Friday assorted links


#4 Shhhhhh. No one tell Greta!

#5 "You can put your trust in God, but everyone else, bring data." You could and they did say the same thing about Albert Pujols.

#6 ...But it fit/s a narrative that by default is designed to make high-earners out to be boogiemen, especially headed into another contentious election cycle. It has served it's fake and ill-intended purpose.

#6 - First thing we do let's kill all the statisticians.

Thank you for 7 years of fun you were one of my inspirations.

#5 Poor Melo. Another soul ruined by the Knicks.

#4 Oh jeeze, another opportunity to roll out the warmunist dogma. Boring.

WaPo normally has a paywall on content...not this one though...propaganda is FREEEE!!

The article states that Qatar's temperature has risen 2.0 C since pre-industrial times compared to the world mean increase of about 1.0 C. That's because Qatar is a city that had a population of 47,000 in 1960 and 2.3 million today. Of course there will be a noticeable temperature rise.

Yet another post about tax incidents. All without a mention of the US having the least progressive tax structure in the OECD due to tax evasion.

You write that as if it were a bad thing.

It's mostly tax avoidance - employing the Internal Revenue Code to minimize tax liabilities. Tax evasion (say, not reporting income or inflating expenses/deductions) is a crime.

Does anyone have a numerical read on the amounts of taxes are evaded in the "cash economy?"

Taxes are complicated - far too intricate for the minimal intellectual faculties of the typical economist.

I'd guess the cash economy makes the system more progressive. You can only get so far without being monitored by the Feds, even with cash. It's not your lawyer or accountant who's going to give you a cash discount.

Clearly, you are math-challenged.

Seriously? You can't spot the troll?

When it's nonsense it might be intended as such.

Like the commenter that called "tax incidence" "tax incidents" . . .

I come here to validate my theory that the typical economist is a wannabe CPA that rated a C- in Accounting 101 and defaulted to econ. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

That was the best part of the troll, tbh.

I apologize.

Now, what are you guys not noticing?

On 5 November 2008 at 4:04 GMT, HRH Queen Elizabeth asked a gathering of economists as she opened the London School of Economics' £71 million New Academic Building, "Why did nobody notice it?" "It" being the years' long run-up to the 2008 credit crisis/worldwide financial catastrophe.

Just trolling. It's Miller Time.

Indeed, why didn't they notice it?

Note they were getting a £71 million New Academic Building.

At that price, they should notice it.

Warren Buffet did.

What Math, Mac?

The real truth about our American regime:

7. Charles Murray paints a bullseye on his back again.

Someone's gotta do it.

It's going to be fun to watch. I'll make the popcorn.

If nothing else, he annoys the right people. I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

He gets a lotta credit from me for annoying the right people.

It's like watching a sitcom.

Btw, did you see the video of the extinction rebellion clowns getting the sh*t kicked out of the by the London commuters? My finger hurts from hitting replay.

Thank you, Mr. The Butcher, for the update on nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, and the update on solar cycles. Your invitation to next year's science fair is in the mail.

Looks like he's going all in on this one.

Charles Murray is already a pariah, and at this point even a full-scale, public conversion to Woke would not bring redemption. Even if the Church of Woke offered redemption, which it does not.

So, what's he got to lose?

I don't dismiss the opinions or the research of someone just because they are a "Never Trumper".

BTW, tell your wife I can't make it tonight - I'm going to be "tutoring" your sister.

This seems like an awful lot of debate just to decide whether the top 0.01% pay a slightly-lower or slightly-higher tax rate than the bottom 50%.

It's a dirty job. Somebody had to do it.

The true intent, as always, is to implement further taxes to siphon money and control from the middle.

Racial slurs against the probable nominee and future president.

Stay classy, Trumpistas.

Ancient Chinese adage, "A liar is not believed even when telling the truth."

Warren is the racist. She and the other racists constantly attack Obama's signature legacy - ACA. It has to be racism - you told us that for eight years. Racism has to be behind her rabid push to fix the [bogus] health care crisis five years after black magic man Obama saved US ALL with his miraculous, single-party health care omnibus which you all constantly tell us everybody loves and is working yugely well?

She can't say how she would pay (huge tax hikes) for free everything and she lied about being a Indian and being fired b/c she was (God knows how?) pregnant.

Trump 2020!

Thank you for sorting this all out, Mr. The Butcher. Your ability to gopher into the truth and then explain it with grace is not short of astounding. Another gold star on your chart. You da man.

Why the obsession with ranking things when judgments are subjective? And why limit it to the United States? Why not the English-speaking world? (NB, limiting it to the US excludes from consideration V.S. Naipaul, Derek Wolcott, Robertson Davies, and Mordechai Richler).

1 - The list is missing Infinite Jest, me thinks.

The list is a joke.

What's no joke is that there have been so many great American novels published over the past 50 years, any sort of ranking is not helpful to readers looking for something good to read.

I'd give readers an unranked list of the best 1500 novels of the past half century, and invite them to dip into it anywhere, and enjoy.

There are a LOT of good novelists out there. What we need more of are gatekeepers to filter the ocean of bad novels making a play for our consciousnesses through the many means of self-publishing now available.

I'd like to see that list.

4. Qatar has begun to air-condition the outdoors.

Ha, try that in the Southern US. Talk about rising sea levels. Condensate rivers to the sea.

#7 Murray has balls of steel. I guess he figured he didn't need to visit a college campus anymore for the rest of his life.

Well, he is 76.

7. Is Murray making a career (and selling books) by insulting people, just the right people? In this book he praises "diversity", the diversity of stupid people and smart people. As for the stupid people, he knows who they are. I know lots of smart people who are stupid, and lots of stupid people who are smart.

Taleb said something similar recently:

"The fastest way to become rich is to socialize with the poor; the fasted way to become poor is to socialize with the rich."

People insisted on taking him literally rather than seriously.

He sure is a monster for advocating for smarter welfare, to include a UBI for African Americans. He must be a super racist, big brain style, to try to push direct help while trusting his most hated people to make their own personal decisions about their own money. I think Mein Kampf has a chapter about UBI for the Jewish population.

Taleb? That explains a lot. Too much.

You might have missed two jokes.

4. Qatar has found new ways to waste money.

7. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the public reaction will not be favorable.

You misspelled “media” when you typed “public”.

Fuck the media.

#6 if FICA and matching FICA are taxes on employees then Social Security is one messed up welfare (welfare=Government charity) program!
If you worried about taxes not being progressive enough, the obvious solution would be to roll FICA into the income tax smooth out the dip where it tops out and pay the same amount out to all retirees.

Steve Hsu asked Tyler about productivity:

Cowen: "Economists have a few different ways of calculating productivity growth but by the method I take as the most reliable, {I don't see why Tyler doesn't just say which method, but he has preferred total factor productivity over labor productivity in the past} earlier in the 20th century you typically had productivity of 2 to 3 percent, quite commonly, say in the 1920s and even in the 1930s, and that's an era when all of America was completely transformed..."

Robert Gordon states total factor productivity was:

1930s...1.7% (where is the 2% and 3%?)

Cowen: "From 1973, the productivity growth rate (TFP) is typically 1 percent or even a bit lower than that."


So the 1920s and 1930s were higher but didn't reach 2% or 3%

I'm not sure where Tyler is getting his total factor productivity data from but if it is Robert Gordon's bar graph in the link below, he may be misreading it. The bar for "1920" is the average TFP for the ten preceding years - not an average of the TFP of the 1920s.

#2...Matt Rognlie
April 10, 2014 at 2:47 am
What does this all mean for the Piketty's central points Unless I'm missing something, the formal apparatus in Piketty's book simply is not capable of generating the results he touts. There are two very simple issues that break it quantitatively - first, the distinction between elasticities of substitution in the gross and net production functions; and second, the fact that as g falls, an extraordinarily high elasticity of substitution is necessary to prevent r from falling along with it and actually compressing the arithmetic gap between r and g. Perhaps there are modifications to the framework that can redeem it, but as it currently stands I'm baffled."

Donald Pretari
April 10, 2014 at 3:12 am
"Thank you, Matt. I haven't finished the book, but your points sound
interesting, even if a bit of rough going in my case."

I'm wondering if this is the post you were referring to in the interview. I remember thinking that, of all the responses surrounding the book, his comment actually seemed to understand and address the thesis, and I can't even guess how many responses I'd read then, but it was around a hundred.

#7...Over the past couple of years, I've read "Blueprint" by Robert Plomin, and "Innate" by Kevin Mitchell. Has Charles Murray contributed any research on this topic? I highly recommend both books for general readers such as myself.

The fundamental thesis of Murray's book seem mistaken.

The Amazon blurb says:
The thesis of Human Diversity is that advances in genetics and neuroscience are overthrowing an intellectual orthodoxy that has ruled the social sciences for decades. The core of the orthodoxy consists of three dogmas: gender is a social construct, race is a social construct, class is a function of privilege.
The problem is that all three dogmas are half-truths

No, the "orthodoxy" IS that these are partial truths. Therefore, it is not mistaken to make policy on the basis that to some extent gender is a social construct, race is a social construct, class is a function of privilege.

It all depends on how partial the truth is and how much it is used as a base for policy.

If "gender is a social construct" is 10% true and it's assumed 90% true for policy, that's a problem. A big problem.

My gut feeling is that each of those statements is assumed to be more than 50% true but each is less than 50% true. If Murray's book pulls policy closer to reality, it will serve a useful purpose.

Why is there such a long time between submission of a manuscript and sale to the general public? Manuscripts are now submitted as an electronic file. They are edited as electronic files. They are turned into pages as electronic files and printed as electronic files. There are no typesetters pulling letters from a case and fitting them into a page block.

Several weeks (months?) ago this book was finished enough to be read by some specially selected reviewers who provided blurbs that can be seen on the amazon page. Yet ordinary people won't be able to read it for at least another three months.

Am I the only person bothered by this?

I suppose publishers might sometimes hold back a book for some specific time or event, or just to build more buzz. Like movie studios target a specific weekend far in advance. But generally, yeah, what's the holdup?

In a similar vein I was astounded at how long it was going to take before we can get an English translation of Houellebecq's latest novel. I know it's a nuanced art, but you'd think they'd get a translator on the job almost right from the start.

#4: I'm reminded of Colin Kapp's great novelette "The Subways of Tazoo" where (spoiler alert) an alien race in order to survive ended up destroying the ecosystem that was keeping them alive. This idea is familiar now with examples from Easter Island to global warming but Kapp was writing in 1964.

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