of Antarctica melt much more quickly than was believed likely until recently.
Sea levels rising a meter or two over the next century, would flood a good many of the world's
great cities. Another concern is that more floods and more droughts will have serious negative
impacts on agriculture, resulting in problems not only of starvation but political stability around the globe.

What I find very odd about people like Don Boudreaux, aside from their messianic faith in the ability of market
economies to overcome all challenges, is a complete and total lack of any accounting for risk. Many climate scientists are genuinely worried about the possibility of real climate catastrophes like a runaway greenhouse effect.
People like Boudreaux seem to give these worries absolutely no weight at all, which again considering the consequences for the planet and the species were it to come to pass seems rather irrational.

(As an aside, I also don't understand where he gets his numbers. For example he writes that if one arbitrarily excludes Katrina deaths from his 30 year average, then the average number of deaths per year drops from 194 to 160.The Katrina wiki claims more than 1800 deaths from Katrina, so dropping Katrina should decrease the average by 60, from 194 to 134. Question for Boudreaux: In your bet, do you also want to exclude the Katrina deaths from the 1980-2009 baseline?)

" If more tornado deaths was the big worry in global warming, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. "

You should tell that to the person who wrote the column he responded to, which argued it was a problem.

"The big worry is that we get a run away greenhouse effect that we cannot control and that puts the earth in a state that is much less amenable to civilization than the Holocene."

If we're going to wave our arms about a possible climapocalypse, we should also consider that we're in an interglacial right now, and the consequences of an ice age are far, far worse than any putative consequences of warming. Even if the risk were, say 10x smaller (which no one really knows), a massive loss of land biomass is an extinction-level worry. Moving some populations inland is picayune by comparison.

"Sea levels rising a meter or two over the next century, would flood a good many of the world’s great cities."

Even the IPCC doesn't find that to be remotely likely. Last I heard the high end of their forecasts was 50cm.

"Another concern is that more floods and more droughts will have serious negative impacts on agriculture,"

Historically, warmer temps have been good for agriculture overall.

You should look at the data used for chart 5, you will see that the worst quarter was the one that ended March 2009 and that the decline took place while Bush was President.


Fair point, but chart 5 gives a very different impression than Kevin Drum's post.

Re: Bitcoin. Freek's comments about Gnutella here and here point out the main intrinsic weakness of Bitcoin, aside from the extrinsic problem of enough people trusting it enough to actually invest in it.

It uses a lot of buzzwords, but it doesn't really point out a weakness. Bitcoin doesn't need to communicate with lots of nodes. You explicitly don't need all nodes to agree.

The people who designed Bitcoin were (are) pretty smart on technical matters. The community of users aren't very smart on economic matters.

Washington the creative class?

Amazingly naive on all points: "it is a currency, but an entirely new kind of currency that can’t be seized or frozen by governments, one which is integrated with its transaction system where transaction fees are optional, and where you can transfer any amount anywhere instantly without any authority knowing or interfering."

I bet he's gonna be really surprised when he discovers and finds out that the entire world can see all of his transactions.

This was an explicit design goal of the system -- it's amazingly transparent and everyone knows what's going on. For some reason the users think they're completely anonymous in everything.

What explains the DC v. NYC difference?

With regards to fitness, it would be more illustrative to compare Montana with Alabama. Both are examples of conservative "red" states. Yet, the level of fitness between the two probably varies quite significantly. Why would Montana people be more fit than Alabama people? What is the cultural differences between Montana and Alabama even though they are both considered "red" states? Could there be more than one kind of conservatism in the U.S.?

This shows which they last very much lengthier and thus saving you income which could otherwise are actually utilized to purchase new

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