Assorted links


2. Already with the re-framing and goalpost adjustments. Listening before passing laws is hard and cuts into your publication count.

I am normally not one for schadenfreude, but I very much enjoy seeing Yglesias maintain that increasing competition and lessening the impact of government regulation is, in fact, a "progressive measure," while most of his commenters maintain the need for government intervention to prop up the wages of the working class. I guess Matty is too plugged into the red team/blue team matrix to just come out and admit that he is arguing against the progressive viewpoint on this issue.

First, how is that "schadenfreude"?

Second, as Yglesias has pointed out, being a progressive doesn't necessarily mean supporting more government intervention. It can and often does mean attacking those in positions of power. You are free to disagree with his labeling, but it's well within the bounds of what he's normally said.

Third, I'd be interested in to see just how much of an impact this has. Are there licensing restrictions all over? If so, are they enforced? And how hard are they to overcome? Is there a limitation on just how many people can cut hair, in the same way there's a limit on how many people can drive taxis, or is it merely a matter of getting the license?

Where Matty breaks down is Public Employee Unions- which BTW, is basically his entire readership.

Government serves the lower class, just like non-regulated barbers. As such, progressives ought to seek to end unionism in public employees, so that a greater % of money taxed goes directly to the poor.

I'm curious as to how you figured out, in a statistically valid manner, how his entire readership is composed of public employee union members.

I logged the hours chatting with them.

As a loyal Yglesias reader who supports his position most of the time, I can say that I consider myself to be neither a leftist, and I am not a Public or Unionized worker. Now, as an anecdotal piece of evidence, that may not say much, but I doubt it's much worse than the evidence you're using. Are PEU workers more likely to read his blog, or simply more likely to post comments talking about how much they disagree with him?

As I said, I think Mattew Yglesias is correct the vast majority of the time, but I only tend to post comments when I disagree with him.

Come again? You figured out a way to tell how each one of his readers is employed and then counted the time each person spent on his site?

3. I simply cannot comprehend how people can speak of universal claims about rationality. Any given individual is sometimes rational, sometimes irrational. How much more so our entire civilization.

The question is not whether people are rational or not. I think the question is simply, how do we improve on our current state, whatever that is?

2. Are past results indicative of future developments? Should we remain slaves of the policy-limitations of bygone years?

3. I think most of the puzzle is resolved by saying people act rationally and think irrationally. Pop economics uses position 1 (people are rational) to explain behavior and position 2 (economists are rational, people are not) to criticise their beliefs. Of course, the root of that is the Hansonian idea that opinions are about signalling, not truth. Actions are signals too, of course, but they tend to have larger real costs, which is a strong incentive to act more rationally.

4, Figure 5.1.a What is with people and graphs?

Re: 5, I'm always amazed when someone so determined to show the foolishness of religion is so slavish in their devotion to the religion of state.

Atheist friends of mine routinely tell me religion is a tremendous waste of time and money in addition to being a pack of lies, but applaud the waste of public funds on a court case (rendering a public, official proclamation that everyone is bound to enforce) founded upon a lie.

I reply to my athiest friends that at least most of the major religions only ask believers to waste their own money. Believers of the religion of government, however, drag me to the pews and take my money.


Love the Pastafarian link. I forwarded it to some Evolution Blogs as well.

2. What would a similar graph look like for other "necessities" such as food or housing? Would they be different than for healthcare? Should they be?

On the healthcare and gdp graph... What if we difference to take out the trends? Is there still a relationship?

Also, if there is, how would one interpret the relationship in light of Tyler's view that median incomes have not increased?

"Also, if there is, how would one interpret the relationship in light of Tyler’s view that median incomes have not increased?"

Bingo! No chart that says nothing about income distribution can be the most important chart in a discussion of public policy.

To Steve and Michael Cain,

You guys nailed what strikes me as the real crisis in health care expenditures. It is NOT that NHE/GDP is rising as so many have argued. The real crisis is that as hospitals and health care systems compete for the well-insured patient, the consumption-packed health care delivered is increasingly beyond the means of median American.

But we the people are not entirely blameless. Our health-care-is-only-an-investment-in-health mindset makes no distinction between diagnostic tests that can have no effect on health and diagnostic tests which are prescribed because the outcome will affect treatment decisions and ultimately patient's health. Our mindset also makes us think that it is rational expect our insurance company (or government) to pay for a treatment based on the hope that we-with-a-terminal-illness will experience the 1 in a 1000 miracle cure.

My hope is that our Health Economics Letter that introduced the log-log graph will at least open a discussion on the issues.

5. The article is simply wrong in an impotant respect. According to Austrian law any headwear worn on a photo for a driving license is irrelevant as long as a person's head is identifiable and complete. The decision to issue the driving license has nothing to do with religious freedom or the status of pastafarianism in Austria.

I might add that the story nevertheless tells something about the culture that is Pastafarian.

2. why log-log?

Vibram Mens Five Fingers Flow have grown in fame enough to provide an amazing fashion appeal as well as the functionality of the shoe. There are very specific health benefits and shoe categories within this line.

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