Friday, January 14, 2011

Quotes of the day

... when I think of New York city abstractly, I think of a city that doesn't work. Taxes are high, there are too many crowds, people are pushy and unfriendly, etc. Then, when I actually experience New York, I see how well it works. People are trying to give me what I want, at a fairly low price. The immigrants I run into--and there have been many over the last two days--don't seem to have come here for welfare but for opportunity to get wealthier. And people are friendly. Why are people friendly? Partly because I love people and I'm friendly to them. But also partly because they are paid to be friendly; they do better by being friendly to customers. As I laid out in The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey, markets create virtue. Part of virtue is simple friendliness and helpfulness.  I remember talking with my friend, the late Roy Childs, on a 1988 visit to New York, about how well New York works, even with all the big government institutions around. The metaphor he came up with is that government is not a cancer; it's more like a leech. It sucks blood but there's still a lot of blood left.--David Henderson

The Fed bloated its balance sheet by $2.3 trillion to allegedly create 3.5 million jobs. My math suggests it takes $657,142.86 in balance sheet additions to create a single job.--Michael Shedlock

With the "sunset" of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, gun control groups predicted murder would soar. The opposite happened. Re-instituting parts of the ban limiting clip size won’t lower crime. No research by criminologists or economists found that the ban or clip size restrictions reduced crime. Clips are easily made small metal boxes. The benefits of not exchanging the clips is true for law-abiding citizens, police and criminals. If only criminals get the larger clips, they have an advantage.--John Lott

My simple yoga plan had turned into a shopping experience. Regular readers of this blog know that for me, shopping feels like being beaten to death with a salted porcupine. This was bad. This was very bad. I suggested that we randomly select one of the classes and just see what happens. But this, my friends, is not how shopping is done. First you read each of the descriptions then you read them again. Then you read them aloud. Then you discuss. Then you narrow it down to two. Then you forget what the other three were, and wonder if maybe they were better than the two you had first selected, so you start over. Halfway through this process, my tension could have powered a Chevy Volt. I was red and vibrating. I wasn't getting any of my cartooning work done, we would be late for the Apple Genius Bar, and I was shopping in my own home.--Scott Adams

In short, heteroscedasticity makes you hot.--Alex Tabarrok

Xiao-Li Meng told me once that in China they didn't teach Bayesian statistics because the idea of a prior distribution was contrary to Communism (since the "prior" represented the overthrown traditions, I suppose).--Andrew Gelman

I grant that Foucault takes his own method too far in the anti-individualist direction, as did Hegel.--Tyler Cowen

Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski … or, as they'll be known when we combine them in my fantasy league next year, Aarob Gronkandez. Any time you can team up Gronkandez and Ben-Danvis Greenwood-Ellishead, you have something special.--Bill Simmons

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