Thursday assorted links

1. “As the interminable lines at DMV offices grow longer and timely appointments become nearly impossible to schedule, an Oakland startup offering “expedited appointments” for $19.99 has seen its business boom.” Link here.

2. Casper is opening a nap store.

3. Are you Chinese but spiritually Finnish? #jingfen

4. What is up with charter cities and other such things?

5. A list of top economics influencers.

6. The art scene in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

7. Thomas Edsall on the growing gender gap in politics (NYT).

Comments

Y 0 comments? :-0

#5 was good, with TC at #9 and AlexT at #30, ahead of the permabear Mish Shedlock (#33). Some of the others however are overrated (Barry Ritholtz #6, c'mon, you might as well put Cramer on the list, who's not listed), but, the list is about 'influencers' not content providers. (But Rayward's favorite Dr. Farmer makes the list, along with some other heavyweights; Ben Bernanke is missing however, I guess he doesn't blog that much).

The absence of Caplan makes this list rubbish. Probably written by a college graduate.

They present as a ranking but it seems to just be by their twitter followers isnt it?

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#1 is very concerning. In Brazil, similar services are a staple (despachante) due to the crazy bureaucracy. It seems that this is something slightly different but still, every time you start to attach jobs and economic incentives to bureaucracy the barriers to remove such inefficiencies become much greater.

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#5 No Scott Sumner? Would anyone be talking about NGDP without TheMoneyIllusion?

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#7: Uncharacteristically weak sauce from Pinker, at least as far as he's quoted in the piece. When considering gender gaps in party affiliation, the Obama Administration's Title IX overreach should not be overlooked:

in April 4, 2011, the same day that President Obama formally announced his reelection bid, his Education Department, with no advance notice, reinterpreted Title IX as giving the federal government authority to dictate the specific procedures that colleges must use to adjudicate student-on-student sexual assault allegations.

This “Dear Colleague” letter, issued by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), told all of the more than 7,000 colleges that receive federal money to use the lowest possible standard of proof, a preponderance of evidence, in sexual assault cases (though not in less serious matters such as cheating and noise violations). The letter required universities to allow accusers to appeal not-guilty findings, a form of double jeopardy. It further told schools to accelerate their adjudications, with a recommended 60-day limit. And, perhaps most important, OCR strongly discouraged cross-examination of accusers, given the procedures that most universities employed.

The Obama administration never explained the timing of this document’s release. Nor did it explain how a plainly worded, 40-year-old anti-discrimination law had become a fount of such highly controversial mandates.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/01/31/the-path-to-obamas-dear-colleague-letter/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b2eeefb44bb1

This kind of overreach isn't a one-off, but a general reflection of the world view of modern progressives.

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#1 "City ordinance makes it illegal to sell street parking in San Francisco." So they don't have parking meters?

Good catch. Got anything about the police kidnapping criminals?

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#4. Doesnt the whole thing collapse once someone calls a charter city a bunch of neo-colonists? Who's going to stand up to that?

True that.

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Ye Olde Indirect Rule?

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As a neo-cuck, I resent that remark.

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#5 I love how some of the journalists on the list are lauded for emphasizing "data." Wow, what a concept -- actual facts and numbers? As opposed to what, just making stuff up like most of their colleagues?

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#5 And what, no Jordan Peterson? :)

Known:

#5 is farce.

Number One Is much-loved NYT economics raconteur Paul Krugman. The Klown said on 2016 Election night, "If the question is when will markets recover, a first-pass answer is never." Outside the vast intellectual/liberal kindergarten, Klugman is a nobody.

However, it is certaint that the rest of the list could not possibly be as stupid as Krugman.

Dodd and Frank should be there except they are retired.

And, No Bernanke, No Greenspan, No Obama, No Yellen, . . .

Herein I impersonate a liberal: No black. All of you are racists.

I give this comment a 1.5/10. Intro starts off ok, but moves into irrelevant rantings. Also, grammar and spelling is not a strong point. The conclusion was also forced with no support or reasoning as to how it was reached. Again, would not recommend.

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5. According to Twitter followers. I suspect that Trump has the most Twitter followers with 20 million. 20 million! By comparison, Krugman has only 4.5 million, far more than Cowen's 106,000. Does anyone else find it disturbing that one's "influence" is defined by the number of Twitter followers. But that's from someone who believes anyone who is a Twitter follower is an idiot.

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#1, I love the tone of the article, instead of focusing on why DMV is so inefficient focusing on the possible wrongdoing of someone trying to profit by remedying the inefficiency. Some very sage observations from the professor of public ethics or whatever she is.

Good point. Actually it sounds like when busy affluent people hire someone to stand in line for them, for Shakespeare in the Park tickets or some new Apple device. And yes, what would we ever do without "ethicists?"

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#4: So the secret is, "Have a very powerful (and decidedly not libertarian) institution back it"?

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5. Bill McBride of Calculated Risk is probably the only person who runs an economic web site not on that list who is proud of the fact. He is not an influencer, he merely presents facts, with his own conclusions supported by those facts.

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#5 But what is an economics influencer? How do we measure the strength of their influence?

Tyler, would you agree you're an influencer? Which areas would you say you have influenced most, and in what way?

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5. Repeat: "influence" is defined by the number of Twitter followers. Did anyone bother to read the intro at the link. Krugman has the most Twitter followers; thus, he has the most "influence".

Oh, well, at least they have a metric. Have to give them that. But it's standard journalistic confusion between audience and influence.

I don't think Krugman persuades anyone to change anything, ever; his influence effect at the margin is close to zero. He's just onomastic echo chamber for liberals who want to believe soft-boiled Keynesianism and an interventionist prog state really are the road to wealth.

Some of the other people on the list might actually change minds, if they wanted to.

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4. I guess it worked in China because when the charter city is sponsored/chartered by the domestic government there's no colonialism stigma.

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Ctrl + F for "marr" (marry, married, marriage) in Edsall's article. Zero results. The growing sex gap is partly driven by more and more women failing to marry in a timely manner if at all. Single women tend to identify with the state as their provider and vote accordingly.

In any case yet another datapoint demonstrating women's suffrage is a disaster and must be immediately repealed.

Here's another example showing how incredibly stupid women are, this time from Finland: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/poll_just_4_percent_of_finns_believe_trump_has_made_world_safer/10296803

- 4 percent (9% of those aged 15-24! MSM is less popular, they’re more into memes?) of Finnish people believe Trump has made the world a safer place, 2% for Putin. (What does that even mean anyway? Some Davos-speak BS. That’s not what great powers do in general, a stupid concept all around.)

- A large majority of Finns – 88 percent – also believe that Trump has polarised the discussion on social issues and increased aggressive commenting on social media. The supporters of the Green Party were most likely to concur with this opinion. LOL

- Trump is not even popular among the supporters of the Finns Party, whereas Putin is really hated by the pro-NATO party (although for some reason he is comparatively more popular among those in “leadership positions,” whatever that means, I’m not entirely sure)

- The most interesting part, IMO, is this: 14% said that Trump had strengthened the US position around the globe, whereas 39% think Putin has done the same for Russia.

However, those numbers for women are only 12% and 17%, respectively. So only 17% (vs. 47% for men) of Finnish women think that Putin has strengthened Russia since 2000

So, only 17% of Finnish women think Putin has strengthened Russia since 2000. Absolutely brain dead.

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#7 The usual standard thumb-sucking on why women don't vote GOP -- rather than casting the story as why men don't vote Dem. Funny to see all these ape metaphors slathered upon Trump and his followers so soon after the Roseanne Barr- Valerie Jarrett Planet of the Apes kerfuffle.

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3: I wonder who the Finns consider themselves to be spiritually.

5: I hadn't realized (or had forgotten) that Miles Kimball isn't at the Univ of Michigan anymore.

And a soon-to-be-but-not-yet graduate student is one of the biggest economics influencers (Evan Soltas)? If that's true then it reminds me of making Justin Bieber one of the biggest musical influencers.

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#5, Dare I point out that Donald Trump does possess an Economics Degree, and is occasionally to be found on Twitter..?

Thread winner, right here!

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#3 That site is designed to grow PRC soft power. Many other interesting links do not, so the opportunity cost of avoiding SixthTone is negligible.

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4. I always have a hard time with the perspective that cities, which includes anything from Calgary at population 1.25mil to Jakarta at 10mil, are just like machines; you take out the electrical system (you take out a bunch of rules), you rewire it and give it a new central control with computerized printouts (get some new ones- institutions- and enforce them). Voila! Everybody gets to be Hong Kong. Definitely a top down view from a those accustom to positions of power.

Problem is, if the populace doesn't participate with the new rules, whether they be the providers of utilities with their pleasant monopolies, the ones benefiting from the status quo and their beneficial angle, or those syphoning off water at open points of distribution as they are too poor to pay, change is difficult.

The idea of starting from scratch, as appealing as it seems, lifting away all the pesky players, is that a city is, well, not a machine but a populous; pesky as they maybe.

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#6 Some of those more salient pieces of art from Ethiopia:

"Bullet- sprayed wall 117" (Installation, lead, brass, and mortar, 1994)

"Orphans and begging bowl" (2004, interactive installation)

"The Great Leader" (1988, acrylics on concrete - awaiting restoration)

"High Jacks" (aluminium, fabric, seawater, viscera, 1998)

"Pilgrimage Queue" (2018, permanent installation, US consulate)

"Let's pull all your fingernails out" (video and sound, Ministry of Internal Security, 2013 to present)

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