Tag Archives: economics

Why Athens Burns: Waiting For The Germans To Put It Out


I found a story in The Economist about how experiments in psychology may be flawed because of their overreliance on white college students, usually Americans; and it described an experiment repeated in different cultures, finding very different results.
Thing is, I already knew that psychology experiments are catastrophically flawed to the point of… Read the rest

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Guess what happens next

Quoting:
“ECONOMIC depression and political radicalism go hand in hand. When economic distress reaches a certain point, the individual citizen no longer uses his political power to serve the public, but only to help himself. His ideal of political liberty pales before his ideal of economic equality.“

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , | 21 Comments

#OccupyWallStreet, or Get a Job on Wall Street?

Signs in the windows of the Chicago Board of Trade read “We are the 1%.”
More on that sign in a minute.
An offshoot of the so-far ineffectual Occupy Wall Street movement is the trend of the poorest 99% of Americans sharing their personal tragedies with the world through the internet meme We Are The 99%.
Some quick… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

There are no Americans in Baghdad

“Please tell me everything is going to be all right”
The dollar is hitting all-time lows. Serious inflation of nearly every commodity has taken place in the past three years. Gold is hitting all time highs. The national debt in the US is higher than it has ever been, and it continues to rise. The markets have not seen… Read the rest

Posted on by claudius | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Framing Deficit Debates

The United States is in debt and running a deficit. Two parties frame the situation differently to define their solutions as correct and hide their subjectivity.
Democrats frame a deficit problem as “Spending more than we take in” – or if in a particularly taxing mood “Taking in less than we spend.” The logical solution is to raise taxes,… Read the rest

Posted on by xiphoidmaneuver | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Warren Buffett wants to be taxed on this, so you won’t tax him on that.

Warren Buffett wants us to stop coddling the super-rich. He argues for superlatively higher taxes on those with incomes greater than $1 million a year.

Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal

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Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

“Medium chill” is maximum wrong.

Add this to the ever-growing list of incredibly bad ideas. The article proposes a way of life called “the medium chill.” Medium chill is a lifestyle in which once you decide that you’ll never win the rat race, never get all the best stuff or even more than your neighbors, then there is no point in working hard,… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 41 Comments

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8: No titles of nobility?

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution – No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States.
And no title is. Directly. But it does seem obvious that a social class exists in America that equates to nobility, and this class is sanctioned by the state. To be noble is essentially to be… Read the rest

Posted on by change | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

The Things We Do With Language

Before we begin this journey together, I will warn you that most of what I’m about to do is pretty standard close reading. There’s nothing groundbreaking here.
On June 24, the EU finished up a two-day summit in which its leaders met do discuss and decide on some pretty important things, like the unimaginable mess that is Greece, the… Read the rest

Posted on by ginghamcloud | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lies, Charts, and Statistics

Some pretty damning charts from the Center for American Progress show that Americans are relatively undertaxed compared to other countries.
The usual tricks are on display here, such as setting the axes such that a small differences appear to involve precipitous drops, etc. But what interests me much more about these debates is the comparison of countries.
Why would… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

If I wouldn’t want my daughter to do it, then I don’t mind passing a law against it!

Or “How people on opposite sides of an issue can all be simultaneously wrong.”
Part 1: The First Part
Stephen Levitt of Freakonomics fame wrote:

It wasn’t until the U.S. government’s crackdown on internet poker last week that I came to realize that the primary determinant of where I stand with respect to government interference in activities comes

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Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Why are all female characters in pop culture cliches?

Why are all female characters in pop culture are cliches?

Smurfette, the seductress, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the overweight friend as surrogate mom, the patient nurse, the frumpy friend, and the superficial high maintenance hottie. We all know the tropes, and deconstructing them is easy pickings.
And that’s precisely why it is pointless to do so without understanding why they persist in the face of such criticism.
Anita… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , | 68 Comments

Osama bin Laden is dead. Now what?

The reason the war in Afghanistan started.

By now everyone has heard the news: US military forces killed Osama bin Laden and buried his body at sea.
People are celebrating, and rightly or wrongly giving the President credit. By why does it matter?
 
Why does bin Laden’s killing matter? Operationally, it doesn’t at all–he wasn’t any kind of a tactical or strategic mastermind and… Read the rest

Posted on by Pastabagel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Academically Adrift in the Free Market

William Pannapacker writes a two-part article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (Part 1 Part 2) in response to the recent book Academically Adrift by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. According to Pannapacker, Arum and Roska find that “at least 45 percent of undergraduates demonstrated ‘no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills in the… Read the rest

Posted on by vprime | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

8 Reasons To Hate Rich People

The personal finance magazine Kiplinger’s– which usually contains stories like “Ten Hilarious Tax Deductions” and “How To Get A Bond Fund Out Of Her Clothes” goes off the path to offer “8 Outrageous Executive Perks.”
It’s a traffic getter, I’ll admit– and when it gets featured on the front page of Yahoo it affords 2135 people the opportunity… Read the rest

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Physics Envy May Be Hazardous To Your Health– And Economy

A previously empty bucket.  A man has filled that bucket only 50 red balls and 50 black balls (but you can’t see inside as you are picking.)  Choose a color, red or black; now reach in to pull out a ball.  If the ball you pick matches the color you chose, you win $10000.
1. Which color should you… Read the rest

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

This Is Where We’re Headed

The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What

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