Friday assorted links


6b) Americans and Chinese seem to be made for each other.

I wish Tyler would stop linking to priceonomics. It seems that the stuff they publish is written by hacks (or least people who don't understand that the difference between an average rating of 4.81 and 4.74 does not seem meaningfully (economically) significant, whether or not it is statistically significant (which you are not told)). Also, why does everyone average ordinal data? Don't they realize that it doesn't actually mean anything?

Agreed. There might be something interesting in this data, but the combination of lack of rigor and small differences between groups make this analysis useless.

It documents that millennials are the worst, what more could you want?

Not linking to GQ articles wouldn't be a bad policy for this blog (or anyone else, really) to adopt, either.

GQ is not a magazine I would typically choose to read, but the Marbury article looks really interesting (even though I have no particular interest in basketball).

6. His shoes are back, too:

1. Seems completely obvious, yet doctors don't get it and it makes economist/pundits FURIOUS for some reason.

#6 Maybe China will take Colin Kappernick and Jamelle Hill.

And maybe you'll learn to spell

5. Black soldier flies are huge on YouTube. Americans are weird, but not really that complacent.

#5 - Sh it's out, let's eat!

From TC's link: "The new economy of excrement Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food." Even food? I don't think so, unless indirectly.

Bonus trivia: as a former chicken farmer, I can attest there's such a thing as "fly strike" where fly maggots will get into the wound of a chicken, multiply, and eat it from inside out alive. The chicken is trained not to show pain to potential predators, for evolutionary reasons, so you never know it until it drops dead. People just clean out the gangrenous parts, if possible, and eat the chicken.

More bonus trivia: night soil in Asia used to be bought and sold according to the fecundity of the soil. Pungent!

Maggots eat dead flesh. People use them to clean out wounds that are starting to rot.

3. More proof, if any were needed, that law enforcement is a separate sub-species. The rest of the population is, to them, civilians, and they enjoy a special and elevated status over the proles that get to observe them driving around while paying their inflated salaries and early, magnanimous retirement benefits.

Officer Krupke got the girl you wanted back in 1985. Get over it.

Jared Fogel was framed by the government.

Re: disliking their doctors

As a anti-obesity activist (I think it is America's biggest problem), I have noticed that obese women (who comprise 66% of all women by population, 95% by mass) don't like to be weight at the doctor. This may be part of the reason that women are less satisfied with doctors than men are.

I guess I could have indicted the economic worldview with that link. Human psychology is often not all that economic, or optimizing.

Starbury article is from 2011, weird. He plays for Beijing now and has won three titles there.

The description of second-tier Chinese cities in the early 2010's is consistent with personal experience.

4. New Hampshire was the highest earning state in 2016 and number 2 in opiod OD deaths.

Dear Angus Deaton with all due respect you might consider reassessing your deaths of disrepair theory. It never made much sense to me, there is in fact some evidence that people drink and drug more when they have more income and therefore access to booze and drugs, which is BTW a problem for my advocacy of legalization but I thin the positives would out weigh the negatives.


Politics make NH hostile to low income people and households so they self deport to Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont while attractive to people in their 40s who are professionals providing services, mostly globally, ie, anywhere but NH. A big tool is making housing very expensive to create a high almost flat tax per household.

For those who do have kids in NH, a very high fraction self deport to a place that is cheaper with more social and economic opportunity.

If you don't self deport, your life will disappoint because well off people come in and contribute nothing but get all the preferences from government.

Legacy manufacturing gets cheap labor from refugee aid organizations, much like meat packing in places like Iowa. They live in the old NH mill housing from when manufacturing was king.

Which included forest products. Forest product global corporations have sold most of the New England land holding which killed most of those industry jobs. Those people just won't self deport in large numbers. They are unwanted.

It's the people who are unwanted, who won't self deport, who are the ones with drug problems, not the well off people who get the political favors.

Except, the unwanted are the children of someone. Like the well off, in too many cases.

It all comes down to taxes. No taxes mean no money to educate kids. Kids mean really high property tax rates, so households large enough for kids need to pay really high taxes. Kids are seen as liabilities, not investments with returns to society only after 30 to 40 years. Thus, the politics seeks to let Massachusetts invest in kids who then move to NH when 30-40 with high income.

New Hampshire spends about 30% more pupil on public education than the rest of the country. They spend more than neighboring Maine and just a bit less than Rhode Island. They're less than 10% behind Massachusetts in terms of per pupil spending.

But sure, New Hampshire is an educational wasteland. Go with that one.

It's not like he pretends to not be clueless

Ok, so NH rich resident demand high education standards for their kids, so obvious those families paying $7000- $12,000 in property taxes want the school population doubled by affordable housing for $30,000 income families raising two school age kids for a decade until both parents return to work and experience increases household income to $80,000 by the time kids graduate?

And in State tuition at NH university and colleges is almost higher than out of State tuition in other States.

If someone invented a teleporter so teachers from Kansas could commute daily to NH, teacher pay could be cut. But if pay is cut too much, teachers will commute from NH to Maine or Mass, or move there.

A few towns have enough capital intensive industry to afford lower tax paying housing to fund schools while having lower living costs. Still, the high tax paying housing in nearby towns ensures teacher pay is high. Those industries are not the most dynamic in most cases, so they don't attract NH young people looking for a great career. If young people leave for a career, family formation is hindered, so NH loses to greater Boston with both social life and industry offering careers.

And school funding has been in State court for decades, with State property tax being bigger to take money from the rich and donate it to the poor communities with more kids than money. Those towns are not places families chose to move too even tho housing is cheap because they are old faded industry towns. Living costs might be lower, but not teacher pay - NH isn't so vast that teachers can't go elsewhere to earn more. The State college system has tried to help with bringing in industry by setting up remote campuses for industry skills, machining, welding, precision manufacturing, but those programs are very expensive so students need to commute for key classes. Might as well commute for work, then move when income rises.

North country is a hard case with the decline of forest products. Great place to live, but if not capital intensive industry, then it's business that requires high speed Internet. But the State depends on Federal development grants to pay the telephone company to build it. But that's a few million a year in capital investment, helped by the "connect schools" program of Obama. But the schools are a barrier to techies setting up in large numbers even where fiber has been run into a small town center.

NH does support home schooling, but that doesn't help working class families where both parents work full time.

So your sticking with the deaths of despair theory, fair enough but Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

As someone else said, that article on Marbury is seven years old.

Presumably Tyler linked to it because it highlights or correlates with the pitching article in 6b. But I don't see what the connection is.

Hassett seems to live in a fantasy world, having devoted his time to the problems of the budget surplus (?) and having predicted the Dow 36,000 (?). He and Trump should get along well together. Burkhauser, on the other hand, has devoted much of his time to the problems with the social security disability program. And it does have problems. And it's not just the fraud being perpetrated by some claimants, but the arbitrary way benefits are awarded or denied. Should someone in the final stages of leukemia who is too weak to work get social security disability? Should someone whose back hurts get social security disability? I suspect everyone knows someone who is deserving but was denied the benefit, and someone who isn't deserving but was granted the benefit. When the benefit was originally adopted it was given little attention, as it was contemplated that the benefit would be granted to a few unfortunates approaching retirement age and social security but could no longer work due to a lifetime of manual labor. Now, the program all too often serves as a substitute for unemployment insurance. Burkhauser's work with regard to the program is intended to strengthen the program and its funding to make sure it's available for the intended beneficiaries, not to terminate the program. I wish him success.

The Dow will hit 36,000 in the next 9-10 years easily.

The rest of your post is solid, agree on Burkhauser.

In 2007, I predicted a 36,000 DJIA around the year 2022. My penetrating insight was to use the Kurzweil log extrapolation method. Just go to a long run DJIA log graph, print it out, and place your ruler on it to extrapolate into the future.

It might get there by then but there should be a recession in the next few years that would make 2022 kind of tough. Definitely possible.

Isn't that (without adjustment for interest rates) just the Ibbotson-Sinquefield method? What does Ray Kurzweil have to do with forecasting stock returns?

"Should someone in the final stages of leukemia who is too weak to work get social security disability? "

Only if they live for a year beyond the two years of not being able to work before becoming eligible, which is the delay to eliminate the short term disabled from getting on SSDI. "Everyone" can buy short term disability insurance. Right? Benefits will be paid retroactively once the fraud prevention hurdles are overcome.

"Should someone whose back hurts get social security disability?"

Not if they can be retrained to be Web designers or something where they do no physical labor that results in pain inhibiting work speed. In a declining mining town with associated industry leaving, the environment is unlikely to attract high tech startups, and without such businesses, the local and State government would be foolish to run training courses for 50 somethings with barely high school education.

The State could mandate disability accommodations on industry, say powered exoskeleton assists to such workers to carry all the load and stress, or other means of limiting lifting load to 10-20 pounds.

Could make medication a lot easier by eliminating drug free workplace rules so workers can use as much pot and opiates as needed.

The great thing about the pitch velocity article is that it focuses on relatively marginal MLB players and how they fight to stay relevant, instead of focusing on superstars. In general, the story of how marginal players work to stay on the right side of the margin is going to be more interesting than the story of how freakishly talented superstars dominate.

Economy of excrement, just an FYI - for further information on the general topic, mostly in the USA, search Biocycle. - Journal/magazine, conferences, etc. More of a trade thing than research, but some of that too. Mostly paywalled (typical of trade organizations.) Conference next month in Portland Oregon. Popular science focuses on the human-interest aspect of the genetics revolution in terms of the gene engineering of humans but perhaps major economic impacts could possibly happen much sooner through large-scale designer-microbial processing of bio-waste for bio-fuels and chemical manufactures.

#1 begins with "On one hand, your doctor keeps you healthy ..." This false belief is one very big reason why healthcare is so expensive. Doctors in fact have a very limited understanding of what homeostatsis looks like at the individual level, much less how it is maintained. The result is a lot of treatment aimed at adjusting various measures of homeostasis (e.g. blood pressure) until it reaches a "normal" (as estimated by some subpopulation's mean) reading. Much of this fiddling with the body's settings is driven by doctors' ignorance of confounders (e.g. a rise in blood pressure with aging is a feature of adaptive response and not at all a bug). In other cases it's by patients who demand fine tuning. I wonder how much money we'd save if people didn't go to the doctor until something was actually wrong with them.

Doc here, and I agree. In the good majority of cases, what determines longitudinal physical and mental health is individual and community choices plus genetics. Sure, every now and then I'll save a life by quickly recognizing meningitis and prescribing antibiotics or recognizing an operable tumor and referring to a surgeon...but most of the time I'm managing diseases of lifestyle and genetics that are manageable, but not curable (hypertension, alcohol use, diabetes, smoking, etc).

6 is from 2011

#2...Let Barro, John Taylor, and Mankiw know that they can answer the phone now.

4. Well New Hampshire is almost as white as Scandinavia.

In other news, didn't someone say they would poison the POTUS if they cooked for them? Thought lefties told us you can't talk like that (while the Big O was POTUS).

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