The reader requests of Celestus

I’ll break this into parts, and put my answer after each query:

1) I’m a remote worker. Why should I live in a city? Heck, why should I live in a suburb, or anywhere that has a state income tax? Even if I want “city amenities” why bother with NYC or SF or anywhere else that is built around the local job market? Why don’t I live in Puerto Rico and skirt income tax entirely?

You live in a city for culture, for sex, and to marry well.  If those don’t apply to you, don’t live in a city.  And your state income tax probably does not lower your level of happiness, so for most people it should not be a major factor in their location decisions.  Puerto Rico has seen population outflow for a long time, what is that telling you?  Or do you love mofongos?  I would have a hard time making friends there, though I love the place and have visited twice, and hope to go again.  (Did you see the museum in Ponce is closed right now?  It has excellent pre-Raphaelite works.)

2) Why is it so hard for non-US countries to develop a tech industry?

The best entrepreneurs so often want to come to the U.S., and can.  Venture capital as a financial center also tends to be relatively centralized, as are many other financial centers, and that pushes some centralization onto tech itself, though less and less in this age of work from a distance.  That said, I challenge the premise of this question.  There are plenty of start-up scenes around the world, and most of them are growing.  I don’t see an obvious end to that process in sight.

3) If, tomorrow, we get a breaking news alert that an epidemic of a previously unknown disease is spreading in, say, Gabon, how should the federal government- before it gets any other information about spread, severity, etc- react?

The federal government needs to ban travel from Gabon.  I am far from sure this will prove effective, but it is the kind of security theater you need for the rest of the public health response not to get too caught up with recriminations over this issue.  There are some (possible) stupidities you simply need to tolerate.

4) Seriously, why a University of Austin and not “Socrates Institutes” or whatever at established universities?

Established universities already are dominated by a particular set of interest groups and incentives.  Let’s try something new!  That said, I am all in favor of innovating within established universities too, and have made various efforts in that direction myself.  New universities were common in the American past, why should we be running away from them now?

5) Content creator economy discussion. For example in the long run who will have higher mean/median earnings on Twitch, men or women? Will people with college degrees have higher earnings (and if so will it be causal, or just because people with degrees happen to be more conscientious or whatever)?

The very highest earners will be men with college degrees, but with a very long second-tier tail of women earning lots.

6) Seems like a lot of people are claiming that immigration is a solution for low fertility rates. So why doesn’t the US go all the way and set a target of 75% of immigrants being young unmarried women and buy them a account?

“A good start,” but since single-parent families usually are suboptimal, we should import the men to marry them as well.



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