Monday assorted links


1. I can almost feel the waves of sympathy generated in this board for these poor students.

Congrats on the school for taking that sort of action. Compassionate and effective.

Didn't The Wire address potential problem this in an episode once? I seem to remember an episode where one of the students didn't have the ability to wash himself and his clothing, so a teacher helped him with that.

yeah Pres would let Dookie come in and use the showers before school and take his cloths home to wash them. Maybe the principle was binging season 4 one weekend.

I was thinking about this too. I know one of the writers was a detective, and one was a teacher (maybe the same person)? It's obvious they really paid attention to the world around them.

Also, for the record, The Wire is the best television show ever made. If you haven't yet watched it, do so.

Thanks to the capitalists at Whirlpool.

Sure, but think about it. It is a small program which reveals a broader deficit.

Parents, and social programs, are not getting kids ready for school, so what do we do?

Say good job Whirlpool and done? Ask for LG and Maytag to step up? Or God help us, spend tax money on more washers in more towns?

I'm stunned at the magnitude of the laundry machine effect. This was completely off my radar screen until I read "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell which is something of a Hillbilly Elegy for rust belt teens.

#1 I would be concerned about the long run effects of the program.

You mean the increased dependency.

"All of Gibson’s kids were provided free or reduced lunches, and the school facilitated transportation."

Now washing clothes.

Is there anything the parents are doing post-sex for these children?

I mean like those who can easily afford to provide acceptably clean clothes for their children using the program. The bad actors sometimes ruin stuff like this for the truly needy.

I guess.

At the same time, I don't think it'll become "cool" to get your clothes washed at school. Just less embarrassing than showing up in the same clothes for three days running.

"Is there anything the parents are doing post-sex for these children?"

Spending 12 hours a day engaged in required work activity to qualify for welfare aid like food stamps.

No big deal to travel for 2 hours on unreliable buses to get to a job paying minimum wage for 4 hours, then some days 4 hours to a second 4 hour shift then 2 hours on buses getting home, from the perspective of conservatives bitching about only earning $100,000 every year for the past 16 years without any increase in pay, but their employer raising their co-pays and deductibles and saying "shop for cheaper health care among the three allowed providers and forty providers we won't pay and won't count what you pay toward your higher deductible."

Yeah... those no-more-than-29-hours-per-week jobs are rough. I wonder why so many employers refuse to offer more hours.

Obummercare amiright? Lawlz.


This is just going to enable parents to not bother with washing their kids' clothes. And then the summer rolls around and the kids will have no clean clothes. Perhaps they'll have to give it away free during the summer as well, much as they give free summer meals to kids whose parents are used to relying on the schools for it:

While 4 is interesting, it's hard to generate a lot of sympathy for complaints that the endowment of X (land in this case) is not to my liking and it interferes with me getting what I want. It turns out veto rights are worth a lot.

So, you have zero complaints about regulations?

What are you, some sort of radical leftist?

We need deregulation to be like in China where a few payments to the right government official changes land title over to the corporation that wants to build on the land. Then the government arrests anyone trying to see a judge claiming ownership of their land as the bulldozers arrive to level everything they own.

#5: not sure I agree with the whole "line cutters" metaphor; seems like no one resents immigrants who come here and do well for themselves. The bigger concern is that Syrians and Somalians, for example, bring their various social pathologies with them and start recreating little slices of Mogadishu slums in Minneapolis or wherever. But in general, yes, I think it's a meaningful problem when ethnic groups vote primarily as members of that group and those groups represent a large and growing fraction of the electorate. Isn't that more of a political science question, though, rather than a sociological one?

Didn't Barack Hussein Obama receive something like 98% of the African-American popular vote in both presidential elections in which he was a candidate?

"It's not your government anymore; it's theirs." It's never been your government, in the sense that it belongs to you.

Depends who/what you mean by 'your' and 'you'.

Isn’t that more of a political science question, though, rather than a sociological one?

It's a social science question, I think, but sociology is more suited for it than either econ or polisci.

By the way, I found this in the Twitter thread: "Illegal Immigration: Bad Faith and Mental Confusion"

Being stuck at the end of an unmoving line really reflect two problems.

One is people cutting into line.

But the other is that economic growth is so slow and the rewards are so skewed against the people at the tail end of the line .that the line is barely moving.

Which problem is more important is an important question and I do not have an answer.

"bring their various social pathologies "

I assume that means "they think their US citizen kids have the same right to vote that you do, go to the same schools your kids go to, get paid to work like you do?"

Why don't you call white neighborhoods filled with really poor whites "slums"?

My guess is the number of white slums out number the non-white slums two to one minimum. And that's because lots of poor whites live in the same places as poor non-whites.

I'd rather be stuck in a slum in W. Virginia rather than a slum in Mogadishu any day of the week.

That preference has nothing to do with the color of people's skin and everything to do with the culture of the slum.


West Virginny ... it's not just the Mog minus the khat.

1. Not too expensive and no indication of any benefit to teacher's unions. Probably money better spent than attempting to lower class sizes or increasing the salary differential for teacher's University of Phoenix master's degrees.

#4 - cities are overrated. Once VR and internet connectivity gets perfected, there's no reason to physically network in a city. And BTW, mental and physical health (especially schizophrenia, obesity) is harmed by living in a city. Cities are not 21st century constructs, they're part of the ancien regime. You heard it hear first.

But just as VR takes off, the health pills will eliminate could take sometime to end schizophrenia, but remember what Jon Nash said of his condition -- He wondered if he was ever mentally ill or just an individualist.

Remember when they said that with the internet? It was supposed to let us all work from home.They didn't consider two things

1. Much of those office jobs are about marketing, you have to grease palms and its harder to do that over the net.
2. If you communicate through VR or the net, everything's going to get recorded on a server somewhere. You don't want that if you are doing something less than legal, whether its insider trading or not bothering to read the many hundreds of regulations you're supposed to follow.

But VR will be a direct evolution of the internet and over time they will merge.

Hillary! has provided a step-by-step manual on what to do about the server problem.

Nope. The reason the internet didn't lead to the death of cities and VR won't either is because humans are social animals (hard for the crowd here at MR to understand, as many here skew towards the more antisocial/autistic side of things). Humans WANT to be around other humans, for the most part, and always will. It's the same reason people shell out huge amounts of money for public music shows when they could get the same music much cheaper and with better quality at home, alone.

Living in a place like Manhattan greatly increases the pool of potential attractive partners, both for business and pleasure.

Married couples with children and steady jobs who can work remotely might be less inclined to live in big cities but young unattached upwardly mobile people will still flock to crowded places to jumpstart their careers.

That's why we are seeing married couples flee large cities and young people move in. VR won't change that.

Of course, but an autist like Ray thinks we all just want to live alone in the third world where you don't have to talk to people even to have sex

Don't think so. When I lived in New York City and would take the subway, 98% percent of the people would sit there with the "leave me alone, motherf***er" look. A friendly chat was very much the exception. Density isn't the attraction of New York. Very high paying jobs are the attraction.

You seem not to grasp that the advantages of density aren't in the increased probability of a "meet cute" with one's soulmate, but in the diverse options afforded by the high demand with regard to food, entertainment, and even friend groups.

I'm not sure. What do normies do outside of work? Sure, they occasionally go to a concert or some social event, but mostly they just watch a lot of TV. There's a human desire for some social interaction, but not for all that much.

I know plenty of folks in the 22-35 age demographic who are going out to bars/restaurants 3+ times a week. There aren't enough venues for that kind of lifestyle outside of big cities.

Most non-MR commenters (normies) are much more social than you are, and they enjoy doing the same things you do but with other people: like watching sports or music or movies, or exercising. Plus they do things you don't like, such as playing in sports leagues and flirting and so on. They don't mostly watch a lot of TV. Some do of course. But again, this is why autists get it wrong when they think VR and the net will replace socializing and cities, because it won't, for the normies.

My point was that I don't think its the desire for socialization that explains why working from home has not become common as was predicted when the internet first became widely used. Certainly my own workplace makes it hard for me to believe that people want to come to the office for socialization-related reasons. I don't deny being a sperg, but my normie co-workers, their lives are more boring than mine is! I'd think they'd jump at the chance to work from home, in fact I asked some about it, so it's something else.

" Plus they do things you don’t like, such as playing in sports leagues and flirting and so on."

What percentage of normies are in sports leagues? Even sex, I remember Tyler asked in a post sometime ago, why if there's all these single people around who are not held back by christian morality, why aren't they having more sex? Ultimately, it's because those things aren't all that fun. It's the concept of revealed preference. The average American watches 5 hours of tv a day:

"The reason the internet didn’t lead to the death of cities and VR won’t either is because humans are social animals"

'Death of cities' wasn't expected by 2016. VR will significantly change cities as well as concerts. Movie ticket sales eroded 20% between 2003 and 2015, and I'd expect that to rapidly fall into the 2020s.

Movie ticket sales eroded 20% between 2003 and 2015, and I’d expect that to rapidly fall into the 2020s.

Movies are available pretty much everywhere, and the reasons for lagging box office performances are much more complicated than "but the Internet!" so it seems a bit odd to draw some sort of causal link between the decline in first-run film revenues and the death of cities.

What else would explain a 20% drop from 2003 except the internet and way cool flat screen that kept getting bigger and cheaper?

I just used movie tickets, down 20% from 2003 (they were steadily rising from 1995 in a notably smaller America ), as an example of people not needing to go out as much when things come to them and less of a need to live in a city. The death of cities will be like a deflating balloon with serious VR everywhere over the next 20 years even though Tyler's Great Stagnation will of course soldier on to 2040 when he predicted growth will again improve.

ticket sales from 1995 to 2016:

Well, the cool flat screens, for one, which are a distinct technological advance from the internet that have little to no impact on the desirability of city living versus suburban. An arguable decrease in quality of major studio films would also play a role in declining box office performances, particularly when combined with greater access to other cultural pursuits attendant to urban renewal projects in cities like Washington DC.

The cool flat screens are still getting cooler - that is, far better telepresence outside of VR. The price will keep dropping and so become ubiquitous soon. The combination of telepresence and VR will keep giving incentives for people to move away from cities.

Todd, I know you are a techno-utopian (from your posts) and good for you. But cities will never die.

I'm not a Utopian at all. Just reminding, unlike 98% of economists, that Moore's Law is continuing and a form of it is likely to continue at least another 20 years.

If you say so.

@Todd K

Moore's law ended back in 2012.

No, Moore's law didn't end in 2012. It should continue until 2021 or 2020, but it doesn't matter because the exponential computer power curve will keep going beyond Moore's law. that just says the number of transistors on a chip keeps doubling every 18 months +/- a few months. Computer power acceleration will continue at least 10 to 15 years.

You come across as one if the more narrow focused, mantra inclined, spergy posters here so it's safe to say if you figured out humans are social just about everyone else the posts here did too.

Huh? Was this directed at someone else? I took the standard online quiz a few years ago and found I am less "spergy" than the average American. That was a little disturbing since of course I want to be exactly an average American.

Dense cities *have* been shrinking (if not dying) -- for a long time. Manhattan is much less densely populated than it was 100 years ago, and the same is true of central Paris and other major cities. The population shares of dense urban cores (compared to surrounding metro area) have dropped dramatically since the late 19th century. For example, the Chicago metro area has doubled from 5 to 10 million since 1950, and almost all that growth has happened not only outside the city, but even outside Cook county. The city itself has lost almost a million during that time. If you do the math, the city had about a 60% population market share in the region in 1950, and now it's down to a little over 25% (sounds sort of like the history of General Motors, no?) People are, indeed, social animals, but they did not evolve in environments anything like high-density urban areas, and when they can afford it, they have been voting with their feet in favor of lower density.

Thank you. I was going to make this point but got involved in declining movie ticket sales :)

This pretty much captures it. Counting either noses or dollars, people seem to like medium density (suburbs and towns) more than either urban or rural living.

Your point is exaggerated as the population of Manhattan has been growing since 1980.

Size Matters. Once cities start expanding beyond a million or so people, it's all diminishing returns. And driving an hour and a half to see a tree.

And BTW, mental and physical health (especially schizophrenia, obesity) is harmed by living in a city.

I can't speak to mental illnesses, but physical fitness tends to be higher among urban populations--which do less day-to-day commuting by car than by some combinations involving walking and biking. The more pedestrian-friendly traffic rules also make it a lot easier to just get outside and go for a run rather than summon the will to drive to the gym.

I think they're just younger. Running in cities is awful. I certainly see more runners and cyclists on the street near my suburban home than my downtown office, by a large margin.

Lots of urban running happens on treadmills at the gym.

For sure, but as a fraction of the population it's still pretty small. And you're back to the get-to-the-gym problem with treadmills.

I don't recall whether the studies I had read about on the subject controlled for demographics, but my anecdotal experience in dealing with middle-aged folks is that the city-dwellers tend to be a bit more fit than comparable suburbanites.

And I'll put my urban running route around the ballpark and Capitol Dome (away from the downtown area in which my office is located) up against anyone's.

Urbanites walk a lot. Only a fraction of people above age 22 run regularly, but if you're in New York City, you absolutely have to walk to get to places.

I enjoy walking in New York. All the way from the Uber to the lobby.

How filling is VR food?

#5 My wife immigrated from Honduras in her mid 20's. She, my sons and I think that affirmative action for Hispanics is beyond absurd.

What, having a Spanish last name or relative who was a native Spanish speaker shouldn't entitle you to a leg up in admission to elite colleges??

Tyler and the rest of the libertarian crowd might agree, but they don't have the moral courage to say it. (Nothing terrifies members of the chattering classes more than being called racist.) So the net effect of their plan is, indeed, to admit lots of Latin American immigrants who will then have preference in college admissions and hiring over white working class children.

So you've never read Charles Murray then, have you y81? He has a lot of courage in saying that affirmative action for Hispanics is absurd, but of course he absolutely disdains Trump and the rest of you.

Not terribly surprising, since last I read Trump was to the left of the GOP on that issue. To the extent that he has positions at all, which isn't saying much.

He doesn't "disdain" us. On the issues, we largely agree, he has a problem with Trump's character. I respect his position, I just think that the issue of immigration is many times more important than the issue of whether Trump porked a few sluts while he was married in the 1980s.

1. I'm not a Trump supporter. I don't know why you would think that.
2. Charles Murray is generally persona non grata on college campuses. Obviously that would make Tyler's life difficult, which is why he doesn't join Charles Murray on this issue. In fact, most soi-disant libertarians (Marginal Revolution, Volokh Conspiracy, Reason, etc.) are afraid to say anything nice about Charles Murray.

You're referring to faculty libertarians, and most of them are poseurs when they're not wretchedly confused. You'll hardly find one born after about 1943 who will argue for freedom of contract.

Good thing that wife's from Honduras.

If she were white and said the same thing, that'd be racist!
Reeducation and struggle sessions would follow economic & social exile.

She could well be white. There are plenty of white Hispanics. They tend to be wealthier than other Hispanics, which makes them benefiting for affirmative action even worse. The worse case I know, though, is of some friends who are not Hispanic at all, except that their mother was born in Cuba to missionaries. That was enough to qualify as "Hispanic" on various scholarships and college affirmative action programs.

Yep, all the more why AA should be income-based not race-based.

Affirmative action really needs to shift from race-based to income and geography-based. Obviously that will mean that minorities receive disproportionate benefits, but not because of skin color. Not sure how we get there from here though, in this climate.

I'm drinking my son's way into Harvard!

"Obviously that will mean that minorities receive disproportionate benefits, but not because of skin color."

It's not obvious. Poor Whites who take the SAT score higher than rich Blacks*:

There are relatively more poor Blacks, but the test score gap between them and equally poor whites (150-180 points) is so high that, if you take only the group of low income kids who are above a certain threshold, I'm not sure you'd get a disproportionately Black population.

*Not everyone takes the SAT, so this may not be true for the groups in general.

Obvious or no, it still seems better to make AA income-based not race-based

Your wife thinks her kids should work in the hot sun at hard physical labor?

While lots of white people bitch about brown people speaking Spanish are taking all the jobs, I don't see white people calling for affirmative action in hiring farm workers, day laborers, and toilet cleaners because whites are being discriminated against unfairly in hiring for those jobs.

Why aren't white people filing EEOC complaints about the obvious exclusion of whites applying to be farm laborers? Where is Institute for Justice when you need them for file lawsuits against farm labor contractors who do not hire at least 60% whites?

My younger son is a plumbers helper and workers hard in the hot sun at hard physical labor. He hated school. Does that count for you mulp?

Where are the single taxers when you need them? Greater Los Angeles, relative to other parts of the nation, does not have a density problem. They really do pack them in in SoCal!

#1 - You could call it opt-in paternalism. I like the sound of it. The benefit is well-targeted. Longer term it would increase reliance on government via schools rather than family/community, which conservatives often have issues with (including myself). But holding fixed the families that we have, and apparently many of them are failing on basic levels e.g. clothes washing, this seems like a great idea in terms of cost/benefit. Moreso if washing machine ownership positively correlates with responsible use of cash

Opt-in paternalism in Albuquerque:

I don't think they're giving away washing machines but rather putting them in schools so that kids can use them there. Or perhaps your comment on the responsible use of cash was in reference to the C/B, wherein an alternative to giving away washing machines is a direct cash payout.

School-operated washing machines aren't free either!

Sounds like a great way to help people but seems to me like the wage should minimum wage or lower so you can help more people and avoid attracting those who could get other work.

#6....Based upon Greece and the EU, the Israeli/ Palestine conflict, global warming, illegal immigration in the US, etc., I think the obvious solution to health care in the US is to keep kicking the can down the road. In fact, that is the defining characteristic of our time, the one thing we've managed to master and perfect. We've just added Brexit to the list, for example. The isn't any problem we can't refuse to solve and put off until we're dead. It's a remarkable achievement.

Weaseling is what separates us from the animals, except for the weasels.

I wonder if the founders anticipated that the biggest problem would be that no politician wants to ever be held accountable.

We're better at weaseling than the weasels.

We should call it humaning.

1. You know, you don't need a washing machine to wash clothes. My mom mostly used the coin-op laundromat when we were young, but when she was feeling poor or pressed for time, she used the sink, a washboard, and a mangle. I guess that's why we were considered middle-class instead of poor.

Yeah, I mean, people used to wash their clothes by beating them against rocks

I regularly hand wash my merino wool garments.

It's also trivial to wash the clothes in the bath tub.

But the people in the article couldn't afford soap; don't they need this? Also, they may not even have a tub (cheap apartments often only showers), much less somewhere to dry the clothes. This is pretty plausible, even if we assume that the parent or kids have the energy to wash the clothes by hand regularly.

You don't need a supermarket to eat either, grow your own damn food. And who needs an oven when you can cook over a fire?

The whole of Europe seems to function okay without indoor laundry, generally because they're too poor to afford it and the space to accommodate it.

Exactly my point. You don't NEED lots of things like washing machines and ovens and supermarkets, but why the hell wouldn't you WANT them?

Okay, yeah, I agree you'd want them. I can't imagine them being a serious impediment to life success for anyone.

But, the article clearly makes it sound like it's the major issue behind absenteeism, so now that we've got it licked everything should be fine...

The article implies that lack of a washing machine is an understandable reason for missing school. I can assure you, we never missed school for that reason.

P.S. I don't understand the comments about growing your own food or washing clothes in the river. Obviously, you can't do those things while living in a housing project, as we did. But you can do the family laundry in the kitchen sink, as I have seen my mother do.

Not entirely accurate. Europeans don't have dryers. But they have washers.

When I was an athlete just a few years ago I stayed in Europe in various apts. that had the newish one-piece washer-dryer. A cool machine though it took many hours to do a load from washed to dried.

I have been hanging my clothes to dry for years in Latin America, and in Andalucia. Turns out, it's not the end of the world. Can be a drag in the wet Pampas, with humidity in the 90% range for days at a time.

These 8 year olds are such typical Americans--totally unaware of superior practices overseas. Would it kill them to try to be a little industrious for once?

Cities: New cities tend to suffer from both sprawl and the absence of the amenities (public transit, arts, a wide variety of good (ethnic) restaurants, etc.) that are found in Old Cities and that appeal to people who wish to live in cities, but New Cities have what people who like them prefer (relatively cheap housing on cul-de-sacs in the suburbs, segregated schools, chain restaurants, and big box stores). My view is that New Cities (including my work "home" for 37 years) have many of the bad features of Old Cities (congestion, crime, grittiness, etc,) without the benefits of Old Cities (public transit, arts, a wide variety of good (ethnic) restaurants, etc.). It's a Mars-Venus thing.

4) Densification is easiest in Houston, where it's possible to redevelop a small number of single family houses into twice that many townhomes. Then you don't have to assemble large tracts of land in order to increase density, and you don't run into the holdout problem. Most big cities have zoning and other issues that increase the holdout problem and make extra density impossible without doing a massive project. Houston allows the gradual, market approach.

It's unfortunate that the AEA paper didn't envision the strategy of making land assembly less necessary, only things like more muscular eminent domain. Houston, and most of Japan, have found ways to densify by fixing zoning. Japan has very weak eminent domain, but it isn't necessary because better zoning practices reduces the need for land assembly. (I agree that land assembly is very important in LA.)

This works great until Memorial High School gets overcrowded and your 1M dollar town house gets re-zoned to a different high school wiping out half its value.

This isn't a big issue if you are like me an you grew up on Ourlane Circle one block from MHS, but if you are in Spring Branch you are basically playing zoning roulette. We might want think this stuff through.

1. "Gunn reached out to the Whirlpool company to see if it could help, and it donated a washer and dryer to her school." More proof, if any is needed that the great eco-energy crisis is fraudulent. How many BTUs do you suppose are consumed daily in the US by clothes dryers? Probably enough to run all the electric lights in Mongolia and maybe Tanzania as well. This is while the benevolent sun continues to shine down on clothes hanging on the line, just as it has for many centuries, with little inconvenience for the washerwoman. When you drive through Suburbia and don't see any clothes on the line you realize that in many respects we're living a lie.

Same problem at Safeway...all those liars buying meat they didn't kill themselves as is proper.

Okay, Cowen disappears a link about cities and links to a McArdle post at Bloomberg. And here's a link to a post by Cowen in Bloomberg in which he conflates policies supported by a liberal organization to Ms. Clinton (guilt by association), affirming Cowen's recent affinity for McCarthyism. When Cowen announced he would be a Bloomberg contributor I mentioned that he couldn't compete for page views with Ms. McArdle. And he can't. He might try but he can't.

Ah, I was trying to figure out what the hell everyone else read for #4!

He's the links he disappeared:

Re: the washing machine nudge (and the free lunches). These families get free/subsidized housing, food stamps, welfare, Obama phones, daycare, etc., etc. Where do you suppose the money goes that should have been spent on feeding the kids or washing their clothes??? Drugs? Alcohol? Tattoos? Do you think you can help someone by doing for them that which they should do for themselves? All you are doing is enabling them to do more drugs and push out more babies.

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