Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quotes of the day

Are the naughties the best decade ever?--Tyler Cowen

... mindless trend extrapolation is bad, bad, economics. The fact that we only saw cost-shifting of 21 cents on the dollar ten years ago does not mean that we can continue getting those sorts of results ad infinitum. That's why it's pretty easy to get a 5% discount in a jewelry store, and pretty hard to get an 80% discount. The larger a percentage of Medicare recipients in the patient mix, the higher the percentage of costs that hospitals will have to shift, because it will become harder and harder to make matching cuts.--Megan McArdle

For reform advocates, this is not good news. At 40% approval, it probably passes. At 30% approval--what Social Security reform enjoyed by the time it imploded--it's not going to no matter how the Senate massages their plan. Democrats cannot pass a bill this large on a straight party line vote if the only people in the country who want it are Democrats.--Megan McArdle

Great Britain's minister of economics and finance announced today that the government intends to levy a heavy tax on banker bonuses. ... So who's the real winner from this move? New York City. Even though the British government claims that this tax is a one-time event, bankers there will not soon forget when the government cut their bonuses by 50%. After all, if the government did this once, it could do it again. Any Americans who thought it sounded like a good idea to work in London instead of New York must be questioning their logic. I'll be interested to see what kind of brain drain this causes in London.--Daniel Indiviglio

Earlier this week DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, moored ten, 8 ft red, weather balloons in undisclosed locations across the United States. The DARPA Network Challenge offered a prize of $40,000 to the person or group who first identified all the locations.--Alex Tabarrok

Copenhagen: 1,200 Limos, 5 Hybrids, 140 Private Jets, and CO2 Equal to Alexandria VA (41,000 tons)--Mark Perry

... due to complex female sexuality, the man is supposed to accept the sex part of the deal fluctuating from day to day and year to year for unknown and unexplained reasons.--Robin Hanson

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