Wednesday assorted links


The idea of tenure is incompatible with the lack of a retirement age.

Robert J. Nash is professor of educational studies and Official University Scholar in the humanities, social sciences and creative arts at the University of Vermont.

It's not even a real job. I wouldn't retire either.

You beat me to it.

I dunno, you have to talk to artists from Vermont. Sounds dreadful.

#6 - investing in Third World kids, I thought it'd be a podcast about making money from Third Worlders. Instead, it's how spending a dollar a year somehow reaps educational benefits, which is contradicted by an earlier podcast ("Regular listeners will be wondering – have we forgotten all about the lessons from episode 30 of the show with Dr Eva Vivalt? She threw several buckets of cold water on the hope that we could accurately measure the effectiveness of social programs at all."). I agree with economist William Easterly that the Third World (Africa) is largely hopeless. Maybe in a couple of hundred years they'll become another South Korea but I would not hold my breath for that long...

Africa has been growing substantially faster since 2000, but mostly because of less war and higher commodity prices. Education as the road to development is a bit of an article of faith, but it’s not necessarily the correct approach for every country. China has low college attainment compared to most similarly developed countries like Brazil and Mexico yet is growing much faster. Countries all have different comparative advantages, and the key to development is finding one that you can exploit. The African countries with the highest living standards have often achieved it with a stable political environment that allowed exploitation of a resource-based comparative advantage.

"Africa has been growing substantially faster since 2000,"

The World Bank doesn't show this for Subsaharan Africa.

Growth in Subsaharan Africa was faster in the 1960s and 1970s, lower in the early 1980s, then stronger, lower in the early 1990s and then higher again.

Africa's problem is cultural/tribal. If an African man or woman had an entrepreneurial idea and through hard work and planning became successful his family and his tribe would be culturally correct and obliged to ask him/her to give his profits to them. Even small entrepreneurial gains must be shared. Grow up in a culture like this and why would you try to succeed? This attitude flows over into learning/education. If you go to school and learn your peers/culture will resent you and become hostile to you. You must remain/appear ignorant as any of the tribal elders and your parents. So you must remain poor and dependent. But there is good news!! If anyone in your tribe succeeds you can demand money and things of value from them AND your culture encourages sex even with minors so you can enjoy your poverty so what the hell... right?

At last we see a non-racist, intelligent, provable comment here!

How is it provable? And does it disprove alternate hypotheses?

Africa's problem is hereditary low mean IQ. They should be re-colonized or walled off and maybe Paul Kagame and some others can sort things out.

Is that how your family handled it?

@ToddK - good graphic, note since 1994 sub-Saharan Africa has done better than before 1994, averaging what looks like 4.5%/yr growth, "not bad" (for Africa). So every 72/4.5 = 16 years the region's GDP doubles. If they can keep their population growth below 4.5%/yr, they can slowly increase their living standards per capita.

From the UN: "Africa has the highest rate of population growth among major areas, growing at a pace of 2.55 per cent annually in 2010-2015."

And falling.


That "incompetent narcissist" used his "magic wand" to nearly reverse the rotten things wrought by failed mediocrities, his incompetent predecessors.

He beat the Smartest Woman on the Planet, and will win again in 2020.

Hellary is not, and never has been, the smartest woman on the planet.

Is she the Smartest Woman in the Democrat Party?

Who knows, though I profoundly doubt it.

She is certainly the biggest loser though.

Sometimes, I almost feel sorry for he. Then I get a grip.

...that there's a place on the internet where I can come to discuss Hillary Clinton. There's so much to say about her that's new and original, and she's so important to all of our lives.

1. The abstract also states that provinces with a greater export slowdown experienced greater “local fiscal expenditures channelled towards public security uses and social spending”. This public spending is not just geared towards directly reducing unrest; it’s also a stimulus/jobs program to offset the export slowdown. The extra police in Xinjiang are being recruited from other parts of China with higher unemployment. I expect both China and the United States to become more authoritarian as the current trade war reduces both countries’ growth and creates more pressures for their governments to intervene in the economy and society.

“I expect China and the US to both become more authoritarian “...

This is not an unreasonable prediction. But come on, so far the nominal right winger Trump has enacted prison reform, and I see no reason to expect political adversaries to be locked up. But I did see a SWAT team arrive at dawn to arrest the middle aged Manafort. (This isn’t a defence of his illegal activities in the Ukraine etc.)

5. Yes, more people can afford air travel today. Unfortunately. One of my favorite pastimes is watching people in airport terminals. What a menagerie.

Does reading MR comments give you the same warm-and-fuzzy?

That's more like watching people in a bus terminal

And what would this cross section of your fellow citizens make of a guy who enjoys sitting in airport terminals and judging them sotto voce? I bet they’d think “deplorable “.

#3. He says he won't let his "huge ego dominate the classroom," but is fine letting it keep his rear in his position for eternity because he believes he has something to offer to somehow save the world. Where's a resistant pneumonia strain when you need one?

In the old days there was a thing called a Yellow Dog Democrat. These voters would allegedly "vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican". Yellow Dog, Noun, a contemptible or cowardly person or thing..

Now we have Yellow Dog Republicans, and they just don't care what was actually in that report.

Of course Republicans care about what's in the report. And hope to use it to convict a bunch of Democrats.

Really? What page and what paragraph are you working from there?

While I take at face value that criminal conspiracy could not be established, I can name one important paragraph, on page 9, which begins:

"Third, the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. "

What were they trying to hide? Why lie at all? Or is that just a Yellow Dog Republican value at this point?

Flynn. A pretty dodgy situation. Flynn should have fought it, he probably would have won.

By the way, the puffs out the windows prove that 9/11 was an inside job.

Yup, like the Yellow Dog Republicans at Jacobin, amirite?

Two years of "collusion" followed by a seamless pivot to "obstruction of justice".

The parallels to Watergate are clear, except there actually was a break-in in 1972.

I hope you understand the relationship between "collusion" (not a legal term) and "obstruction of justice" (a crime).

Which was it when:

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

Talk about "in plain sight."

Despite his cheese being moved, the mouse runs to and fro in a desperate search for that tangy morsel.

It's pretty clear that firing Comey was contemptible and cowardly(*), but of course Yellow Dog Republicans will defend it, or silently toe that line.

* - first, because an foremost an honorable man would not fear investigation, but second, he certainly wouldn't crow about it with people he knew to have illegally meddled in a US election.

Trump was right to say that, and to fire Comey as we have learned. Comey will be lucky to stay out of prison. Two groups, Trump's people and Comey et al (we'll call the latter group 'perps') knew from the beginning that the investigation was a farce. Only Trump was truthful about it.

If they cared about Russian influence in the election, they wouldn't have sat on it for a year before investigating - right after Trump won.

They'll buy you rounds in St. Petersburg, if you aren't there already.

(You only have to read to page 2 of the report to learn why "collusion" was never even investigated.)

Well, that sure seems like $30 mil wasted then. Create a process out of thin air and only prosecute process crimes. Make your own work. Does sound like lawyers to me.

Trumped up (intended) impeachment fervor is now standard partisan operating tactics. The Republicans got it started with Diamond Bill, and now the Democrats are happy to do the same with Cheeto Donito.

What a country.

No. Each case calls for moral analysis. No one should do the "both sides" skate.

Spoken like a true partisan. Both sides are never similar in political tactics.

That's comical. I say do moral analysis, you call that partisan. Why, because Yellow Dogs are the amoral party now?

But, to demonstrate, if you believed Bill Clinton should be impeached because adultery demeaned the Office, you should demand that all adulterers be impeached by the same rule.

If you believed Clinton should be impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, without specific charge of an underlying crime, you should still hold to that standard today. believes that neither Trump nor Clinton deserved impeachment?

If you insist on pedantic word games, replace "collusion" with "coordination" or "conspiracy".

"In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of "collusion." In so doing, the Office recognized that the word "collud[ e ]" was used in communications with the Acting
Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation's scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office's focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law. In connection with that analysis, we addressed the
factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign
"coordinat[ ed]"-a term that appears in the appointment order-with Russian election interference activities. Like collusion, "coordination" does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. We understood coordination to require an agreement-tacit or express- between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests. We applied the term coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Why would you call Mueller's legal analysis a pedantic word game?

#3) One nice thing about being old is you don't need to justify yourself to anybody about anything. So this prof would have been wise to just keep these gaseous musings to himself. A simple "eff off" will suffice until they physically escort you from the building with your stuff in a box.

5. Airfares are getting cheaper.
Straight up, then down is a short, but painful, flight.


They come from the land of ice and snow
Now belugas won't be kept in Arctic Cove
Reach out, touch, give them a smile
But keep them for a friend and you'll be headed to trial!
You'll never know when you'll fall in love again
But don't keep them in pens
Arctic Cove, Marineland!

3. Retirement is something that makes no sense: a person should work until they die or become disabled. Why people should stop working if they can and enjoy working? There is no reason. To think old people should not work because they are "old" is ignorant prejudice, it is like saying that blacks cannot teach college-level courses because their brains are smaller. That is why there is the expression ageism.

If you hate working you should minimize the number of hours worked as soon as possible. Or better yet, find a way to get money such as marrying a richer person. Age is irrelevant.

That would depend on their health wouldn't it?

The idea of retirement flies in the face of the Protestant work ethic, if, indeed, there ever really was such a thing. Institutionalized retirement has now become a scam, especially in the public sector. It's abused in corporate management as well.

of comments go away?

They had to drag me into it.

are you so "tired" you can barely stand up
we can help!
that sorting children by skill level at school &not age
is gonna give amerikan sociologists the vapors

3. Educational Studies is a joke.

Since the airlines' product is getting worse by the economists' own definition (quality adjusted) the fares are not getting cheaper. See for example American Airlines consistent decrease of seat space and quality (as per Gary Leff) as well as many airlines dispensing with many things once free (like baggage or carry-on). And of course, the service levels are just awful. They are competing to see how bad they can make the air flight experience while offering a low price. I used to be opposed to regulation but now I see that without it, companies will simply provide the minimum quality that the average person will tolerate in discomfort. A true race to the bottom.

#6) "You have to test the kids, so that you can put the kids who are performing at grade two level in the grade two class, and the kids who are performing at grade four level in the grade four class, even if they’re different ages – and they learn so much better."

When applied to university students in the US, isn't this known as the mismatch theory, i.e., affirmative action places students into universities and programs that don't match their test scores, thus preventing them from "learn[ing] so much better"?

Also, it's interesting that the benefit these kids get from being placed into the correct grade level class more than offsets any psychological trauma from the stigmatization of being placed in a class with kids of different ages. I guess teaching material appropriate to a student's abilities is more important than indulging fragile egos to preserve self esteem. Who would've thought...

#2) "and"?

Nash (the prof who refuses to retire even though he is 80) has no sense of opportunity costs

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