Saturday assorted links

1. Bucket markets in everything.

2. Link to the Alan Krueger paper on where the workers have gone.  Note that pain is not a contemporary invention, yet it seems to be playing a larger role in joblessness than before.

3. Kroszner reviews Sebastian Mallaby.

4. There is no great the barnacle stagnation.

5. Against the market-induced myopia theory.


#1 - Science! (my wife is a HS science teacher)

#2. Why the sudden interest in men by economists and policy makers?

Because the only way to make America great again is to restore men to their rightful position as the lords of creation - or at least to get their votes so that the real lords of creation can continue their reign without interruption.

Your trolling (in the original sense) skills are fading. You should have said the only way to make America great again is to restore White men to their rightful position as the lords of creation. You could have had a twofer there.

But yes, pretty much. Men have been slower to adjust to the incentives of the sexual revolution than women. However if you make work and marriage sufficiently unappealing for men, they won't get married or work. A lot of policy wonks are noticing. Given that we all depend on men manning up and sacrificing themselves for everyone else, this matters.

So what is the labor force participation rate for married men vs. non-married men the same age? Is there a literature for this?

We know how this will go. Men end up in jail -> women don't marry those men -> "hey guys, everyone ought to get married so they stay out of jail".

Lots of people get married in jail.

2. It's probably not pain but rather pain's close cousin, gettin high.

My R.N. wife would concur. The surest legal way to get an opioid high is to appear at the emergency department complaining of chest pain.

#4: I had my car booted way back in college for some unpaid parking tickets; not clear to me that this would be an upgrade. The boot was easy enough to take off once you called and paid over the phone.

What happened to the stocks? Why don't we see those used anymore?

4. In the United States people can have guns AND they can have their cars barnacled? That doesn't seem like a stable equilibrium to me. Surely the right to bear arms would apply to vehicles as well. Those arms can get pretty heavy and you can't expect people to bear them without mechanical assistance. And quite frankly, many gun owners aren't fit enough to get to the militia mustering grounds under their own steam.

Clearly, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." should apply to vehicles and riding animals of all sorts. Especially bears.

I look forward to seeing the use of the barnacle challenged in court under the 2nd amendment.

Until then, I will be selling second amendment, fine bit, drills for drilling through windscreens and releasing the pressure attaching barnacles so militia members will be able to carry out their duties unimpeded, should the Portuguese invade.

Perhaps the 2nd amendment needs to see more focus on the "well regulated" part, perhaps including various requirements to keep vehicles in good repair, etc., in case you need to ever bear those arms which you might have difficulty carrying?

An excellent point, Troll me. You'd make a great recruit for the Obvious Army, but I guess that goes without saying.


The consensus on why is there so much pain recently either seems to be A) modern men are simply wimps and can't tough it out like their grandfathers, or B) men are just lying to get high on opiates. Let's consider another angle though. What are the major health trends of the past few decades: obesity, insulin resistance, falling lean body mass, and chronic inflammation. All seem to be intimately related to chronic pain. Furthermore we know that these problems have more serious health consequences in men than women. (Largely because men store more fat in the very high risk visceral region.) So it's no surprise that pain is affecting men, particularly the post-1980 cohort, much more strongly than women.

We're facing a perfect storm here. Combine sedentary lifestyles, energy-dense nutrient-poor low-satiety diets, distorted gut microbiota (caused by antibiotic overuse), declining smoking (which while still a net health positive leads to rising obesity and food consumption), and distorted circadian sleep cycles caused by ubiquitous bright screens. As much as we want to attribute large-scale trends to the ebb and flow of ideologies or morals, at our core biology rules everything. Slight changes in aggregate neurochemistry have more potential to change society than even the grandest ideas.

I'll go even further and say that *most* of the emerging social ills are being driven by metabolic syndrome and gut flora. Declining fertility rates and an aging population seem intimately related to gender confusion in young adults. Which itself is tied to basic biological changes. Men under 30 have significantly weaker grip strength than in 1980. This is most likely driven by the influence of gut flora on sex hormones. Low economic growth rates seem driven by crippling regulation, cultural risk-aversion and NIMBYism.

The people of 50 or 100 years ago had a can-do, risk-taking attitude that simply doesn't exist. If the Apollo program started today it would take ten years to even finish the feasibility and safety assessments before launching a single mission. Again gut flora seem to be one of the primary suspects in this social shift. Certain strains seem to have strong correlation to anxiety. Particularly those that flourish with antibiotic use and diets high in refined carbohydrates.

You've ruined my grand idea about prison marriage.

And he ruined my idea that the happiness of a modern marriage, with its glorification of Homer Simpson and the constant threat of divorce and "recovered memories", plus the enduring satisfaction of working in a factory producing buckets of animal sh!t, is enough to keep people off the Oxy and out of prison.

I mean, come on people, be reasonable. What more could you want than that?

No, no! It's the precious bodily fluids.

" Furthermore we know that these problems have more serious health consequences in men than women"

You missed 1 fundamental thing: women have higher pain thresholds than men, anyway.

We would be most interested in links to support some of your assertions. Oh, & you omitted endocrine disrupters.

There's a theory going around that gut flora might explain the huge rise in autism. But my guess is that it's mostly or entirely explained by the simple fact of docs handing out increasing numbers of diagnoses/pills without having much of a clue what they're doing (the second aspect being more similar to the historical situation than the first).

As we proceed towards zero risk attitudes, our eventual enslavement awaits. Fighting for freedom? Too risky. Surely, we will pay ourselves to build our own chains, and we will pay the bill with IOU money written to ourselves, funds for immediate transfer to the wannabe puppetmasters.

Or it could be that opiates cause long term pain as they cure it in the short term.

OT: """UK: LSE academics ‘barred’ from advising on Brexit """

In the bucket 'o poo link there is a small pile of reasonably cubical droppings on the right. Does anybody know what they are from, because I thought only wombats had square poop and I doubt the US has much in the way of wombats. No doubt to their chagrin.

#5 - Short term-ism in R&D: CONTROL + F + "PATENTS" gives four hits, none of them address real issues.

1) Patent citations and patent filings have gone up in the last 25 years due to a relaxed standard of patentability when Reagan created the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1982, which relaxed the standard of obviousness (among other things) and made getting patents easier. Today patents are 'industrial design' not 'really worthy inventions' for the most part. So citing increased patents issued proves nothing much.

2) There's no incentive to develop long term, due to the fact patents are weak (even though they last for 20 years from filing) since by the time you get your patent in the Pharma business, your patent will be about to expire (FDA approvals, as AlexT has blogged on, take a long time), and for software the horizon for obsolescence is about a few years, by which time the patent will have just issued and it's somewhat moot unless you want to spend time litigating over past damages, which is hard to do since litigation is expensive and rarely is there clear cut infringement. In many other areas patents are not asserted much (automobile arts, Dept of Defense, others) and used only for low-level licensing negotiations where the quality of the patent is not really at issue, but the patents are used more for talking points and bargaining chips by business people.

3) solution to above is to overhaul our patents to include: a "clean room" not-invented-here defense like they have in copyright; a longer term of protection for pioneer inventions and a shorter term for industrial design patents; a 'laid-open' patent filing system like they have for Germany and they have in US copyrights where there's no examination for trivial patents until litigation (and a decreased term of protection for such patents); a ex post rewards system by the government to reward inventors even if they never filed a patent; a prohibition against blanket assignments of inventor rights to employers, with a small ex post reward system to worthy inventors, akin to the Japan Blue Laser litigation; more time for examination of worthy patents than the several hours (at best, sometimes several minutes it is said) given now by the US Patent Office, and a more 'team' approach rather than idiosyncratic individual patent examiner approach; actual reduction to practice for most inventions (bring back the patent model, or at least show your invention works in practice, for all but truly pioneer inventions, which would have a higher standard of patentability); a longer term of protection for pioneer inventions; have government sponsored arbitration do the work of private practice patent litigation, which is too expensive (minimum $1M in legal fees, and typically an order of magnitude more); allow multiple inventors to claim credit for inventing something, if independent creation could be proven (i.e., do away with the 'one inventor wins all as in today's priority battles, which is not how science works); a mandatory and non-discriminatory cross-licensing for certain critical improvement patents; allowing patenting of laws of nature. I could go on, but likely none of you reading this would understand.

In short, patents are the 'unknown ideal' that have not been realized to date. Hence any citations to patents in the literature are suspect, prove nothing much.

What's changed is the widespread adoption of IAS 38/ASC 350. Before we'd realized things have changed, R&D were an expense. Now D can be capitalized so you have an incentive to call anything you do "D".

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