Saturday assorted links


The mismatch between what scientists like to study in the lab (or test during drug development) and what encounters the physician in the clinic is stark.

Trump's making a real mess in the Middle East. His breakup of the Iran Deal, his unquestioning support of the Saudis, and his love of war in Yemen has led the West to this Houthi drone strike oil disaster. He's already worse than Obama, reaching the levels of Bush.

Boko Haram has drones. The Houthis have drones. This new age of robotic warfare is upon us. 10 drones was all it took to knock out half the production capacity of Saudi Aramco and just in time for their IPO too. That's a high return on investment for terrorism. War will not be fought and won by warrior-jocks but by the nerd-gamers. Ender's game has been mandatory reading in the US military for some time now. Very prescient.

5. Well, that looks like a natalist argument for better public education.

Maybe not everyone can be good marriage material, but certainly more can.

If education is the issue, what does it matter whether it's public or not?

Public education is available to all, thus increasing the final supply of desirable husbands.

Forty years of conservatives successfully defeating public education as a policy has reduced both those able to get education, and the final supply of desirable husbands.

Conservatives should be rejoicing their policy success of reduced supply of desirable husbands.

Reduced supply increases the profit. Desirable husbands are far more valuable today than in the 50s and 60s.

I must have missed the last forty years where conservatives were directing education policy. Or maybe you're talking out your sphincter.

Recently, mulp's commentary had risen to modicums of the logical. This represents a descent to leftish senility.

Not only is public education (government-sponsored child abuse) run by reds, all (say98%) public school districts' budget have been increased at rate greater than inflation.

Of course, more money doesn't equate with better education.

Where has gone two decades of greatly-increased public education spending? "The short-answer, according to a Manhattan Institute report by Josh McGee: 'State and local governments have catastrophically mismanaged their teacher pension systems. The cash infusion to K-12 has been used largely to pay for irresponsible pension promises politicians made to teachers’ unions and justified to the public with shoddy accounting. . . . '"

What's your solution? I bet it would suck as much as mulp's. Possibly more.

Voucherize, voucherize! :-)

Reagan pushed for more state and local control of education away from the Federal government. No Child Left Behind was a Bush policy. Vouchers have seen use in a number of red states. Trump-Devos policy has been to double down on charter schools. If you missed out on the last 40 years of conservative education policies its because you needed to stop jerking off and pay attention.

Nonsense, mouse. Throwing money at public schools is not going to increase the number of men that meet the expectations of women, who overwhelmingly prefer men with more social capital and more money. This is especially true since there are more women than men. Women have to change their preferences or remain unmarried.

Agreed. People commonly (not universally) look for what are positional goods. The sad comeuppance is someone settling at 35 for someone less impressive than a person the settler rejected at 25. I suspect the implosion in marriage rates after 2000 reflects a cultural shift wherein being unmarried is not so status-lowering than it once was, so a certain sort of person is less inclined to settle. Another feature of our time is a comprehensive failure to educate young women to make sensible and realistic self-assessments. The results are troublesome in several venues.

But they are all SPECIAL.

I love reading comments from salty old men complaining about young women. Those wounds never fully healed, have they?

Yes, a critique of contemporary girl culture just has to mean that.

I feel your pain.

Loser men will continue to be losers and be bitter till their dying days. Its fun to see them water that sapling into a big tree. "A Caning" is one of those losers. Sorry that life didn't work out for you but I will drink those salty tears and enjoy every drop.

That’s certainly the overlooked male revenge fantasy. Whether it happens frequently enough to be considered a trend is far from proven.

Maybe with increased income + government support women are better off unmarried unless their potential husband clears a certain threshold of income. Especially with kids. A low paid husband is another mouth to feed and potentially a welfare dealbreaker.

Revealed preferences. Aka everyone is willfully choosing the outcomes based on the associated costs and benefits. We call that freedom.

I don’t believe this is a real problem but if one were so inclined, as apparently anonymous is, to believe we’re stuck in a local max, then the appropriate solution would be to deregulate and attempt to eliminate the need for non value add jobs. Then in cases where women worked at zero marginal value or negative marginal value, they would find positive marginal value work. Or be more likely to marry. More “education” would be the most idiotic approach, since it would further make work jobs without addressing any underlying issue. This ignores personal incentives and more importantly market incentives. You need to peruse a public Choice textbook.

On the federal level eliminate most regulations which create employer liability in which they can be sued for discrimination in hiring, promotion, pay or general bias. HR is not human capital selection, it’s a giant game of ass covering. If anyone thinks HR is actively helping anyone, it’s not. It adds to the price of everything while protecting sexual assaulters.

In order to qualify for federal aid, require school districts to pay per student funding to any stay at home mom who can pass a set of tests to home school kids. This would destroy the teachers unions and allow stay at home moms to make $50,000-$190,000 a year teaching between 5-10 kids dependent on district. Let’s find the market clearing rate for student funding K8. And omfg bad teachers wouldn’t get repeat customers. I’m sure this is technically gassing Jews in Dachau somehow according to anonymous. He will let us know.

As almost always, the answer is deregulate to create more choices. Someone should be fully able to refuse any choice. But a good moral heuristic is to give an adult the exit option in everything. Divorce, quitting one’s job, leaving one’s state. Right to exit is critical. Anytime a liberal says “it has to be federal” and it doesn’t have to do with constitutional rights, you can be sure they would never institute said policy on a state level.

That’s certainly the overlooked male revenge fantasy. Whether it happens frequently enough to be considered a trend is far from proven.

No, it's an observation. And evidently an inconvenient one to you.

You have some kind of chip on your shoulder over women for some reason. Do you want to talk about it?

He gives off that creepy vibe every time he comments here. Avoid.

Incels can try harder instead of playing videogames. No one owes them supermodels.

I would presume this works both ways. It would be interesting to know how the actual unmarried available women compare to the “synthetic” ideal spouse, across a set of criteria that males might use to assess a potential spouse.

For sure. I meant "marriage material" in the general sense.

I knew a Native American man who had that exact complaint - he could not find a suitable wife within his tribe. ("believe me, Mike, you don't want to marry someone who's been on welfare their whole life.")

He eventually gave up and married a Caucasian woman.

Maybe Natives shouldn't drink so much.

My commentary on the above would be that it's kind of a tell when readers at Marginal Revolution stop thinking at the margin, and start demanding 100% solutions.

It might just be a classic case of the perfect as the enemy of the good.

What are you even talking about?

You are squeaking like a mouse.

Public education has nothing to do with the fact that women prefer higher status men. How would investing even unlimited funds in public education ensure that for every woman there is a higher status male?

Now try making sense in your answer.

I'm waiting ...

"ensure that for every woman"

Dude didn't even read.

Ya, ya marginal and all that. I get it.

Describe how it would make any difference at all.

Women are the limiting factor for fertility, not men. Societies can have huge numbers of men taken out of the marriage market and still have high birth rates (as seen in post-war baby booms).

Saw a factoid recently, that women report 2.3 children as the number they'd like to have, 1.7 as the number they do have.

Pretty much any woman who is physically fertile could have that many kids and more if they were willing to sacrifice other parts of their life.

That's what the study says.

And I just made the observation that with better (not *exactly* the same as more expensive) education, they might have to sacrifice less.

Funny how many here put themselves in the position of not wanting "better."

All on board with “better”, which in fact would not have to be more expensive, and could be cheaper.

Unfortunately, the people now running the public schools don’t seem interested in that. I don’t hold out much hope.

If I were making the choice today, I’d think very hard about home schooling.

Nothing is monolithic, inside or outside public schools.

Well, it's a zero-sum game. If all men are better educated, then the competition increases too. 100 years ago, very few men went to college, so not having a college degree did not make you unmarriageable.

Overall, though, women are in shorter supply than men. There are more unmarried women than men of the same age at every age up until the 50s, and a higher percentage of men never get married compared to women. This means the best policy solution for increasing marriage and fertility is to encourage massively more immigration of unmarried women, as students and in female-dominated professions (which as a bonus are likely to be professions with greater labor shortages in the future).

Everything I have I worked hard for. Maybe other people should do it, too. We don't need to import concubines and harlots.

"Marriageable" men and women should bring some productivity(*) to the table.

If everyone were just choosing among the productive it might indeed be zero sum.

If some are not choosing because a productivity threshold is not met, that's not zero sum.

* - I encourage you to view that work in a general sense. Jane Austin would.

Speaking as a single parent (widower), you're crazy if you think that raising a family alone is as appealing as raising one with a partner. It's not simply about income. Having children takes TIME. Without a partner to share the burden, women will have fewer children.


Correction: Better public education for men.
If you increase women's education, you'll also be moving the "synthetic husband" target.

6. I am sympathetic to your "Mormon" shout-out, but in the scheme of things, Mormon moral capitalism seems an anecdote. I mean, as one wag put it last week, "Why is Mitt Romney even a Senator?" Is it just to grant carefully weighed moral regret softly to the press?

No, as harsh as it is to say straight up, the connection between Evangelical Christianity and white identity politics is much more central to those slides and our predicament.

"No, as harsh as it is to say straight up, the connection between Evangelical Christianity and white identity politics is much more central to those slides and our predicament"

Do you actually have evidence for that or is this just more mouse nonsense?

A report in the religious news, no less

Perfect! I get all my news there!


You embarrass yourself.

What, in four minutes you noticed the link, read the story, and processed its import?

Here's another:

A report in the religious news, no less

Religion News Service is all but a subsidiary of the Arcus Foundation, run by former Obama Administration official (and ephebophile) Kevin Jennings.

So what, they can't be religious, and must be godless communists?

I'm baffled by the Mormon thing, as the only Mormon who seems relevant is Marriner Eccles who is related to the start of reduced inequality circa 1930, and rising inequality as his pragmatic economic theory was dismissed.

Eccles saw the economy in terms of consumers having income to create demand. When consumers are prevented from spending by lost income, or worse, reduced income making debt service a greater burden that reduces spending faster than income is falling.

Eccles did not argue for more debt, but for making debt service smooth, not lumpy, higher initially but never rising to impossible levels requiring slashing demand which would only result in lost incomes making debt an even greater burden.

Note, Keynes would not write this down for another few years, by which time Congress had written laws to address this problem of debt service driving down demand making slight contractions into big contractions.

Eccles, like Keynes, and FDR's trusted advisors sought to increase labor total costs. FDR was willing to increase unit labor costs, but Keynes argued for increased total labor costs and reduced unit labor costs if feasible.

FDR saw government increasing unit costs by paying submarket wages as moving labor cost to the private sector as swiftly as possible. Ie, using manual labor to build roads by paying workers only 90% the private wages would lead to private businesses using capital to build more miles of road for the same cost to taxpayers, hiring the government workers by paying them 10% more. Government should, in FDR's view, pay any idle worker 90% of the market wage to build productive capital, and the he never imagined the demand for capital to ever be fully satisfied.

Keynes did see a limit to the quantity of capital, the point workers stopped working more and cut saving to zero. At that point workers worked only enough to pay for the consumption that satisfied all their desires.

2. Fine. But a lot of the greats in digital innovation didn't really take genius, just audacity. A million programmers had the technical chops to do an eBay, an Amazon, even a PayPal. What it took was the fearlessness to expose yourself to millions in legal liability if it had all gone wrong.

How is Amazon different than Sears timeshifted 80-90 years?

What did Sears have equivalent to the Internet?

The US Post Office offering first prepaid postage, then RFD followed soon after with Parcel Post?

Just like Sears, Amazon's rise has been driven by the willingness to explode its labor costs. Explodings its labor costs has provided labor economies of scale to increase productivity of labor.

When elected, Trump claimed Bezos was ripping of the USPS which Amazon switched to heavily after selling the USPS on the potential to exploit it's high labor cost by selling only last mile delivery. Note, Amazon was basically cutting out the FedEx and UPS middlemen which had offered USPS last mile delivery seamless to its customers, eg. SurePost(tm).

But Prime membership funded building Amazon competing directly with the USPS which undercuts both FexEx and UPS by the scale of the Congressional mandate for massive labor cost of universal daily delivery, except Sunday.

Competitive advantage is based on increasing total labor costs to reduce unit labor cost by economy of scale. So few innovators are willing and able to grow labor costs exponentially today, those who can have huge lasting competitive advantage.

And business managers have been taught as MBAs to slash labor costs, thus dooming many big corporations by increasing unit labor costs in their quest for lower labor costs, measured by total labor costs. Workers are cut reducing output which results in discarding the lowest priced unit production. Eg, GM discarding small cars, and now discarding all car production.

If a product requires no labor cost for added unit sales, the business is totally dependent on government giving it monopoly power. Which is totally contrary to the US Constitution which was based on increasing total labor costs exponentially.

Amazon is very much a Sears and Roebuck for a new century.

Amazon is different in that they are trying to build their own logistics capabilities, and that owning AWS is a bit like them also being a digital landlord of sorts.

"A million programmers had the technical chops to do an eBay,"

Whatever it is "to do an eBay" there is no way that there a "a million programmers" that could do it.

You honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

I've done the digital commerce. I was in a dot com infrastructure startup, and successful IPO.

Am I overestimating how many were as good as we were? Possibly but the general formula of a language interfacing to a database and generating web pages isn't *that* hard.

And problems like scalability and etc came in over time. No one, eBay and Amazon included, sprang forth fully formed to what they are today. They had time.


eBay and Amazon were both founded in 1995.

JavaScript didn't appear until the end of that year. CSS didn't showed up the following year, 1996.

At the time, eBay and Amazon had a fairly easy straightforward server side problem, generating static HTML with minimal styling.

#4. I think that possibly the most influential times was from the late 18th century to the 1930s. When the ball of "modernity" go rolling. Since the 1940s modernity is here to stay so the number of people, ideas and wealth is increasing exponentially so the influence a person can have is decreasing exponentially. For example, a professor with a PhD degree in econ from 1950s has expected influence 10 to 20 times gr3eater than one from the 2010s.

1. Coriolis effect

5. Some countries have already hit on the solution: selection abortion of female fetuses. That ensures that young women of the future will have a relatively larger pool of marriageable men to choose from.

1. Human corpses keep moving for a year after death.
My neighbor is one, just moved in from Illinois.

Prior will continue posting Wikipedia articles for up to a year after his death.

2. Scarce labor and low interest rates. By Benzell and Brynjolfsson.
Debt deflation. Everyone working their rear ends to meet the non-stop government interest charges. Interest rates are low because there is little growth, little price variance; just the predictable onslaught of federal interest charges. The economy consists of everyone waiting for the never ending battle over the budget, government having absolutely no liquidity of it own.

6. A summary, for those who don’t have time to go through all the slides:

Democracy (Good) has failed to eliminate Inequality (Evil) because voting for Left-Wing Parties (Good) has been stymied by Evil (racism, nativism, etc.)

Reading the slides mostly gives me the impression that when countries increase their top-end tax rates, rich people pay lawyers and accountants more to hide their "income" in various ways, making that income then appear in the tax statistics as lower.

I went through the Picketty slides. The argument is that the left has shifted from being a party of organized labor to being a party of the educated elite, while the right remains the party of the business elite. Both elites are relatively happy with the status quo on redistribution. The left claims to be unhappy, wanting more redistribution, but when they get in power they remember that most of their money and leadership comes from an educated elite that earns well above the median. So instead they focus on rights for transgender people and social liberalism in general, rather than economics, as there is no longer any economic consensus in the traditional left wing parties.
One of his open questions is whether this is stable, or whether the traditional right parties will be taken over by lower income, lower education populists, with the business elite fleeing to join the educational elite. Twenty first century is multidimensional, which makes forming coalitions difficult. An increasing number of citizens feel they do not have a home in either of the two major parties, leading to weak governments that have difficulty changing anything.
I look forward to the new book.

"or whether the traditional right parties will be taken over by lower income, lower education populists, with the business elite fleeing to join the educational elite."

In a sense that is happening under Brexit, where once-marxist Corbyn is using the argument that "95% of all FTSE companies and business associations oppose no-deal", therefore you should do to.

5. Deficit of men? I don’t think so. The number of unmarried men is higher than unmarried women of the same age until well past marriageable age. 23% of men are never married compared to just 17% of women.

Deficit of unmarriagable men, not merely unmarried. Not every man wants to be married, and not every man that does is capable of it. This is similar to the other major matching market in life, the job market, where corporations insist that there is shortage of labor but the reality is that they are particular about who they hire.

There is enough of a deficit of marriagable men that many marriagable men can drop the first wife and pick up a younger model later in middle age, which is why there are fewer never-married women (men with multiple marriages).

#1 The information contained within SCP-2718 is leaking.

#1... "I think people will be surprised at just how much movement there was, because I was amazed when I saw it, especially how much the arms were moving. It was astounding."

If it's not waving its arms around, who could care? Under normal circumstances, the corpse could be charged with tampering with a crime scene.

Something to temper "progress studies" and neomania postings as of late: Genetically Modified Mosquito project has gone wrong, with 'unintended consequences.'

"The Yale research team...warns that the newly formed mosquito population could possibly be more robust than the mosquitoes were before."

Brazil is in the front run of genetic manipukation for protectinf public health. Brazil is expected to launch an artificial satellite before next decade ends.

5. The authors appear not to tease out the relative contributions of
a. The differences between married and unmarried men are intrinsic to the men.
b. Otherwise similar men become more career-and-income focused when married.
c. Division of responsibilities within marriage improves the career-and-income performance of men.

I think the Mormons might have some solutions to number 5.

+2 wives

4. Beware of the belief that you are living in the most influential generation ever. Just about every generation ever has believed that. For the last 2000 years, Christian preachers have been claiming that the second coming is just around the corner, and proving it with biblical references. Muslim preachers do the same with the return of the Mahdi. Every environmental group stresses how the decisions that we make in the next 10 years will determine the future irrevocably, and have been doing so since the Green movement began.

In other words, this is not new. It is called millenialism. Every religion and most social movements talk about an apocalypse, one that is coming at some indeterminate point in the future, but soon, very soon. There is something innate in humanity that finds the drama of an impending apocalypse irresistible. There is a never ending source of preachers, proselytizers, and cultural entrepreneurs of all sorts who will forever be coming up with reasons why the end is nigh, and why we must act to avoid (or welcome) the coming apocalypse. That's what humanity does.

#5. The inescapable policy implications are to raise earnings for men preferentially over women. And under no circumstances increase immigration of racial and ethnic minorities.

Naturally, we will do the opposite. But that's ok-- a low population increase and price deflation are only imaginary problems used to justify destructive policies.

Why should the religion and ethnicity of immigrants matter in equations of labor market supply and demand?

1. I thought that was a topic.

It has a surprising amount of life left in it.

Kanye was way ahead of these researchers.

"Now, I ain't sayin' she a gold digger
But she ain't messin' with no broke niggas"

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