Thursday assorted links


6. Better terminology needed. The survey shows that pro Brexit people have less trust in the recommendations of "academics" "economists" "people from well known businesses/charities/international organizations" and so on, specifically about whether Britain should Remain or Leave. That's different from a general distrust of authority that you would find in something like Haidt's moral foundations theory.

3. Obviously speculative, but could be a factor. When you have had violent crime and property crime rates falling for 25 years, it probably doesn't take much to cause an uptick. But I would be doubtful of any one factor being key to understanding the phenomenon or blip or whatever it ends up being seen as.

Property owners have been buying record number of guns. If you break into someone's home, you may well get shot.

But if you gun down a young Black male for fun and giggles, the police will move very slowly and carefully - and no one will talk to them anyway. Snitches get stitches.

If you increase the possible costs of one type of crime and decrease the costs of another time of crime, you are going to get less of the former and more of the latter.

You can't help wondering if the KKK is not still running the Democratic Party. Their policies sounds plausible but are so universally bad for Blacks, especially young Black men, it is suspicious. Black communities need more police, not less.

Their policies sounds plausible but are so universally bad for Blacks, especially young Black men, it is suspicious.

What's good for blacks (especially young black men) is a fluid labor market; orderly schools with a serious program of basic education, vocational training, and academic instruction; and vigorous crime control. Achieving these things requires sequestering bad blacks so that ordinary rank-and-file blacks can enjoy public spaces and the fruits of public institutions. Achieving these things requires lots of small confrontations with bad blacks and with crappy 'public interest lawyers' whose vocation is making the world worse because they despise ordinary people, Such creatures have an ally in the judiciary. Achieving these things also requires firing a great many people in the school apparat, because they have a vocational and ideological interest in not accomplishing much (see Susan O'Doherty, Phd, for an example of how such a creature thinks). Black politicians and school administrators have a neuralgic reaction to doing these things because implicit in such activity is the notion that the black lumpenproletariat is the main source of the trouble the black working class is having in this country. Also implicit in such activity is the notion that there are such things as valid performance standards, an unremarkable idea to the Thurgood Marshall of 1955 but not to succeeding generations of black professionals (or to Thurgood Marshall in his later years). And, of course, white academics and social workers who fancy themselves the tribunes of the black population are an even more maddening impediment.

Thomas Sowell had these people nailed. Self-congratulation is the name of the game. Accomplishing anything is not.

4. One wouldn't know it reading her tweets. Cowen says she is excellent, so I assume she is. Maybe I don't understand the point of tweeting, or social media for that matter since I don't do social media. Thoughtless comes to mind, but maybe I'm too kind. Tweeting reminds me of people with bad taste and don't know it; a woman's dress or a man's suit that, well, don't emphasize the person's better features.

5. What's the point of rating a book if all the ratings are 4 or 5 stars? It doesn't help the observer (us) know which books are really more important or better to read than the others. 79 of the 97 books are 5 stars!

Cass has read 100s of books; those are his favourites. View it as Cass' recommendations.
The list contains some incredibly interesting books that I previously had never heard of. It's also fascinating seeing how much one of the most cited legal scholars of our time is influenced by non-law subjects.

#3 There can be a positive feedback loop
1- police ease up a little on crime fighting in black areas ( Ferguson effect)
2- criminals notice and criminal activity becomes bolder/more visible
3- citizens notice increased criminality and become more fearful of communicating with police ( because police care less (1) and because increased fear of retaliation from (2)

Yeah, the article tries to make a splash by calling it a "new" theory, but it seems to me that it is just spinning the same basic Ferguson Effect slightly differently. Distrust between communities and cops to up, cops police less, the community calls the cops less. The story here is that even the holdouts are acknowledging that some sort of Ferguson Effect is real, even if the exact mechanism/blame is in question.

No, cops police less when they're subject to harassment from politicians and judges for doing their jobs.

#3, I'll believe there's a discussion to be had when we can have a more long term observable trend.

Exactly, that's way to little evidence to indicate a trend.

The Ferguson effect. The report almost got it right but the problem is that when you blame all law enforcement for the problem and excuse the thugs who commit the crime the thugs feel empowered and the police aren't willing to put themselves at risk unfairly by doing their job.

But why are only murders going up but not other types of crime? I'd expect lesser crimes, especially property crime, to increase and probably by a larger percentage in response to less policing.

6) Amusing to see newspaper journalists held in equally low esteem. The original tweeter should not conflate 'authority' with 'authorities' when ascribing motives to Brexit/Trump/Le Pen supporters. Answering the survey questions myself, I'm firmly in 'leave' territory and similarly have higher trust levels for domestic institutions--academia, Bank of England--versus transnational or supranational institutions, like charities, the IMF, or foreign politicians. It was interesting to see Remain supports are generally origin-agnostic, and even trust foreign politicians more than their own on the EU question.

4) Mangu-Ward may be a great choice. In general her reaction to stories shows she has excellent editor's instincts. She seems staunchly libertarian but her presentation is softer and more approachable than Welch's or Gillespie's. She may broaden Reason's appeal. Those commenters though...

3) If criminologists are confounded I don't feel confident registering an opinion, although the 'Ferguson effect' theory seems to be gaining currency as more data become available. Glenn Loury has had some excellent commentary on this on It is vitally important the schism between blacks and the police is closed, and also that we don't allow a similar schism to open between police and the Muslim community. That has been my greatest concern with Trump's obscene rhetoric. Whether the Ferguson Effect is behind those pockets of higher murder rates we probably won't know for several years.

"4) Mangu-Ward may be a great choice. In general her reaction to stories shows she has excellent editor’s instincts. She seems staunchly libertarian but her presentation is softer and more approachable than Welch’s or Gillespie’s. "

I think she'll be a better choice and her articles are certainly better than Gillsepie's articles. Though that may have no bearing on being an editor.

"She may broaden Reason’s appeal. Those commenters though…"

The commentors are awesome! I don't agree with even half of them, but they don't suffer fools gladly. Generally, you can make a logical point as long as you can cite it, but trying to make any kind of emotional appeal or tangential argument will carry Zero weight.

The Hit n Run commentariat have been in notoriously harsh judgement of KMW for some time now. I think that's what Tyler is referring to.

It is vitally important the schism between blacks and the police is closed,

The schism is promoted by black politicians, journalists, academics, lawyers, and sundry opinion leaders in service to their own shticks and personal interests. Nothing you can do about that but steer around them and sanction them legally when they cross certain lines. Police forces have taken effective action in defense of the interests of working-class blacks even when the opinion-leader element was out to get them, because politicians had their back and had intimidated elements of the judiciary intent on stirring up trouble. You cannot negotiate with the likes of Al Sharpton and Ben Crump. You can only force their retreat.

"2. Ships have gottten too big."

I don't see that the author has really made that case. Most of the evidence is more about over capacity industry wide than actual size of individual ships.

My thought, too.

#3. Because we manufacture poor, ignorant,violent people faster than we produce law abiding citizens. The fruits of the welfare state.

#6. Probably never lived under Brussels control.

The drive for bigger ships is enabled by state subsidies for dredging the harbor, upgrading the ports, and other infrastructure support, coupled with the fear that "if we don't do it, the next city will." IOW, sort of like the "we must have a new sports stadium"

The drive for bigger ships is almost entire efficiencies of scale. The per unit shipping cost is lower.

"IOW, sort of like the “we must have a new sports stadium”"

The economics behind sports stadiums are dubious at best and a lot of the rational is purely the desire to have a local team. Ports, on the other hand, are clearly huge economic boons.

A man, a plan, a Xanax. Panamax!

Well Panamax is a point in favor of the argument that some ships are getting too big. The very large ships the author is referring to are now larger than Panamax and therefore can't use the canal. Which severely crimps their flexibility.

Panamax is so retro. President Carter-ish.

The new hotness is Malaccamax. The shallowest part of the Strait of Malacca is only 25 meters. Some tankers are too large for that. They have to use the Lombok Strait instead.

Don't even ask what Chinamax is.

Actually, the original Panamax specification was from 1914 So, a little bit before President Carter. I really meant the "New Panamax" which won't take effect until the current upgrade and expansion is complete.

I dropped my subscription after Virginia Postrel left. I despise Weigel and Welch. I see that Welch is still there, so good luck to a former libertarian magazine.

3. The settled patterns of ghetto life that ruled the inner city since the early 1970s have been disrupted by the re-occupation of urban spaces by upper middle-class whites. The riff-raff is being shunted off to unfamiliar inner ring suburbs, where there will be conflict and collision while new patterns of power and prestige are being laid down.

I have had this thought too. I am seeing what you describe in my formally black neighborhood.

If that is the mechanism, then why the sudden upswing? Wouldn't that theory indicate a prolonged gentle trend upwards, over many years? It not like all this migration to the suburbs suddenly happened in 2015.

Wholesale gentrification is only happening in a handful of cities. DC and NYC most obviously, though there's probably a couple of others you can add. In most cities low cities low income black areas are impervious to gentrification; it's mostly lower income white neighborhoods and some racially mixed areas that are being gentrified (very much the pattern where I live in Baltimore)

There is no such thing as 'wholesale gentrification'. Neighborhoods may be subject to gentrification. That's just one neighborhood moving up while another moves down. Greater New York and Greater Washington have since 1990 seen a decline in crime rates affecting every part of the metropolitan settlement. There is no major component of greater Washington that did not see a significant decline in the frequency of homicide and the decline in DC itself was massive (> 80%). The crime was not transferred to Prince George's County. The homicide rate there declined by more than 1/3. As for greater New York, you have a metropolitan settlement with over 18 million people in it. The only loci which have what would have been considered elevated homicide rates in 1980 are Newark, NJ; Irvington, NJ; and the Ocean Hill / Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant community districts in Brooklyn; 97% of metro New York's population lives outside these precincts.

The riff-raff is being shunted off to unfamiliar inner ring suburbs, where there will be conflict and collision while new patterns of power and prestige are being laid down

If that were true, it would be manifest in the crime statistics of such suburbs. It is not.

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