Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quotes of the day

I finally watched “Inside Job” this weekend. It was an excellent documentary for people who don’t want to understand the financial crisis but want to believe they would’ve seen it coming. Watching it, you’d think that the only people who missed the meltdown were corrupt fools, and the way to spot the next one is to have fewer corrupt fools. But that’s not true. Worse, it’s dangerously untrue. In telling the wrong story about how the financial crisis happened, it misinforms about how to keep it from happening again.  ... it is clear that our key systems are going to continue growing more complex, and we’re not getting any smarter, or any less able to ignore risks that we know we should be preparing for. “Inside Job” may have missed that story, but the rest of us can’t afford to.--Ezra Klein

While the NYTimes likes to put scare quotes around 'property rights' when discussing eminent domain as if it's some newfangled right wing obsession, the following following psychology experiment suggests it's human nature.--Eric Falkenstein

Apparently soaps and reality shows attract similar viewers—they appear to be substitutes for the average consumer. As with any new product that is hot, its substitutes suffer when it enters the market. As the World Turns and Guiding Light have given way to such pathetic substitutes as The Apprentice and Let’s Make a Deal.--Daniel Hamermesh

By increasing the demand for lower-wage non-unionized workers while decreasing the demand for higher-wage unionized workers, the difference between the annual incomes of each of these groups of workers shrinks.  Incomes in America thereby become less ‘unequal.’--Don Boudreaux

The way I see it, the main difference between a business entrepreneurship and policy entrepreneurship is that if things do not work out as planned, the policy entrepreneur is insulated from the adverse consequences. For me, that difference does not work in favor policy entrepreneurship.--Arnold Kling

During the Bush presidency, which ended on Jan. 20, 2009 with the inauguration of President Obama, U.S. troops were present in Afghanistan for 87.4 months and suffered 570 casualties—a rate of 6.5 deaths per month.  During the Obama presidency, through today, U.S. troops have been present in Afghanistan for 29.1 months and have suffered 970 casualties—a rate of 33.3 deaths per month.--Edwin Mora
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