Friday assorted Bitcoin and fertility links

Comments

3. The data only goes through June 2017, but we should soon see data for children conceived after Trump's victory, it'll be interesting to see if there is a "Trump bump."

5. If 2% of the population were living the homosexual lifestyle for the past 2,000 years and homosexuality continued to affect 2% of the population, there'd be a Darwinian puzzle. I see no reason to assume that that has been the case. The whole debate is much ado about nothing.

3. Is that what you'd really expect? I anticipate a Trump Slump.

As usual the linked Bitcoin commentary is horrendous.

They're stuck on thinking cryptocurrency is the same as money. It's not.

#3 The American popukace is too desperate to want children. It lost its faith in the country. Now, all it yearns for is death and oblivion!!

Don’t ever refer to me as part of a “popukase” again, you Brazilian so-and-so.

#3 The American populace is too desperate to want children. It lost its faith in the country. Now, all it yearns for is death and oblivion!!

If you were actually Brazilian then you would know that the TFR of Brazil is less than that of the US.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2127.html

"Brazil has undergone a demographic shift so dramatic that it has astonished social scientists. Over the past 50 years, the fertility rate has tumbled from six children per woman on average to fewer than two — and is now lower than in the United States."

https://www.npr.org/2012/01/15/145133220/brazils-falling-birth-rate-a-new-way-of-thinking

But the pandas in Brazil are all really good at sex.

If the lions don't get them first.

Winner!

What if we remove immigrants from the fertility equation?

Actually, Brazilian fertility is vastly higher than published statistics would have you believe.

However, a huge number of innocent Brazilian infants are devoured in their cribs by lions, jaguars, or fiendish ocelots.

Unable to stop the problem and unwilling to confront it, the humiliated Temer administration turns to cooking the books.

While spineless demographers fiddle the numbers, expectant mothers flee to Argentina and the populace lives in dread of the Feline Menace.

New winner!

MBLFA

Make Brazil Lion Free Again

"...or fiendish ocelots."

I never trusted the ocelots.

2. The details of missed economic growth seem pretty fuzzy, but it seems to me everybody implicitly accepts a middle ground. There are things we'd like to be free to do with our property, and things we'd like to restrict for the neighborhood.

I might like freedom to build a rental flat, but I might want to call someone if the neighbor goes full cat lady (100+).

Is there really anyone here who wants a cat lady, a leather tannery, a gay and/or biker bar, next door without restriction? Or is it just the level of neighborhood control we are discussing?

2 also presumes that a person would move from Flint to San Francisco for a job. But the more likely scenario would be the person moves from Flint to Dallas, a person in Dallas moves to Austin, then a person in Austin moves to San Francisco for that $150,000 a year job.

6. The study relates to the EITC. The Senate tax bill (a recent version) would increase the child tax credit to $2,000, but the way it's designed, poor families would get only a nominal benefit. That's interesting. Cowen's friend Ross Douthat supports expanded child tax credits for several reasons, including fairness, but also to encourage more child-bearing (fertility). He's Catholic, so it's understandable from a theological point of view. Douthat has also suggested that the burden of social welfare, including social security, could be shifted to families if family units were larger (as they once were). Of course, that runs counter to discouraging those people from having so many babies. Not that I'm suggesting the Republicans designed their child tax credit so very little benefit would go to those people. My best friends, a very intelligent and successful married couple, have only two children, who, based on their school records thus far, are very bright and will be at least as successful as their parents. For Ameria's sake, I wish my friends had six children, but I don't think a $2000 tax credit would have influenced their decision to have only two.

Well, it’s $2,000 per year (for a while, if you don’t earn too much).

But I agree - the marginal cost of an additional child to a family where both parents work and have to pay for daycare and/or when K-12 private schools are an expected/necessary part of the rearing process, makes $2,000 a year look like peanuts.

I’m a Catholic with a bunch of kids. Food is cheap. Hand-me-down clothes are cheap. Beds are cheap and you can fit several kids to a bedroom. But education and child care are expensive.

We’re done with day care, but even though the Catholic schools our kids attend work like crazy to keep it affordable, I still wrote tuition checks for $20k this year. And I’m not in New York or San Francisco.

3. LOL. It's kind of a shame that Idiocracy is going to be the most prescient dystopian fiction.

Or maybe not. 2008-2016 was the first time in decades when the percent of births to unmarried women actually fell slightly instead of increasing.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db162.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate

I was thinking of that more than within the US.

It is a race between these factors, genetic tinkering, and AI.

We still have hope.

Also China. It is unlikely that they will be affected as much as the West by these factors.

5. Fertility, homosexuality (including Cowen's favorite book Brideshead Revisited), Cowen is on a roll today. I must say I had trouble following the linked article, with the reference to all those genes (shouldn't it have been jeans?). In any case, Stephen King wrote that a stiff dick has no conscience (or brain for that matter), but what King says about you know what I cannot repeat here. I think people make sex far more complicated that it is.

Of course, the current obsession with sexual misconduct (isn't all sex for reasons other than procreation misconduct?) cannot be divorced from our obsession with sex. The Democrats wish to impose a zero tolerance for sexual misconduct. Now, that's likely to have a very large effect on fertility, so large we may be facing extinction. Which may explain the tolerance for Moore's and Trump's misconduct. As for Matt Lauer, his sexual misconduct was just an excuse to get rid of the boor without having to pay him a bundle. I recall a simpler time when people were exiled for once having belonged to the Communist Party. Now it's once having committed sexual misconduct. As Jesus once said, let he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. My observation is that there aren't many without the sin of sexual misconduct. I can say that I have never belonged to the Communist Party.

How could a species with no natural predators that reproduces sexually not turn out to be obsessed with sex?

If the goal is reproducing fast, having sex with children is not optimal. There are peak fertility years and children are well below them. Thus, a fraction of sexual misconduct worries are not misguided.

3. Social and cultural change is needed to raise domestic birth rates. I don't expect tax credits to have large effects in birth rates. I'd like to make some positive contributions to this. I'd also like the alt-right-ish media to focus more on this issue and encourage constructive ideas to improve western fertility rates.

#5 reproductive success is teamwork, #4 reproductive success can be individually lead but there are caveats, #3 reproductive success is just another excuse to write about individualism

The Alt-Right does talk about this a lot.

Tax credits need to be large enough that women drop out of the labor force. There needs to be a SAHM (SAHP?) credit that only works if you're married and have children under the age of X. Then there would be a financial incentive to increase fertility.

I don't see the point though, unless you're planning a war in 20 years. Fertility takes care of itself over enough cycles, assuming you aren't invaded by foreigners who displace you before you get around to reviving your birthrates.

Don't see the point? Have you noticed the war that Trump has instigated with NK?

"Fertility takes care of itself over enough cycles, assuming you aren’t invaded by foreigners who displace you before you get around to reviving your birthrates."

The alt.right/alt.Nazi movement keeps pushing this argument in order to keep the focus (and animus) on immigrants, but it's utter nonsense. Low-immigrant East Asian nations are having more difficulty with declining fertility and yet there's no evidence that fertility will magically self-correct (for example, Japan has been below replacement for well over 50 years). Of course, for those who can't tell a chicken from an egg, at some point low fertility will invite an "invasion."

Look to Israel, where non-haridem whites have a 2.6 TFR despite lower GDP and some challenges.

For policy, what about the dependent care deduction? Why not make it fully deductible?

"3. Social and cultural change is needed to raise domestic birth rates."

Why? Suppose the (human) U.S. population drops to 300 million...or 250 million...or 200 million. Why would that be a huge problem?

Does anyone really doubt that large families are, on the whole, good for the kids in those families? Maybe my experience is biased in some strange way, but to me it’s obvious that the general rule is that more siblings/kid beats more dollars/kid.

@3

Why is the author so scared about falling fertility? It's fairly obvious that the earth doesn't have enough resources for everyone to live an American style life and you can't go more than a day without reading how software and robots will take all our jobs. It seems to my untrained mind that fewer people and more software/robots would be better for the planet and the people who live on the planet.

I am aware that more people means more spending and more GDP and more innovation and without population growth we will need productivity to drive economies forward and pay the bills. But although I have a black belt in anxiety I am actually rather comforted by the fact that human population growth is slowing or declining.

"It’s fairly obvious that the earth doesn’t have enough resources for everyone to live an American style life"

No it isn't. Where's your evidence?

"you can’t go more than a day without reading how software and robots will take all our jobs."

A lower population would mean less people competing for jobs but also less demand, meaning fewer jobs.

I agree 100%, so you are pro-immigration then?

I agree also. And yes pro high skilled immigration.

Low skilled immigrants create demand too, as do low skilled natives.

But not as much

I want more low-skilled immigration. It is an obligation as the world's richest country (for now). If you want to steal the brightest and best from poor country's, go there any bring them home as a spouse. Don't pillage through a brain drain policy.

Jan, that's stupid. It's not like the US is kidnapping high skilled people from abroad. They are clamoring to get here.

No I'm not. I'm an pro-natalist because a larger population means more innovators and a larger market for such innovation, which I believe will benefit everybody far more than they will be harmed by limited resources. Absorbing Canada into the United States would raise the USA's population, but the world's would be unaffected. The world population would be unaffected. The world market would be unaffected. The world's number of innovators would be unaffected. And since we have free trade with Canada now, the market available to Americans would not change. The same would happen if the USA were to absorb Mexico, with the added result that the USA would start looking a lot more like Mexico.

It's true that low-skilled individuals create demand. This is the case whether they live in the USA or live in foreign countries, so long as there is free trade which I support so long as it is reciprocal. Keeping them out of the country ensures than in case their literal demand exceeds their economic demand, they can't vote themselves the contents of your pocket.

Also, my pro-natalism is limited to residents of advanced countries. About the third world I think they ought to focus on development, with the inevitable result of lower fertility rates. In any case people in the Congo aren't going to be affected by either pro or anti-natalist arguments on this website.

I, sir, am greatly affected by your arguments.

#3 is consistent with a really simple theory of cultural change in America, which is that it is following a series of transitions that have already happened in continental Europe, but with a lag of a couple decades.

Children are challenging and the decision to limit offspring isn't just financial. It takes a lot of energy to be a decent parent, and I think many of us just don't have much left to give.

The whooshing noise you hear is reality flying over the heads of the economists.

Well, this is Marginal Revolution.

Well, my paternal grandparents had eleven children - most survived - and they were great parents, thank you very much.

I think people now expect too much.

Parenting is too hard as we all expect so much...instead of kids walking to school and getting B grades we expect super children who must be shuttled about.

This is not an affliction that affects low skilled immigrants, which we need many more of.

'cause, you know, average is over.

You both have a good point. Child rearing is for many a red queen situation.

I wish I had known the genetics v. nurture arguments before limiting myself to two. Most of the burden was expecting that I could do a huge amount to change them from who they are. Where mostly food, shelter, clothes, love and enough discipline to maintain an orderly home is all that you can give. After that, you just wait for nature's dice to stop rolling. Without the burden that everything I did would affect their future I would have enjoyed a couple more.

Yes.

7. The Privileged Planet.

No, not really.

From the article: "raised doubts about water on — and thus potential habitability of — frequently cited exoplanets that orbit red dwarfs, the most common stars in the Milky Way."

The standard assumption is that Life bearing worlds will be around G type suns, the same as the sun (Sol).

It most definitely reduces the number of potential habitable planets overall, and affects the Drake equation accordingly. The 'standard assumption' doesn't mean life cannot exist around other star types.

"Low skilled immigrants create demand too, as do low skilled natives."

Well sure, but the median low skilled immigrant drives down the average cost of wages for the low skilled natives, doesn't pay enough taxes to cover their own costs and lowers the taxes collected and increases the social spending for the low skilled natives. There will always be job substitution, of course, but the lower boundary of minimum wage and the general lower skill set of low skilled natives makes it harder for them to easily switch careers.

Granted, the existing low skilled native don't cover their per capita tax burden, but a) lowering their effective wages make it worse and b) as a nation we've decided to ensure a safety net for the poor.

Logically, you can't have both a generous welfare state and open immigration for those who are paying less than the marginal tax burden.

Wrong sub thread, sorry for the confusion.

"The ‘standard assumption’ doesn’t mean life cannot exist around other star types."

Pedantically yes, but practically the possibility of life bearing worlds around G type stars is 100% but is largely unknown for any other type.

Granted, drawing trends from 1 data point is largely an exercise in faith.

"The planetary fraction fp
This is a factor whose value was completely up in the air twenty years ago, but for which
we are now narrowing in on a number. Still, we have to be cautious.
Our initial tendency is just to use the fraction that is emerging from current surveys:
roughly 5% of Sun-like stars that have been observed have had planets detected."

Reference:
https://www.astro.umd.edu/~miller/teaching/astr380f09/lecture20.pdf

Josh Barro - years ago - tweeted the following (which I suspect is probably true):

"There's an evolutionary theory that, in large families, gay offspring improve inclusive fitness by making their siblings more likely to raise children to adulthood. In other words, by being gay, I'm around to help my brother take care of his kids, so they can have more kids."

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rv6g0e

n.b. The inquiries to josh were quite rude... I do not endorse the tone or manner of the question in the first place. But I do think Josh is thoughtful and reliably right about most things.

Do the math. to replace the, say, two children the average homosexual might have had had he been straight, his siblings would have to have an extra four children. We're talking about having a gay brother doubling your fertility. Which obviously does not happen

from a genes survival POV your sonling would have to have to do more than replace the kids you aren’t having since there is only a 50% handle they have the gene.

For most of human history, it's not obvious you're right. Families were much larger, odds of survival (esp among children) were much longer, and (perhaps) the gains from other males helping to raise families may have been much more substantial.

This. Plus not just other males, females can be gay and childless too.

It doesn't matter how many the average family size is. Make it 8 kids. then you need to have your siblings have at least an extra 16 children compared to families without a gay relative. The larger the family size is the worse it gets for this theory, as it's much more plausible an uncle could care for an extra two children than 16

Math fail. The gay sibling presumably means 2 less kids on average. If he/she has 8 siblings, they only have to have 2 more kids among all of them to replace the gay sib's kids

And what is 8 times 2? Because that's hard. 16/7=2.2x fertility rate increase for homosexuality to not be selected against.

I honestly don't know how you blew that. If the average family size is 8 kids, the homosexual is not having 8 kids, so his 7 siblings need to have 7x2 extra kids to make up for that.

typo, 8x2

You're still getting jumbled up. If the average fertility is 2 kids per couple, then each non reproducer is not producing 2 kids (really 1, since it's 2 kids per couple). A specific family of 8 with 1 gay sibling doesn't change that average fertility. If the AVERAGE fertility is 8 kids then yeah homosexual nonreproduction is an even bigger deal. The average fertility rate means a great deal.

And really, we're both oversimplifying. The whole point of the idea is that evolutionarily, any childless sibling can help the ones with kids, not just the gay ones.

Guys, the sibling don’t need to replace the gay siblings kids, they need to make the hypothetical gay gene inclusively fit. Each niece and nephew has roughly 25% chance of inheriting the gene. That means the gay uncle would need to add 4 extra surviving children compared to the straight uncle. That’s more signifance than having a loving mother and yet we have no concept of the beloved gay uncle in any culture that I am aware of. This is simply not a plausible hypothesis in any way shape or form.

A specific family of 8 with 1 gay sibling doesn’t change that average fertility. If the AVERAGE fertility is 8 kids then yeah homosexual nonreproduction is an even bigger deal. The average fertility rate means a great deal.

I don't know why you're still not getting it. If the average person has 2 kids, then a homosexual's siblings need to make up 2 kids times the increased genetic distance (2x2)

If it's 8, then the siblings need to make up 8 kids times the genetic distance (2x8). Yes, it's not double fertility per couple, bur it's still an enormous and incredibly implausible total effect.

So homosexuality should decline and go to zero after a few generations of modernity under that theory.

Careless is right, and that pretty much refutes Barro's idea.

Survival of offspring to maturity is not the same as giving birth.

Are gay siblings more likely to help raise their siblings' kids in the real world? No?

That's kind of a problem for your hypothesis.

Even if they did, child mortality is so low now that we would expect to see much less gayness that day three generations ago. We don’t.

Curious as to why there is no link to the Joint Committee on Taxation's proof that the emperor (Senate tax cut proposal) has no clothes and even under the dynamic scoring model will result in a $1T deficit build up over 10 years. As Al Gore might say, "an inconvenient truth." It also begs the question of whether the group of economists who earlier in the week sent a letter to Secretary Mnuchin regarding the necessity of this legislation to boost GDP by 3-4%.

Question of the day, 'do economists have any moral compass at all?'
2nd Question of the day, 'why is Tyler so silent on all of this?'

Well, what's in the bill? Does anybody really know? I hear they are still larding it up to get the votes. Why comment when they have to literally pass it to see what's in it. And no, that's not how the ACA happened.

Don't be an obtuse partisan. This tax bill and ACA are very similar in terms of how much anyone truly knows about them when they vote. In both cases, they know what's in them at a basic level, but hardly anyone reads the fine print. That's a simple fact of major legislation.

There's probably an on-line remedial English course available at the Khan Academy.

Ah. But Tyler is not silent. He retweets.

https://twitter.com/salimfurth/status/936655353026052100

Touche.

2. You can tell this guy is an idiot from the moment he attributes the opposition to building regulations to a sinister "neoliberal" agenda. And it gets worse from there. Claiming that the only way that "affordable" housing can be built is if the government does it, because it's not the most profitable housing to build , treats housing "affordability" as if it was not impacted by basic things like the the supply of housing. So what if developers brand new housing units are marketed to higher earners? That means that older housing units will remain on the market for lower earners. As usual progressives demonstrate a stubborn unwillingness to understand basic economic concepts.

The writer's position is that price has nothing to do with supply.

Yes. Also, buolding restrictions have nothing to do with it, because you're completely free to build "affordable" housing units, as long as they aren't profitable.

Yes. It's funny how people manage to keep claiming that affordable housing must be publicly funded when in all but 5 metro areas, markets provide plenty of affordable housing, both in aging neighborhoods and in new developments.

The article references an article at "Shelterforce.org" that claims there is no Nimbyism in downtown San Diego and permitting is mostly "by right", but the complete statement in that article is:
"For example, in downtown San Diego, there is virtually no NIMBYism, and development permitting is mostly by right. Yet a majority of residential market-rate developers chose to utilize a significantly lesser share of their entitled floor area ratios and pay inclusionary fees in lieu of providing restricted units on-site, leaving the state-mandated density bonus on the table. In other words, private developers are building fewer units than the zoning allows, and avoiding building affordable housing altogether, despite a tower of regulatory incentives being offered to them."

So, in other words, the laissez-faire housing market in San Diego means you are allowed a limited amount of building and you either have to build units at below market rates or pay a big penalty. And, when that - shockingly - leads to less supply, it gets used as evidence that allowing development to happen with less encumbrances doesn't solve the problem.

Here are some recent results:

https://wolfstreet.com/2017/12/01/rents-plunge-in-the-most-expensive-us-cities/

I can also make a boots on the ground report from Portland, OR, where the formerly red hot downtown condo and rental market has cooled off considerably, and changed from a landlord/seller's market to a renter/buyer's market. Unfortunately, this happened one year too late, as the expensive local public housing measure passed during the 2016 election.

+1

Technically that's ad hom, but I agree. I found it difficult to take the piece seriously because it was littered with (in my judgment) faulty emotional appeals.

Like this one:

> Today, they’re using the urban housing crisis as a pretext to roll back environmental protections, curtail local democracy, and deregulate, or more precisely, re-regulate land use in behalf of property and finance capital.

Bold assertion there buddy. Could it be they're using the urban housing crisis as a "pretext" to... fix the urban housing crisis? No, they hate the environment and want rich people to get richer, of course.

Also plenty of simply bad arguments, often with implicit ideas about what ought to happen (e.g. "affordable" housing should be built)

Yes. It's all a sinister plot to foist capitalism upon the brainwashed masses. Everyone knows this.

“they hate the environment and want rich people to get richer, of course.”

Yeah, approximately nobody, including “rich people” wants “rich people” to get richer. Unless “rich people” refers to themselves, and honestly as a non-“rich person”, I’d like to be a little richer myself.

And e everyone wants a “better environment”. Different people have different ideas about how much it’s worth, and how much they’ll be expected to pay for it.

3) I've got plenty of young friends who don't want to have kids in Trump's world. He is retrograde and embodies the politics of fear.

I loathe Trump but if that's the excuse they are using for not having kids they probably shouldn't be parents.

Try having pre-teen kids old enough to look at us grownups and wonder how we elected such a clown who exemplifies all the things we tell them not to be? If your friends have kids now they won't be old enough to know who's president until well after he's gone.

But then, they will ask, "how could you?". Every generation second-guesses the next one. Also, he is probbly just the beginning. Reagonomics didn't die in 1988, Bolshevism did not die in 1924, the bitterndivide between South and North did not die in 1865.

And, sadly, you are still not dead either.

I agree with them. At least that they shouldn't have kids. MAGA

Imagine a world where the Amish have inherited America. What would it look like? Could the Amish way of life survive?

Of course in the interim there may be massive upheaval, but the trend seems unlikely to continue indefinitely as long as there are subgroups with well over replacement fertility, and why wouldn't there be in a world without scarcity? Most likely there will be dramatic changes to the population in the coming years, with uncertain effects.

4. Scientists say giant pandas represent, hands down, the most successful captive animal breeding program humans have ever embarked on

funny, I would have thought that would be something like, say, chickens, that outnumber giant pandas about 10 million to one

#3. Emma should have married the deadbeat so he could be a stay-at-home-dad. Assortive mating pairing high-earners together and low-earners together, means the high earners are too busy having careers to have kids with both parents having important jobs, and the low earners can't afford the day-care costs even on a double income.

"Emma should have married the deadbeat so he could be a stay-at-home-dad. "

But then the alimony and child support system punishes the high-earning partner in non-assortive mating.(And since the system is not-at-all biased against men she would be punished as much as a man in her situation would.)

You are probably being sarcastic but alimony is pretty gender unbiased. My female assistant pays her deadbeat male ex plenty of alimony.

You only pay alimony if the deadbeat/stay-at-home-dad decides he wants a divorce. Why would he want a divorce? The high-earning mother is even more likely to get the kids in that situation, and the alimony for a divorced single man to live alone in a shitty apartment would be piddling. Why would a low earning male want to leave the rich woman who lets him stay at home playing video games all day in exchange for minding the kids and doing household chores?

Generally what happens is that the career woman decides that SAH dad is a beta loser and stops having sex with him. SAH dad decides Alimony is better than incel.

1 (Cochrane): "But good or bad is beside the point here. The point here is that there is a perfectly rational demand for bitcoin as it is an excellent way to avoid both the beneficial and destructive attempts of governments to control economic activity and to grab wealth -- even if people holding it know that it's a terrible long-term investment."

Don't buy it. The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be regulated just like digital cash, if not more. Already the Feds are starting to crack down on the exchanges to require its users to provide identifying info (name, address, SSN) for any transaction over certain dollar amounts. These requirements will get stricter as the government begins to catch up to the technology - and the exchanges will have to comply or risk getting shut down. The chances of Bitcoin surviving the regulatory power and reach of the U.S. government on a mass scale (while keeping its legality/legitimacy) seem far lower than the U.S. dollar losing its status as the world's dominant reserve currency. Cryptocurrencies, and all the exchanges and business that facilitiate their use, are ultimately subject to regulation and coercion by any political regime that has jurisdiction over the area they operate, and so long as they are subject to the jurisdiction and power of political regimes, then these cryptocurrencies cannot truly operate on a mass scale free of government control. Then the crypotcurrency value only resides in it being a black market currency to trade in and out of from real currencies or as a novelty alternate form of exchange used by people who promote it and are willing to suffer the costs of the instability of it due to their commitment to the cause, which is a far more limited sphere of activity than its proponents envision.

you know that there are ways to buy and sell crypto currencies without centralized exchanges right? it is kinda the whole point

Right now cryptocurrency is legal and tolerated by governments. If it ever gets too big for its britches that ends quickly. It will survive but be even more illicit than it is now.

You are wrong, no other way to put it.

Bitcoin is a peer to peer network supported by independent agents that store, serve, and agree with each other on the state of the data. You can't shut it down.

Centralized exchanges for bitcoin are a bit of a contradiction.

Right, but it hasn't demonstrated that it can be widely used independent of the exchanges and other intermediaries within the crpto eco-system that facilitate its widespread adoption. Yes, tech savvy cryptocurrency enthusiasts and criminals can use the network directly, but to actually have value as a currency it has to go way beyond that, and right now it's hard to see that happening without some type of intermediary, exchange or other business that ultimately will be subject to government oversight and regulation.

"You are wrong, no other way to put it."

Huh?

msgkings said: " It will survive but be even more illicit than it is now."

What specifically is incorrect about that statement.

Wrong again asdf, as CG and JWatts point out. I'm not saying BTC will ever be eliminated, but it will never be a currency because it will never be allowed to function that way. It will indeed remain, as a way for criminals to store wealth and trade.

2. Their contrarian tone notwithstanding, Hsieh and Moretti only advance the neoliberal agenda that has dominated U.S. public discourse for forty years. That agenda is often construed as anti-government, a view that the op-ed’s attack on zoning and CEQA may seem to confirm. But as indicated by the co-authors’ endorsement of state intervention in local land use, “supply-side” pundits are not against government per se, only government that hinders market forces. Today, they’re using the urban housing crisis as a pretext to roll back environmental protections, curtail local democracy, and deregulate, or more precisely, re-regulate land use in behalf of property and finance capital. The Times op-ed, however, isn’t just another neoliberal diatribe. It significantly extends the case against regulation through its contention that zoning, a municipal function, has national effects.

The "state intervention" that the two seem to favor would be the state getting out of the regulation business. Municipal zoning does, indeed, have national effects. That's why the constitution speaks about interstate commerce, among other things. That's why the feds determine automobile construction and performance parameters, water quality and a host of things that could just as well be left to local faux democratic forces.

You are wrong, no other way to put it.

Bitcoin is a peer to peer network supported by independent agents that store, serve, and agree with each other on the state of the data. You can't shut it down.

Centralized exchanges for bitcoin are a bit of a contradiction.

3. Why should the average person care about falling birth rates? After decades of increasing income inequality, it is too expensive for the bottom 80% to two or more kids! Maybe that is the way we bring up working class wages long term which is to have a long term Baby Bust and only the elites have lots of kids.

Did you notice the late 1995 - 2000 which is the only extended period of the bottom 50% gaining real wages come 20 - 25 after the early 1970 baby bust?

#3 Sexual Utopia has a price. We have broken the 'Iron Triangle' linking sex, marriage, and procreation. And yes, Obergfell certainly had something to do with it. Go read Carle Zimmerman's book for details.

But don't worry. Rick Santorum has 7 kids, Romney has 5, Scalia had 9, and the average ultra-Orthodox Jew has 7. They will fix things once you libertines die off.

Most of those kids will be libertines themselves tho.

Many, but not most. And with enough density, they'll be private libertines and still uphold the basic order publicly. That's the cycle.

3. "One possibility is that homosexuals propagate their own genes "through the back door"."

Made me chuckle more than would have been appropriate for a highly educated modern man such as myself.

#5. This has gotta be a contender for the worst post TC has linked to, But this line caught my eye:"One possibility is that homosexuals propagate their own genes "through the back door".
My theory (which is far better than his, imho) is that since most of our reproductive history has been dominant males with harems. The girls HAD to enjoy one-another (most of the time) and the non-dominant males had to find other accommodations (or risk the wrath of numero uno). Seems straightforward. (JK)

5. In Australia men and women have the same genes. As a result, gene alleles that predispose one to having sex with men may contribute to reproductive success when found in women and gene alleles that predispose one to having sex with women may contribute to reproductive success when found in men.

I assume men and women are separate species in the United States, since we got a whole long essay on the genetics of homosexuality that didn't mention this obvious point.

Actually, men and women have somewhat different chromosomes.

I am sure that all this attention to sexual harassment and LGBT rights will surely reverse the decline in fertility and likelihood of marriage among US citizens...

Classy. Let's reverse this. Want more fertility? Let Weinstein be Weinstein and kill the gays!

yes, because that's the only alternative.

Sure thing, Ace

#5: 'One possibility is that homosexuals propagate their own genes "through the back door".' There seems to be an "as it were" missing there.

Archer: "Uh, phrasing".

I will +1 any Archer reference at any time

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