Saturday assorted links

1. Why are university endowments large and risky?

2. Who cooked Adam Smith’s dinner?

3. Why do people feel different when they switch languages?

4. More on the Alice Goffman saga.

5. Are mega-journals the future of science?  A good commentary here.  And what motivates dinosaur science?

6. An NYT take on Wisconsin and tenure.  I have read other materials as well and stand by my original judgment on this matter.  It’s like those Disney workers having to train their foreign replacements — people object to losing battles and then the subsequent/ongoing humiliation, and their bruised feelings induce them to overrate the import of an observed change.

7. Can Larry Ellison save American tennis?

Comments

6. An NYT take on Wisconsin and tenure

Let me guess the spin on that.....

people object to losing battles and then the subsequent/ongoing humiliation, and their bruised feelings induce them to overrate the import of an observed change.

You certainly do not include academics, the creme de la creme of our best and brightest most learned and dispassionate bulbs, in that generalization?!?! LOL!

'Let me guess the spin on that'

As compared to tenured Prof. Cowen's spin? Nobody associated with the Virginia School with tenure is critical of tenure. Though only the cynical would point out the obviousness of why that is.

Though only the cynical would point out the obviousness of why that is.

You are truly a master of the obvious.

Don't you ever feel weird acting like Cowen's jilted lover on some nerdy Reality TV show?

Nope - I don't know Prof. Cowen at all, but I have a degree of personal familiarity with the the GMU econ dept. and the sort of people that run policy institutes desperate to use any link to GMU to claim respectability.

But when it comes to tenure, one should really refer to Andrei Sakharov's career for obviousness - the USSR Academy of Sciences, of which at least a third where Communist Party sinecures, had no interest in diminishing their own positions by kicking Sakharov out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Sakharov

I'm guessing that reference to the Virginia School was too obscure for the average MR commenter. Don't worry - it isn't as if anyone outside of GMU who considers the Virginia School seriously anyways.

I am a University of Chicago trained financial executive and economist and I take the Virginia School very seriously. So did most of my professors...

@triclops41

There, you happy? First you made eye-contact and then you engaged.

I was actually writing for everyone but PA.
I'm fairly certain he is a rogue, sentient, but crippled AI. That's why there is so much AI stuff in MR. They know that when the machines take over, PA will be coming for Cowen and GMU Econ.
It's the only explanation that makes any sense.

Man, the Virginia School really gets no respect here, does it, even when referring back to the Cold War and how Communist functionaries dealt with the contrast between their sinecures and their ideology..

Thankfully, Prof. Cowen need not fear for his assured lifetime job paid for by the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Virginia, at least when using such a metric to measure his performance.

'PA will be coming for Cowen and GMU Econ. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense.'

As compared to the one I've repeatedly explained? When working for GMU's PR dept., we all knew that what we produced was, shall we say, based on information we knowingly withheld from those at the consuming end - we used to laugh about the ignorant people who actually believed what we distributed back in the early 90s.

I felt guilty enough then, cashing a paycheck - now, living in the socialist hell that is Germany, I enjoy playing the PR game without being paid.

Or has anyone else noticed how rare mention has become of the creation tale of MRU, a web site created by two plucky GMU profs, youtube, and a 4 dollar app? Because that is the sort of tale I used to be paid to write about, even when knowing that it was a lie.

I know it's just my animal spirits talking, but the H1B abuse in 6b is abhorrent and is going to reinforce an already significant xenophobia in America. "they're stealing our jobs" can only be dismissed as nativist agitprop for so long.

One thing that is missing from all these stories about H1B abuse is the perspective of the guest workers who are displacing Americans. Reading the comments sections on articles that talk about such abuse (and such articles have been running in tech magazines for more than a decade), the viewpoints seem to be very skewed. Some people express sympathy with the guest workers (because of their supposedly "indentured" status), but most commenters are extremely disrespectful, calling them cheap and incompetent (in the best case), and sometimes resort to racial abuse of Indians (who are by far the largest recipients of this hated visa.) One wonders what the Indian guest workers think when they read all these comments. From their perspective, they would jump at such job opportunities, looking at it as a way to travel abroad and get some real industry experience, and it's not their fault for signing on to such gigs; yet it is they who bear the brunt of the abuse.

As for the most abhorrent part of such worker displacements as in the Disney case, I wonder what they mean by "training". I would be surprised if they were teaching the new guys the basics of programming or tooling; "training" probably just refers to showing the new guys how to get started with their work, telling them where the source code is stored and versioned, what databases are used to store data and what procedures used to access it, what access control systems and user roles are configured in the enterprise, etc. All of these are different from one workplace to another, and it's really the least a new employee needs to know to start doing his/her job. Or perhaps I am wrong about this? Does anyone know what such "training" involves? I ask this question because this is what seems to raise the ire of most Americans, and convinces them that the people brought in to replace the original workers are dolts who are hired only because they are willing to work for peanuts.

"yet it is they who bear the brunt of the abuse."

So no one blames the companies.

Really?

I doubt that is the case. The brunt of the blame is on the companies doing this.

I also think that most people might accept these actions for companies competing directly with India or China.

Disney and public utilities are not competing with India and China even remotely.

Finally, there is the cheesy gaming of the system aspect, that angers the most. How can you claim to have a need for H1B1 because there are no qualified Americans (always being sold in this manner to the voters) when you actually replace a qualified American!!!!!!!

I also suspect many of the complaints would be much less if it were simply an immigrant taking the job vs. H1B1.

Yes, people don't like that, but there is something about using a visa program supposedly designed to assist companies who can't find skilled labor to replace skilled labor at lower rates.

I don't like what Disney (or SoCal Gas) did either. But I have ready read enough comments sections to know that people get fixated on the qualities (or lack thereof) of the guest workers compared to the replaced natives. Of course, the comments start off with criticism of the companies but they inevitably veer off to attacks on the workers.

It's also useful to examine the dynamics of this situation. Disney did not replace their employees with people on H1B visas. That is, if we assume they were on H1B; there is another category of visas called L1 that has fewer restrictions than H1B, but neither the NYT reporters not the commenting public seem to understand the nuances of work visas. Disney saw their entire IT department as an unnecessary operating cost, and decided to get rid of it and outsource it to another company. They invited bids, and since only the India-based companies currently seem to exist in the US market to provide floating IT labor, one of them got the contract. So the result was consistent with currently agreed upon business and visa rules.

If such things are not to happen in the future, the law needs to be changed in one or more of the following ways: (1) companies ought not to be able to chop off departments and outsource their functions, (2) foreign companies ought not to be allowed to offer their services in the US marketplace, (3) foreign companies ought not to be able to have more than a small percentage of foreign nationals on their payroll, (4) the salary levels stated on H1b or L1 application forms ought to heavily increased across the board so that there can be no suspicion that the incoming workers are cheap labor.

BTW...it's people like Gates and Zuckerberg who are saying that they need H1Bs because there are no qualified Americans; these companies actually pay the foreign workers more than the median salaries for their roles, but since the bulk of H1B visas are taken by the outsourcing companies, many of their prospective employees (which could include reputed researches with PhDs from MIT or Stanford) are left high and dry.

FYI, the largest users of H1B visas are all off-shoring firms. In 2013 the top-ten were all off-shorers.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/04/03/176134694/Whos-Hiring-H1-B-Visa-Workers-Its-Not-Who-You-Might-Think

I manage offshore workers for an outsourcing company (for a little while longer at least).

And by managing I mean redoing the work of 5 engineers at the deadline. They are very diligent about delivering exactly what they think you want. However they lack domain knowledge to look around the corner for the next problem coming. The software is total spaghetti with no knowledge of design patterns or concern for code maintainability or reusability in evidence. Special cases, weird logic flows, and duplicate code abound.

In my experience, the savings from offshoring software development work are purely illusory, pushed on clients by multi-national contractors promising cheap man-months.

Kris is correct about what training your replacement means.

Do you think they were putting novices on the job, or were such elementary errors made even by those who claimed to have many years of experience under their belts?

They have a range of experience, and to be fair they generally deliver what they think you want on time. The errors they make I would not consider to not be the elementary ones. It's the deeper stuff like good design that's missing. And if that poor design means more work down the road, well that's more billable hours for us. It's my professional pride that keeps me up at night.

Kris June 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

One wonders what the Indian guest workers think when they read all these comments. From their perspective, they would jump at such job opportunities, looking at it as a way to travel abroad and get some real industry experience, and it’s not their fault for signing on to such gigs; yet it is they who bear the brunt of the abuse.

It is not their fault? Really? Someone made them sign a contract? Someone made them volunteer to work in America? How is it unreasonable to blame someone for a course of action they chose - and which they knew would have adverse implications for other people?

I ask this question because this is what seems to raise the ire of most Americans, and convinces them that the people brought in to replace the original workers are dolts who are hired only because they are willing to work for peanuts.

I think it is the humiliation more than anything else. The good workers do train their replacements. Some how a social contract has been violated. Someone is being fired despite being a reliable, skilled and conscientious worker. To be replaced by a foreigner.

Exactly. Honestly these guys are a lot worse than scabs in my book. Scabs come in to replace workers that for whatever reason refuse to work and it's not like scabs have a lot of options. These guys could stay in their home country the greatness of which they, often in this sites comments section, often trumpet and work towards building India's tech sector.

Sam, it seems you are unable to comprehend basic facts. These people already work for their companies. It is in their capacity as Infosys/Tata/HCL employees that they are manning Disney's IT infrastructure now. They are not Disney employees. Their company asked them to go work on a client project and that's what they are doing. What options do they have? Resign if the boss ask them to work on a client project?

Again you are the one that wants us to view the situation through their perspective. I say that is a ridiculous perspective through which to see the situation. I'm not really saying they should are shouldn't do anything. I'm not taking issue with your weepy lament about the poor Indian tech workers who might face a tiny bit of anger.

Just following orders. Man if the Brits had only thought of that excuse after the Sepoy Mutiny. What would you have a British soldier do resign? The British East India Company wants him there.

@Sam Haysom:

I know you were trying to be sarcastic, and absurd though a comparison between a software company that obtained a contract on a legal basis with a country that conquered and colonized another, I will state that it was not the soldiers' faults they were in India. I would blame the British elites primarily for the barbarism that occurred in 1857. Of course, individual Indian rulers and soldiers as well as British soldiers who committed crimes outside the field of action are to be blamed for their individual actions too.

How is it unreasonable to blame someone for a course of action they chose – and which they knew would have adverse implications for other people?

Exactly what course of action are you talking about? These are ordinary people who join companies to do software engineering. On their contracts, they agree to work offsite (i.e., some place other than their primary work location) if the company needs them to do so. One day, they get asked by their managers to pack and be ready to move to place 'X' ('X' could be Orlando, FL) to work on a client project for the next 6 months, or 2 years, or whatever. Like good employees who want to keep getting a paycheck and not get fired, they agree to do so. They also get thrilled at the prospect of working in good old USA because that'll look great on their resume in times to come. That's pretty much it.

But according to you, these people are sitting around craftily plotting to deprive honest American workers out of jobs.

Kris June 6, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Like good employees who want to keep getting a paycheck and not get fired, they agree to do so. They also get thrilled at the prospect of working in good old USA because that’ll look great on their resume in times to come. That’s pretty much it.

So you want to dress this up as loyalty to their employer? Sure. I am fine with that as far as it goes. Although the majority of people getting these visas are not being loyal. They are immigrating and working for a new employer. But they should not be surprised that the people they are displacing - who very conspicuously have not received any loyalty from their employer - resent them.

But according to you, these people are sitting around craftily plotting to deprive honest American workers out of jobs.

That is an absurd mis-statement of what I said.

@Subtlety:

I am not surprised that the people being replaced resent the guest workers. I was just openly wondering about the thousands of people who comment on these websites (even if all the displaced workers figured among the commenters, that would leave a lot of people who make gratuitous statements). I was also wondering about the NY Times reporter not bothering to investigate the store from all angles. The NY Times, which considers itself an international newspaper, has bureaus in various countries, and then lectures those countries about what is right for them.

My father who was a high ranking executive at Solvay got treated in pretty eggregious ways by even his subordinates when he was transferred to the home office in Belgium. And he took it in stride because like he told my brother and I he was an interloper in their country. You don't get to just march into another country and occupy highly coveted positions because you are special. If you can't stand the push back stay home.

"It's the right of every country to treat foreigners like assholes."

Okay, but does that make it the right thing to do?

Reciprocity is the basis, the only basis, of ethics. I'm not going to let ethnic chauvinist like Kris try and make the Indian coders into victims and by extension my fellow Americans into villains, when I have second-hand experience with what all guest workers face. If anything America treats guest workers in this country too decently. It lets other countries engage in rife xenophobia against expat Americans without consequences.

@Sam Haysom:

Asking reporters and online commenters to be even-handed or at least show basic decency is now ethnic chauvinism?

But you aren't showing even handedness. when I offered up the example of Belgian employees behaving xenophobic you came up with a list of reasons why their behavior was justified. Where was that effort to justify the frustration of American tech workers.

Your first instinct in one case was to defend the local workers; in the Disney case your first instinct was to cast aspersions on the displaced workers. That is the kind of blatant double standard that screams ethnic chauvinism.

@Sam Haysom:

I wasn't planning on commenting any more on this thread, but your last message indicates that you are either completely unhinged or you can't read English, and I couldn't leave without a parting shot. Time and again in this comments section, I have expressed my sympathies with the laid off Disney workers and have said I dislike what was done to them. In reference to your father's Belgian situation, I stated very clearly that the subordinates uncouth behavior was wrong and condemnable regardless of the reason(s) why your dad got that particular job. Somewhere in your warped mind my words of sympathy were dropped, and other words were twisted to make me say the opposite of what I actually did.

I really didn't want to engage with committed anti-immigrants like you (I've seen your handle multiple times on Sailer's blog) when I posed my question; I was hoping people with more mainstream views would offer their opinions. Anyway, I'm done here!

Without knowing the facts of this particular case, it is impossible to comment on it. Why did his subordinates exhibit egregious behavior towards your father? is it just plain xenophobia, which you seem to regard as normal and justified? Or could these subordinates have felt that a former beloved boss got replaced in favor of your father through unfair office politics? There are any number of reasons one could think up. I don't agree with you that one should condone uncouth behavior because it is based in nationalism/xenophobia. The only part I agree with is "If you can’t stand the push back stay home.". Guest workers don't get to impose their wishes and values on the host population.

You are eliding my point. It is odd how contrary to your rush to defend these Indian tech workers you seem a lot more sympathetic to diagruntled workers in Belgium than you do to the disgruntled Disney workers. That's pretty typical of American cosmopolitanism which is really just a convient mask for soi distant elites to hate the American middle classes.

Why don't you brain storm up a list for why these Indian coders at Disney might be just as unwelcome as an American executive in Brussels. You know to just pretend that you are even handed Kristavaya.

@Sam Haysom:

Kristavaya???

It is high time we take lying to the public more seriously, especially when the liar invokes the rights and duties of so-called professions like journalism and scholarship. Seems clear that this Hoffman person should be punished for what she has done. A lengthy prison term is too wasteful and makes her a political prisoner; a short one would be a badge of honor, something to brag about. A day in the stocks or a humiliating public flogging should work to discourage other people who are full of shit.

She is sociological royalty and said all the right things. She is also saying criticism of her is criticism of "people on the bottom", and plenty of fools fall for it. Turing on her will be extremely difficult for the Left.

"It is high time we take lying to the public more seriously...."

Yeah, tell it to the politicians, government figures, military leaders, business sachems, pseudo-scientists, academicians and so many others with an aversion to truth. Her book upsets fellow academics that fear her going native casts them in a dubious light as well. Progressives will moan that it depicts the lower orders as barbarians. Conservatives look at it as a liberal attempting to justify criminal behavior. By offending everyone she has achieved a great and unusual success.

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton

The response to words that you don't like is to write words. The linked article describes a review that seemed to have scared the living daylights out of the writer. I'd be quite certain that her circle of like minded were congratulating her on the realism and rawness of her book, but an outsider immediately drew attention to one description of being an accessory to a crime, another of a strange policy of collecting and divulging names in a hospital that if true is probably illegal, or at least unethical, or is not true; all require pursuing.

Suddenly the stories are changing and those who would dare question are being accused of crimes that only exist in the fervent imaginations of sociology students. Whatever point she was trying to make, and it may very well have been worth making has been lost by shoddy writing and indifferent editing. Reality does matter after all no matter how well educated you think you are.

"“Just a minute. It is not usually the butcher, the brewer, or the baker who fixes dinner, but his wife or mother. Does she act out of self-interest, too?”

It is the author of this work of "feminist" economics who reveals her limited world view and poor understanding of history with this line. As opposed to "exposing" the "limitations" of Adam Smith.

Ofcourse women cook and bake out of self interest (or at least they did for most of human history). Out of love for their men who supported them in largely monogamous relationships (the men were monogamous by choice mind you, despite the absence of constraints on their behaviour owing to weak enforcement of marriage laws for most of human history).

The women loved their men for this. They also recognised their limitations of pursuing ends independently in the labour market in largely agrarian societies where physical prowess demanded a premium- and they were at a disadvantage on account of biological realities.

????

In history I am sure wives have cooked and cleaned homes with many things in their hearts. Everything from love to murderous vengence. Some of them, and some of their husbands were monogamous. Of those men who were monogomous, some were so by choice, others because they couldn't attract a mistress, and others because they were terrified of hellfire.

This is another case of someone who may have read "The Wealth of Nations" but not Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments".

shrikanthk June 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

It is the author of this work of “feminist” economics who reveals her limited world view and poor understanding of history with this line. As opposed to “exposing” the “limitations” of Adam Smith.

I absolutely agree with this.

Ofcourse women cook and bake out of self interest (or at least they did for most of human history). Out of love for their men who supported them in largely monogamous relationships

I am not sure that I agree with this. Rather it is more reasonable to say that a man is easier to love when a woman's economic interest aligns with that love. Women cook and bake out of their own self interest. If they are lucky they will get a chance to choose a man they love to cook and bake for. Either way, society will constrain their choices in some way - a social disapproval of non-virgin women, for instance, will constrain a woman's ability to divorce her husband and marry again thus making it a lot easier to love the one she is with. While the Western system of royally screwing the husband in the divorce proceedings will make the Pool Boy look a lot more attractive.

They also recognised their limitations of pursuing ends independently in the labour market in largely agrarian societies where physical prowess demanded a premium- and they were at a disadvantage on account of biological realities.

As they still do. Women, by and large, are not interested in careers and do not pursue them except as a pastime. Women on the whole do useless degrees (presumably aiming to marry someone who might earn some real money like an engineer) and then work in useless sectors like government, or these days, an NGO. And why not? When in the West, White men are only too happy to work like a slave their entire life and hand over their money to their wives without demur:

http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-women-control-the-money-in-america-2012-2

The question is why do men do it. Marriage is not an economically sensible choice for men. Neither men nor women have an economic interest in children - we have pension plans so we don't need sons to look after us in our old age. So we have largely stopped having them. It used to be that marriage was about sex and children. The children are mostly gone and the sex is none-too-reliable either as it is no longer an expectation in marriage. If you listen to men, all too often it appears not to be a reality either.

So modern marriage just means men working hard all their lives until they die an early death so someone else can spend their money and maybe cook for them from time to time. Why do men bother?

That is what Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations does not talk about - some incentives are not economic. Men used to marry because it was a step to being a responsible adult. They still get a little more honor and respect if they are married. But not much given the mainstream media's fondness for showing married men as buffoons and encouraging children to disrespect them.

So she has got it precisely the wrong way around - WoN is entirely relevant to modern women. Marriage is about extracting a rent for precisely nothing. It corresponds perfectly with a woman's needs and desires. It just does not apply to men. Who are idiots. They sign up for a life time of slavery for no good economic reason whatsoever. Hence there are marriage magazines for women and none for men.

Ah, sweet autism.

I believe Smith gave up the chance to marry someone he loved to take care of his mother out of obligation. Clearly he thought of everything as an economic transaction. He also wrote some book entirely about non economic transactions. I'm sure its existence just slipped Macal's mind.

He also wrote some book entirely about non economic transactions. I’m sure its existence just slipped Macal’s mind.

+1 and LOL!

I am pretty sure Cowen linked to that book for the sole purpose of making feminists look dumb.

Are you saying this isn't a representative sample? I'm not so sure I agree.

Re languages: Catherine Deneuve said that her face felt more relaxed when she spoke English. My own experience is that French speakers seem to have more precise vowel pronunciation so that is a bit more anecdotal evidence about feeling different.

When I speak Japanese, I feel the same as when I speak English -- at least I think so. When I was at an intermediate level, I might have felt a little different. Then I read the article and the quote at the beginning arguing that people feel different when fluent but not native. Since I started learning in 1992, I can't ever be native, so I'm not sure what line exists between fluent and native.

One thing I've noticed with Americans speaking Japanese is that not surprisingly their speaking traits in English usually carry over.

I am a native speaker of English. While using Duolingo to practice my French I was surprised to learn that I pronounced 'une' the same as 'un'.

“Just a minute. It is not usually the butcher, the brewer, or the baker who fixes dinner, but his wife or mother. Does she act out of self-interest, too?”

But the housewife also lives in with the husband - and husbands don't extract rent from wives. So if you believe the wife's labour is not appropriately valued, nor is the husband's physical capital as his house isn't earning as much rent as he would were he to sublet it to someone instead of having a housewife.

1. Of course, it's the Swensen model. Is the Swensen model risky? My first question to Swensen: did you know that the response to a financial crisis would be to inflate the value of financial assets? My second question to Swensen: do you believe the response will be the same in the next financial crisis?

Did these exquisitely educated folks ever consider that the butcher and baker's self interest was to generate enough income to feed his wife and children, and hopefully enough so that the next generation could do better? And that more than likely the enterprise was by, for and including all family members?

The awful capitalist and competitive system has ended up providing opportunities that were unthinkable to men and women a few generations ago. Is she really asking that women's feelings be included in the measure of GDP?

Lubet writes:

I believe in the value of ethnography, and it is especially important to chronicle the lives of men and women who are otherwise marginalized and oppressed.

The people Goffman 'chronicles' are, by and large, on the margins of their own volition and oppressed only by other feral young men out of the same stable. Neither sociologists nor 'legal aid and criminal defense lawyer[s]' will provide much help ameliorating the problems they cause. We need cops and jailers.

Actually, isn't the whole (or at least a major) point of Goffman's book that these men get criminalized through no fault of their own, or at least for doing the same things as middle class kids do but get a pass for?

Of course, Lubet's critique, and Goffman's own changing story of the getaway car driving scene, cast that thesis into doubt. But that's still the thesis of her book so you might want to address that before calling for more cops and jailors.

Would like to read TC's take on the sinful H1b fiasco at Disney and the utility company.

Maybe he considers the whining of over privileged workers being exposed to competition not worthy of comment. Whining is perhaps understandable but shoul not drive policy unless you want to operate a "workers paradise".

It's a version of the "job as sinecure" fallacy that pervades so much left wing theory, a job is not a gift it is a trade and if one person in the trade decides they can do better elsewhere then it is their right to do so.

Of course if your viDisney is a protected monopoly by Congress due to the unlimited copywrite extensions then you might argue that th jobs are somewhat like Government jobs, which are largely sinecures. But in that case the remedy is to dismantle the protections not protect the sinecure.

Yes. I want to operate a "workers paradise" in this country, if the alternative is as you describe where I can get pushed out of my job when I am doing that job well and replaced by a foreign worker who has no special skills or knowledge that I do not have and may,in fact, know less than I do.

Yes, as a US citizen, I want all the rights and benefits usually accorded to citizens. I want to be #1 in my own country. I do not wish to compete against all the other potential workers in the world for a job.

Immigration is supposed to benefit citizens. It is a regulated activity. Companies are not free to hire whomever they want in the whole wide world.

re: #6
"those Disney workers having to train their foreign replacements — people object to losing battles and then the subsequent/ongoing humiliation."

Tyler, I am earnestly at a loss here. I agree, the NYT has and will color a story with their predispositions.

So from a neutral perspective: you want to describe "training your foreign replacement" ... a "battle" that was lost?

Is this really what you want? Employees to consider themselves in battle with their employers?

my presumption here is that tyler views this from a globalist neoliberal perspective, so that an indian IT guy making 5 or 10x what he'd make in india is worth an american IT guy having to hustle up a job that pays half what he was making.

Great.
Enjoy your free market up there, TC.

How about advice for the displaced?
How would a "Conversations with Tyler" episode go between you and one of these Orlandoans?
Would love to hear you advise them on how to proceed in this wonderful new landscape...

Probably they would get angry with him and start yelling and so on and a lot would not be achieved. What would they offer as the alternative to his "neo-liberal free trade"? - that no trading of services be allowed by foreign firms in the US? What about all the products that the US sells to foreigners in that scenario? Is the case that export of services is only allowed by US firms? If you don't allow anyone to sell you stuff how can they buy your stuff? I seem to remember Disney is a huge exporter to most of the globe, if they were not allowed to sell abroad, wouldn't their job losses be rather larger than these ones?

The world has become immensely rich by free trade in the last 200 years or so, and during all that period that have been millions of people losing their jobs due to "foreign competition". Grown-ups know this and deal with it.

How would a “Conversations with Tyler” episode go between you and one of these Orlandoans?

As a free market loving libertarian, I'd pay to see that one!

(wellgolly - great username!)

Sorry, maybe a stupid question, but why is this true:

" Donations are stochastic and covary positively with the risky asset return,
consistent with the data seen in Panel D of Figure 1. "

?

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1787372

p. 3

Because donors have more money to give away when the stock market goes up.

#4, looks like Goffman is now more or less completely denying that the events that Alex Tabarrok found so wonderfully convincing ever took place.

Regarding the annoyance of Burnside and Marcal regarding Adam Smith's mother cooking him dinner, pretty obviously neither of them has read The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

More likely never read WoN and never even heard of ToMS.

#6 & "their bruised feelings induce them to overrate the import of an observed change" sounds like Menize Chinn. It's disappointing how much he takes away from the phenomenal blogging of Jim Hamilton at econbrowser.com.

Having worked at a large university endowment that was operated like a hedge fund (hint), I can assure that from the endowment side the liability (university) side is completely ignored. They operate like funds. It's not an asset/liability matched paradigm.

The argument for the typical Swensen portfolio is generally that endowments don't need liquidity, so there are returns to capture from physical investments, real estate, VC, private equity, etc.

Sorry, what was the point of this paper?

"We build a model of universities that combines their real production decisions with their choice of endowment size and asset allocation. Variation in opportunity cost, i.e., the productivity of internal projects, has a first-order effect on these endowment choices. Adding the UPMIFA-mandated 7% payout constraint, the endowment size and asset allocations match those empirically observed. This constraint has little effect on universities that do not value the output of their internal projects but harms those that do: it prevents the endowment's use as an effective buffer stock, increasing the volatility of production, and slows the most productive universities' growth."

I don't consider myself uniformed on this topic. This paper is a model of turbidity. Any help?

There is no to little feedback in the way this implies I think.

Gotta go watch a horse.

I suspect that one of the things it means is that if the chumps at the university don't keep enough cash in their endowment, then when the value of financial assets falls they find themselves cutting their expenditures on desirable things, and when those financial assets rise in value, the aforesaid chumps tend to sell some and splurge the money. Hence the allusion to volatility, and to the lack of buffering. By "production" they probably mean teaching, research, and seminars on triggers and micro-aggressions.

The idea that the expansion of the megajournals is good, especially in the social sciences, is laughable. I read social science in PLoSOne the way I read social science in any general "scientific" publication not primarily focused on social science, which is to say that I assume the study wouldn't have been good enough to get into a journal with reviewers who had any idea what they were talking about.

Re: 2, the fact that Smith wrote ToMS in no way undermines the idea that his later economic theory was primarily based on the unintended results of reasonable and common sense intentional self interest and not intentionally altruistic behaviour.

However, what the author cited in 2 seems to add to this is little more than "Oi reckon this is cos 'e was a man innit loike". Doesn't really test anything new or test the idea, other than to than to state the reasonable notion that such testing has the bias built into it that self interested behaviour tends to be self accounting and more measurable compared to genuine altruism, and thus this will be constitute a big confound.

OT Re: ToMS: this is pretty good The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species. - this should be made abundently to evero one of those who think it is a good thing to have large sections of industries encouraging and auding the rich to invest their capital *prudently* rather than fritter it away on high value goods or who labour under the delusion that the rich are "good".

Why is Disney so eager to be an American company when it wants our money but not willing to be an employer of Americans in America whenever possible, as a matter of policy?

The idea that those people who lost their jobs were whining is offensive and inaccuate, in my opinion. It's Disney who looks like a big greedy selfish liar in this situation.

I think that ultimately it is counterproductive from an economic standpoint to encourage labor exploitation. The less money we all have, the less money we can spend, the less money businesses will earn. Certainly high levels of labor exploitation are making Americans distrustful and angry and loosening the various ties that bind us together as a nation and a people. Social unrest isn't good for the country but that is what we are having and will continue to have more of, if current trends continue.

What If they had been replaced by a machine? Is it not right for Disney to maximize their profits? Would you feel better if the sacked workers were unionize blue collar workers?

I do not think it is right -- in any way -- for any American workers in America to be replaced by foreign workers who will essentially do the same job. Evidently our laws do that prevent that, at least not in all cases. Companies should also be required to do reasonable training. There should be no loopholes for companies to cliam, oh there's this new thing that all new graduates were taught in school but our own workers weren't, so we'll just use that convenient excuse to fire all our IT workers and replace them with foreign workers.

As far as I know, no other developed country allows their corporations to hire as many foreign workers as they want or use them to replace citizens workers and we shouldn't either. Why should we? I also do not believe that we are bound to provide conditions for corporations to make maximum profits in all circumstances.

Shareholders and management compete with workers and citizens and many other categories of people for a reasonable share of American wealth.

II never would have written something like this five years ago or even three years ago, but this is what I have to say today: Labor should not be under the grinding heel of capital.

It’s like those Disney workers having to train their foreign replacements — people object to losing battles and then the subsequent/ongoing humiliation, and their bruised feelings induce them to overrate the import of an observed change.

It's amazing how revealing professional class advocates of open borders are, almost like they live in a bubble.

It’s like those Disney workers having to train their foreign replacements — people object to losing battles and then the subsequent/ongoing humiliation, and their bruised feelings induce them to overrate the import of an observed change.

Maybe I don't understand this, but if I do, Tyler is really letting his libertarian a**hole flag fly.

Apparently Tyler needs to be "within a couple hundred miles of the action" to be considered credible.

Check Menzie's reply: http://econbrowser.com/archives/2015/06/assessing-the-rational-agent-response-to-elimination-of-tenure

My guess is "bruised feelings" and "humiliation" are pretty low on the list of the Disney workers' concerns. More likely they're upset about how they're going to have to revise their expectations, their expectations for their retirements, their lifestyles, how much they can help their children. Those sorts of things are a lot more real than bruised feelings. Not everything in life is a status contest. For most people, stability matters much more than status.

Sorry for not being "grown-up" and "dealing with it," but I keep coming back here expecting to see a Tyler comment, something like 'Alright, agreed, this is ridiculous... displacing workers in this way sends no good incentive signals to any class of labor'

And I'm not arguing; "the world has become immensely rich by free trade in the last 200 years or so, and during all that period there have been millions of people losing their jobs due to 'foreign competition'."

But I really want to know. ChrisA or any libertarian... what direction would you advise those Disney castoffs to pursue?
Go into real estate?
Massage therapy?

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