Tuesday assorted links

1. Average is over, installment #6372.

2. Does the home mortgage deduction limit the demand for (other) redistribution?

3. Corporate influence in World Bank lending.

4. Why is everyone interested in Djibouti?

5. “What sorts of workplace-related issues have been suppressed by 3-4 decades of a tough environment for workers?”  More here from Conor Sen.

6. “Nearly every other city in California performs better than San Francisco in educating low-income students, and it’s not like most of the cities are knocking it out of the park.” Link here.

7. The Trump administration is shifting back toward fee-for-service health payments (NYT).

8. IV uh-oh.

Comments

"2. Does the home mortgage deduction limit the demand for (other) redistribution?"

Didn't read the link but based on the fact that it's the mortgage interest deduction I'm assuming redistribution refers to redistribution toward the rich.

7. "Cities like Denver, Washington D.C., and New Orleans are proving that there’s a better way to do public education.

Denver is continuing to deliver results over ten years after its reforms began. Washington D.C. has seen its scores skyrocket on the Nation’s Assessment of Educational Progress. New Orleans achieved amongst the greatest educational gains that the nation has recently seen."

Denver's results improved on state tests.(It's quite common for state test scores to increase even as NAEP or SAT scores remain stagnant, fat thumbs are being placed on the scale.) In DC, gentrification has led to an decrease in the Black population, while the New Orleans miracle occurred due to a similar demographic shift.(Caused in that cause by a hurricane.)

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#5: "I wonder if it's no coincidence that NFL protests, Weinstein-catalyzed wave is occurring as the labor market gets structurally tight."

What? Come on. Hollywood and the NFL are clearly unique segments of the labor market; what happens in the wider economy really has no effect on them.

Sure. Hollywood, however, is mirroring the general tightness of the labor market due to the huge expansion in TV and movie production over the last 5-10 years. Peak TV.

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Re: ...and Communism conquers Asia.

Huh? Neither China nor Vietnam are remotely Communist-- at most they are CINOs (Communist in name only). That also applies to North Korea which is in fact just a nasty old absolutist monarchy with delusions of ideological grandeur. Mao is spinning in his tomb over all of it.

Yet, the Chinese red bandits follow the Maoist aggressive line renewing their hostility against India. The red bandits invaded Vietnam in 1979 without any provokation. Red China behaves as a Mongol horde and intends to conquer all Asia.

Your medication has worn off.

No, it hasn't. I use no medication whatsoever, but antiviral drugs to fight the flu.

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#1 if this guy were 40 he wouldn't even be getting interviews

+1!

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Not true, at least not in my case. Although, it depends on the skillset. Hotshot coders are a dime a dozen and if that's all you are at 40 then yeah. Interviews may be scarce. Get some DevOps, Architecture, and leadership experience, and suddenly age stops being so much of a problem. Again, in the very limited sample set of me and a some friends/contacts/associates of mine

> Get some DevOps, Architecture, and leadership experience

Leadership experience is the main one. But then that makes you part of the managerial class - not a knowledge worker.

At some point, sure. But IME it's to a lesser degree in the software development role. Various lead positions that I've seen are still hands on, and still require you to know the trade (and yes- it's a trade) inside and out. I've seen the "Master Mason" analogy a couple of times, and it's not that far off the mark.

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I doubt it, it seems like those companies are really desperate to put buts in seats. If you have to study for the interview you are doing it wrong, and you should know which position pays the most so you don't have to spend a week d*cking around (which he probably didn't get paid for and would need to subtract from his salary which adjusted for cost of living probably isn't very impressive).

" and you should know which position pays the most so you don’t have to spend a week d*cking around"

Salary isn't the only part of compensation.

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This is the most shortsighted comment I've read recently. Getting multiple job offers, especially at top tier companies, probably enables you to get at least 20% higher compensation at the next job. Everything else being equal, that carries over to later jobs too. So the couple of months of preparation and the week of interviewing probably increase his lifetime earnings by a few hundred K. Your sour grapes are showing.

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#1 - that's not how "annealing" works anyway. "was being annealed" doesn't make sense. Annealing is a process - not a single-step description. My interest in his story has been quenched.

Annealing : "heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, *in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.*" [Emphasis mine]

Yeah. I'd hate to have that happen to my skillset.

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You read it as pretentious; I read it as the writing of a guy who is an engineer and a non-native English speaker.

You're a moron if you read it like that then.

You win. I concede to the overwhelming logical force of your argument.

I don't mean to upset you too much, I'm just saying don't be a doofus. There's enough of those around here already.

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"2. Does the home mortgage deduction limit the demand for (other) redistribution?"

#2 has an arrogant wording, and Prof. Cowen knows his question does not make logical sense.

First, why does it not make logical sense? Because the recipient of the home mortgage interest deduction are more likely to be redistribution payers than payees.

Second, interest deduction is like property zoning, it may not make sense, but it is part of the price setting process. So in fact, under the effective market hypothesis, with introduction of mortgage interest deduction, the prices of houses will rise to a level that causes total cost of ownership to be the same as before the deduction was introduced. Thus, current house owners were already paying a for premium purchase price because of the existence of the deduction.

The home interest deduction, like zoning, has very strong defenders, because the opposition is quite obtuse about the injustices that can be caused by a sudden cancellation of these (irrational) rules that are already built into the price.

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#6) I don't know but I wonder how much of an impact the particular demographic situation of SF's poor families with children is. My understanding is that a much greater percentage of them live in public / subsidized housing compared to the black/Hispanic poor in other CA cities, because of the rental market extremes in SF. In some places, families in public housing aren't much different from the rest of poor families, but in SF things are a lot worse and extreme. You can read stories of life in SF public housing in news articles. Consider the crime rate of SF , which like Oakland, is extreme for its demographics of poverty/race... compared to other cities of similar percentages of poverty and racial makeup. Is it true that the very bottom of society that haven't really moved from SF, while the 'working poor' have mostly left?

Conversely, I wouldn't be surprised if NYC's poor black children do better than average, because the black population in NYC is different (immigrants) from the national average.

The stats sometimes miss the differences within a sampled population... my point is that not all poor people of [insert race] are the same in every metro area in social indicators. Seeing a statistical discrepancy and automatically blaming the school system seems lazy and biased.

But the kids in SF's few charter schools do better, apparently. On par with non-SF black and Latino students.

Is the selection random enough, given such a small portion of the student body? If it's not random who gets into a charter school, the differences will be amplified if the charter population is smaller. I'm not familiar with the current status on this. Years ago the 'random' selection could still be influenced by things like the more ambitious parents being more likely to respond to being offered.

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I agree especially with this: "Conversely, I wouldn’t be surprised if NYC’s poor black children do better than average, because the black population in NYC is different (immigrants) from the national average."

Selection problems.

But Democrats do seem surprisingly bad at heading up city ans state Governments.

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#2 - U of Chicago politics: The study of politics - deceit and coercion.

Only read the extract. It's really not economics. It concerns the electorate's (behavioral - based on deceit) decision-making processes relative to the mortgage interest deduction and how that may affect support for "redistributive taxation."

The majority (57%) of Americans either rent or own with no debt their homes. As of July 2017, 63.9%, fewer than two-thirds of Americans, own homes. And, a significant portion (say one-third) of homeowners have no mortgage debt. Two-thirds of 64% is 43% of Americans owe mortgage debt on their homes.

Two questions: Is "redistributive taxation" code for higher taxes/"eat the rich?" Is the right purpose of taxation the collection of necessary monies to fund acts/items that benefit (nearly) all citizens, not to tax Peter to pay Paul?

Anyhow, government is the common agreement we make among ourselves to in unison commit crimes.

In conclusion, taxation is theft.

First: Amen.

Second, even to homeowners that own their home free and clear, suddenly abolishing mortgage interest deductions would have a detrimental value on their home value. Would not matter if they are planning to stay forever, but sometimes that is not feasible or desirable.

Truth. Likely, a large number of taxpayers will be too angry to be sold on more redistributive taxes.

The idiot Congress (redundant see Twain) apparently only looked at the CBO read and listened to their corporate, Wall Street, Chamber of Commerce, etc. paymasters.

Who can say what will be the adverse impacts on housing/real estate prices; consequently on construction industries, home ownership rates, the financial services industry, etc.? The $500,000 mortgage limit on deducting mortgage interest (down from $1 million); the end of second home tax deductibility; the $10,000 limitation on state and local taxes will do material harm, especially in several already near-bankrupt high-tax blue states.

My "jury" is out on the tax bill. I will lose almost $5,000 in local, real estate tax deductions; I'm fairly sure I lose (the wife and I) about $8,000 with the end of the personal exemption - it's being ended, right? My mortgages are below $500,000; one below $40,000. Unless my rates are way down, I'm paying more.

In addition to taxation being theft, the power to tax is the power to destroy. That principle may have been behind deductibility of sate and local taxes, tax exemptions for churches/religions, etc. They amended the Constitution to institute the individual income tax thus making novelists, fabulists, and criminals of millions of Americans.

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I'm sure Brazil will save us all ! ;)

Yes exactly! The Prophet Bandarra has written that Brazil will rise like a lion and cruxh the serpent with its heel.

Stop your impersonating, it is not funny. We are talking about civilization's survival.

It's actually really funny. Especially since I can't tell you apart.

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You would not need to be saved if you were not greed Almighty Dollar worshippers who exchange your freedom and dignity for a mess of pottage and cheap underwear and toys. Make no mistake, Brazil is ready to act unilaterally if necessary. As Mr Salazar said, "alone, proudly alone!".

" As Mr Salazar said, “alone, proudly alone!”."

So you have no pride, when acting in concert with others? Well then maybe the world should continue to ignore Brazil.

The world does not ignore Brazil, it has its eye on us and yearns for our leadership. The point is, one must defend what is right, nit what is popular. As Chinese commumist leader Mao Zedong said, rebelling is righteous.

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So, I'm confused. Is Brazil going to do something and if so what? And if not, then why are you indicating they will do something? Or is Brazil impotent, desiring to do something, but not actually capable?

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What is 'Brazil'?

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8: Hmm. All I have to go on is the abstract, which seems to say use OLS instead of IV? I would've expected it to say that all the estimates are unreliable if they lack good instruments, but it says that OLS is not "substantively biased". What about other techniques such as propensity scoring?

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6: "Unlike the aforementioned cities, San Francisco Unified is extremely unwelcoming to high-quality charter schools."

Democrats have a tendency toward hostility to charter and private schools. SF is highly Democrat. This is not terribly surprising. The question of school performance is highly complex, and I get suspicious of anyone trying to boil it down to one or two things, especially the public vs charter vs private vs home school debate. But if the author is at all confused about SF's hostility toward charter schools, the answer to that is far simpler.

Poor Democrats are very hostile to private school while rich Democrats do whatever they can to send their kids there.

While still being hostile to non-public schools. As it turns out, people can be very good at justifying doing things that are contrary to their professed beliefs and opinions.

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5. This: http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2015/05/blue-collar-vs-white-collar-conditions.html

Q. What is the difference between white collar and blue collar?

A. When you're white collar, you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.

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#1) Good tonic for anyone that still believes there is no such thing as meritocracy. In fact, "Average is over," is synonymous with, "The world will become more meritocratic." Also, please try to convince me that this gentleman would be equally ambitious in a socialist world.

"Also, please try to convince me that this gentleman would be equally ambitious in a socialist world."

But you know what, what good is he even doing actually? I read the thread, he went to work for AirBnb? What will he actually be doing? Developing better targeted advertisements?

AirBnb is actually the least stupid of those companies, and thankfully not 'advertiser' supported. Maybe he can make it so all the Bnbs show up on the map at the same time or feedback requests get sent during the day in whatever time zone you are in. Or maybe he can give a discount if your stay is being recorded by Nazis or something.

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AirBnb expects $2.8B in revenue in 2017. That's $2.8B that others are voluntarily paying them. They have to be providing value or others wouldn't buy their serivce. They hire a ton of software developers. HomeAway is a similar company with large profits and tons of staff on salary.

I've used AirBnB myself that's not what I'm saying. Given that their core service is already well established, what more could they possibly develop that's much beyond better tweaking and targeting of promotions or whatever? Their effectively just marketing/advertising firms at this point.

Luckily, the market economy doesn't depend on whether a random bystander can come up with valuable things for a company to do.

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Does it matter? One thing is farmers hidding their grain and killing their cattle or no one caring about building a decent waxing machine or refrigerator, but Silicon Valley... Does the world really need Facebooks?

In countries that don't even have proper land line infrastructure for phone or internet service, what devices and software do you think people use to communicate?

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“What sorts of workplace-related issues have been suppressed by 3-4 decades of a tough environment for workers?”

General dissatisfaction with the amount of time and money required to enter the workforce. I get the impression that there are a lot of people who feel slightly ripped off by their college / graduate school / professional school, but didn't see any alternatives. Tighten the labor market a little, and suddenly those folks are going to have some choices that they haven't had in a while.

I feel a lot more than slightly ripped off.

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Oppose the red bandits!

Would you please shut the f*** up?

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Was it Shiekh Djibouti? It could have been. I'm zapped out.

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#4 Djibouti is also the headquarters of the famed French Foreign Legion

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#7: Is there a consensus to move health service away from fee-for-service to some abstract measure of quality?

One hopeful point of reducing health care costs is Amazon doing prescription drugs.

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San Francisco is not any good at educating the not poor kids, either. Middle income parents who care about such things move to the suburbs as soon as their children reach school age, and the high income parents enroll their kids into the many elite institutions of lower education throughout the city.

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