Friday assorted links


#5 I think a good leader can have a great effect over the economy and the social prospects of his country's citizens.

I used to believe America is the best country in thenworld and I used to believe in our system, but now I see we have been lied to, bamboozled by conmen, by malefactors of great wealth. The more we vote for politics, such as Obama and Trump, to change things, the more things stay the same.

I think it has become clear the so-called American Dream is a bitter lie, a snare.

Some other countries seem to be doing better. Brazil's President Captain Bolsonaro, for example, seems to be succeeding in slashing expenses, fighting crime and corruption and making the economy growth. In the last 5 years, the country faced the biggest recession in its history. Under President Captain Bolsonaro, its GDP growth rate is 6.5% per year, one of the highest in the world. It is morning in Brazil, and I hope we, Americans, can see the light, too.

Sorry, Aldrich, but you are yet another fool here spouting fake news about Bolsnaro and Brazil. The latest GDP growth numbers available are for first quarter of 2019. The GDP declined at a -0.2 percent annual rate. Really. Go google it.

And please do not repeat your false drivel again. We have already had a whole herd of fools blathering this nonsense on this blog already.

It is as shame you can't read Portuguese. But I guess you can use Google Translate like the hoi polloi is known to do.

Brazil's GDP growth in May was 0.5%, which means a yearly 6.5%+ expansion. It is almost unheard among South American economies. It is morning in Brazil.

Sorry, Aldrich, more bs from you. Growth was negative in fist quarter. It may be positive now, but only around 1 percent at best and seen to be declining. Here is Reuters, (sorry if link does not work, but these are the facts and your 6.5% is bs fake news lie): .

I am bad at putting these links up, so this may not work. But, Aldrich, you are just wrong. Growth was negative in Brazil in first quarter, and is very low now.

You’re an intelligent man. How do you not realize this is a nihilistic trolling performance art piece?

So you are happy with how things are in America when even Disney's employees must scavenge for food.

I lick windows!

I think either it's a dread pirate Roberts type thing, or else he's unusually masterful, and patient - for years lulling MR readers into thinking "our 'Brazilian' troll is the best troll, or not so bad really" - occasionally even amusing, not unrelenting; then suddenly, sociopathically withdrawing the humor and ratcheting up the inanity.

+1 to Hmmm

It was funny for the first, I dunno, five years maybe. Now it's just old.

Whoops, that was meant as a reply to Thiago.

It is funny to see the sheeple trying to dismiss without arguments my superior reasoning. Keep worshipping your politician masters, sheeple.

I think the assorted links are so fresh and interesting as they always were.

This x1000. The same lame joke told over and over and over.

Even the cuckmeister dude seems to have gotten tired of his own crap. But not Thiago.

On the other hand, if Thiago and its avatars were actually a robot, that would be a technological prowess, and quite interesting.

Go on, Sheeple. Go on. Dismiss those who are wide awake while you sleep.

Snow Patrol is vastly underrated.

They get a bad rap because their most popular song is AOR Coldplay-esque schlock, but they have good stuff if one looks a bit deeper.

5. I'll take it.


Keep taking your anti-psychotic meds.

I think that of the two of us, (1) I'm the calm one, and (2) the one with receipts. I'm not the one going off, ad hominem, on other commenters. I have bigger fish to fry.

Trump today: "You can't talk that way about our country. Not when I'm the president."

At which point a reporter had to remind the President of the United States that there is a 1st Amendment. To which he grudgingly agrees.

So I don't know, are you trying to help me out, by playing straight man here? You don't think I got material?

Not just material, facts in evidence.

I suppose on the subject of dictators, we could have also gone with "beautiful letters."

#3: I worked at Dissability Support Services in College Mid 2000s at a public university. Back then there was a whole class of kids who came to us saying describing un-diagnosed things like Anxiety Disorders, and ADD/ADHD. If it hadn't been found prior to college they would have to get a study done that was usually not covered by health insurance. The cost at the time was $2-4k. The kids that could pay for it usually came back with a diagnosis that helped them some how. My hunch is it is mostly pay to play. If you think you have something wrong and can describe it they will give you legal documentation that requries accomodations. Elite college students could pay for it more than others

1. Is Cowen on his way to Australia? See this link and his next blog post. Anyway, I have read this short paper and I could understand the authors' point better if they wrote in English. Is the point that technology has overcome the Malthusian catastrophe so it's okay to have more children? Here's China's answer: "In November 2013, following the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, China announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Under the new policy, families could have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child." Is that clear enough?

"of a lagged dependant variable": will AI rescue the world from bad spelling?

I suppose that being a retard is a disability.

3. Bonus points if your disability is gluten intolerance.

#3. This week the Washington Supreme Court declared obesity a disability, which means in the U.S. we're already at a 1 in 3 disability rate before we've even factored in the wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf, and the millions with "social anxiety disorder" (i.e. "teenagers").

In San Francisco where my brother lives, some 50% of passengers on Muni (public transit) qualify for reduced fair disabled or senior passes. Low income and student passes make up a substantial share of the remainder. He can see a dozen service animals during his daily commute, many of them obviously fake. Many disabled have no visible signs of mobility disorders. They argue and fight over who is more disabled to ride in the disabled seats, which sometimes take up several rows per car or bus.

It's like the city of Nadsokor.

SF provides a great service to the rest of the country by sequestering these people.

3. Extra Victim points, yes, but also extra time on exams. Poor students have learned how to make marginal grade improvements by gaming sympathy. You can always find a doctor to write a note saying anything you want.

5. Fine, I will accept some generalizations, but it is pretty clear that Pinochet didnt ride any wave. He created the wave. His reign ushered in massive liberalization and privatization of Chile's economy. It was also a stark contrast to Allende's mass nationalization of farms and banks. Chile suffered a deep recession a decade later due to systemic problems Pinochet failed to address, but it roared back afterward.

No one could reasonably say that Pinochet just got lucky.

"Chile suffered a deep recession a decade later due to systemic problems Pinochet failed to address, but it roared back afterward."

Seventeen years after Pinochet rose to power Chile was as rich (when compared with its South American peers) as it was when Allend was elected. I am sure that justifies totalitarianism and thousands of political assassinations.

Since it would have been much poorer had Allende stayed in power then maybe the coup was justified.

Maybe, but it is still very different from the myth that says the dictatorship was a boom for Chile. Chile grew around the same its peers did.

The boom was no myth. Leftists conveniently measure growth after a deep recession to wipe out the gains before it. There is no question Chile's economy grew and continues to grow because of those liberalization policies.

There was almost simultaneous liberalization in several Latin American countries, all of which saw growth and development.

Did those other countries need a fascist in charge to do that?

The question in the study is not whether dictators are needed for positive economic growth but what their performance was. Pinochet's economic performance was good, and his reforms revolutionary for that country.

And given that Allende was a Soviet agent attempting to turn Chile into a socialist dictatorship, yes a fascist dictator was necessary. The problems caused by Allende weren't going to be resolved with elections. His economic actions were unconstitutional. Why would he honor democratic processes?

Now, I get it. We shouldn't measure Pinochet's achievements over his years in power. We should just care about the good years. It makes so much sense!!

Again, after 17 years of fascism, Chile was back exactly where it was when compared with its peers. It is hard to understand why we should praise Pinochet for that instead of Argentina's Isabelita, Uruguay's Méndez or Brazil's Geisel and the other South American regimes that grew as much as Chile did and suffered economic setbacks in the 1980s.

No, you don't get it. The question is whether his reforms had a beneficial economic impact holding all other factors constant. He privatized state owned industries, allowed unrestricted foreign investment, reduced trade restrictions, protected private property rights, privatized the pension system. These all boosted the economy irrespective of any downturn later. These reforms didn't cause the recession.

As a typical leftist, you're enamored with the idea of a national leader as captain of the ship of state. Economies develop themselves when allowed to do so.

3. At universities, having a disability usually means that the student receives more time to complete exams, a quiet room, access to technology, etc. It's not surprising that the most selective colleges have a suspiciously high percentage of "disabled" students. A portion of them (being grade-grubbers) are just gaming the system.

On the matter of autocrats, one explanation might well be that it is hard to make an economy grow faster than some sort of natural limit so the best they can do is continue that natural growth. But a bad leader can seriously mess up an economy, with Maduro in Venezuela the latest dramatic example.


Actual economist provides reasonable explanation.

+1, that's a reasonable explanation

On the matter of autocrats, one explanation might well be that

Here's another suggestion: the sort of people who end up the top man in an autocracy (or primus inter pares in a collegium of rulers) tend to be people who have skills that are inversely correlated with good sense in economic matters. Some of them select people with good sense to advise them either out of blind luck or because they're outliers. I betcha if you audit the household finances of career military (many of whom have a handsome portfolio of skills, knowledge, and personal virtue), you'll often find a big mess - puzzling masses of revolving debt, &c. I've known some examples among relations and co-workers.

Isn't #5 a direct refutation of Tabarrok's post wondering whether democracy was doomed (

Not a direct refutation, but evidence against the proposition that the pathway will be via the authoritarian regime out-competing the liberal-democratic regime in the economic realm.

The moderators are loath to discuss the actual threats to democracy, because their point of origin is people like them.

No saltwater here. The cement picnic tables and benches in the park date from the twenties and still look great, just worn to a polish. The "Tudor" bathroom remains as well, but has not been open these thirty years. Not sure if plumbing lore has been lost, or if public restrooms are just one of those things Americans can't have anymore, like roadside rest areas.

We did get a couple really cool wicker-man-like twig structures a few years ago. They were temporary, but it occurs to me they could make something more permanent, for assignations of all kinds, and maybe then we could get the bathroom by the playground back? I've always wanted to see the medieval interior touches.

Roman cement: underscores the power of patents vs trade secret (the default if no patent). Roman cement (quicklime plus ash = cement, the trick is to manufacturer the quicklime in a reduced atmosphere having no oxygen and then not to have the quicklime absorb oxygen while it sits around) is not easy to make, as the article implies, since the 'impurities' make it strong, and the secret to making cement was lost until rediscovered in the medieval ages. That's why I say if we had a patent system since the ancient Egyptian days, we'd all have flying carpets by now...true.

#3 As someone with a real disability (spina bifida), this royally pisses me off.

Amen. We are doomed.

4. Why wasn’t this labeled under “the great forgetting?”

Even Judge Judy suspects the falseness of those on here show stating that they are on disability. I am on disability for real and seeing these persons (claiming back injury) and standing with no assistance pisses me off

5. How often do dictators have positive economic effects?

When they know how to select satisfactory policy mavens - capable Piggies to their Jack - and when improved economic performance is contingent on suppression of conventional interest groups and / or suppression of public disorder generally. The Southern Cone of South America presents four case studies. In Chile and Uruguay, you had constitutional states replaced by military regimes for a period in excess of a dozen years and with salutary effects. In Paraguay, you had authoritarian party rule (manned by various sorts of characters, but generally scions of the country's gentry and patriciate) replaced with a generation-long dictatorship of a career soldier (with salutary effects). In Argentina, you had a long running mud wrestling tournament between the military and the Peronist movement whose last round was an institutional military regime of unusual severity. It had some crude and bloody success in suppressing political violence, but completely failed in the economic realm (as well as waging a clown war on Britain in 1982).

#3 - Really interesting question in the comments of the thread. In effect, with self-diagnosed, professionally-endorsed, mental illnesses becoming so prevalent, at what threshold do we just consider this part of the human condition and no longer a specific class that requires differential treatment? The commentator used 15% as an example.

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