Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quotes of the day

I always point out that Michael Palin is very miffed that he is no longer the funniest Palin.--John Cleese

I know this call may be a little unusual. You and I have been trying to kill each other for years.--Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on the phone with Dick Fuld

There's something in us that needs to believe that awful things must happen for a reason. And in some cosmic sense, they do--there are no uncaused causes running around the universe. But that doesn't mean that the reason they happened is that the person they happened to did something to deserve it.--Megan McArdle

In a Keynesian recession, you are temporarily laid off because of excess inventories and deficient aggregate demand. You wait to be recalled by your firm. This was true of recessions from the end of the second World War through the 1980 recession. Even the 1975 recession, which was a "supply shock" (higher oil prices, requiring some permanent readjustments), had a relatively low share of permanent job losses. In a Recalculation, you permanently lose your job and you have to find something else. The Recalculation model increasingly holds as we move away from an economy dominated by manufacturing.--Arnold Kling

If you look at your greatest nightmare—if something were to happen that would make you feel you had no reason to live—that's a god.--Tim Keller

Social customs define what’s taboo. Therefore, saying taboo language is uniformly sinful implies that our social customs uniformly align with God’s will.--Abraham Piper

Donors and recipients agree: Money flows from old to young. According to donors, parent-->child giving is almost ten times as big as child-->parent giving. According to recipients, parent-->child giving is over twenty five times as big as child--> parent giving.--Bryan Caplan

You're forgetting about Social Security and Medicare.--Devin Finbarr

If the issue is theirs, forgive, coach, and appropriately reposition. If the issue is yours, own it, and convert it into wisdom. Either way, you get better with every failure. And that’s a success.--Steven Furtick

As the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group’s critics--Robert Bernstein

Yes, we have to factor in the ”unknown unknowns” but that is true for anything we now do. We don’t really even know for sure what would happened without carbon abatement. It is even possible that those “climate cooling Cassandras” of the 1970s were fundamentally right. Perhaps if we remove the excess carbon we’ll slide right into an Ice Age. --Scott Sumner

Even though the logic of the temperature tax/subsidy is even stronger than second-best policies like carbon taxes, and even though the environmental movement strongly supports carbon taxes, I predict they will oppose this idea. I believe that many in the environmental movement are not utilitarians, and will be able to sleep at night putting a pristine environment ahead of the welfare of 2 billion rural Asians struggling to escape the grinding poverty of the countryside.--Scott Sumner

The new Rogoff and Reinhart book says that the four most dangerous words in finance are "This time is different." When investors start to think that "this time is different," they are ready to participate in a dangerous bubble. Perhaps the fallacy of "This time is different" also applies to regulatory reform. It may be dangerous to think that with a new round of regulatory reform we are going to see different results from past regulatory reforms.--Arnold Kling

Those who witnessed Japan's spectacular rise and fall in the 1980s should get a familiar feeling watching China these days.--Michael Auslin

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