Wednesday, October 17, 2018

J.K. Galbraith on Migration

"Migration is the oldest action against poverty. It selects those who most want help. It is good for the country to which they go;it helps break the equilibrium of poverty in the country from which they come. What is the perversity in the human soul that causes  people to resist so obvious a good?" J.K. Galbraith

Friday, October 12, 2018

Glenn Loury on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)

Glenn Loury (this guy should be famous) does a great job here of being unbiased not on AGW. It is worth listening to but the discussion was excessively negative because they ignored a few things...

1. Nuclear power, that is fusion nuclear more of non fossil fuel power is from nuclear.

“56 percent of France's installed generating capacity -- 63 GW out of 112 GW -- is nuclear-based. 78 percent of the electricity generated in France -- 419 TWh out of 537 TWh -- is nuclear power.”

2. There are ways to remove co2 from the air and keep it out for hundreds or thousands of years. For example enhanced weathering, deep ocean iron fertilization and biochar, even if those do not work there are other ways. Considering that you could pay out the proceeds for removal of co2 from the air you could fly around and on fossil fuel AND we could reach an equilibrium where the amount of co2 going into the air is equal to the amount going into the air. AND IT MIGHT NOT BE VERY EXPENSIVE, like maybe as low as $100/ton (which comes out to about $1/gallon).

3. Geoengineering which might be even cheaper than the above abatement or removal of CO2 from the air. See here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Concerning What was Conservative Just a Few Years Ago.

Concerning what was conservative just a few years ago.

Trumpty Dumpty promised a wall
Trumpty Dumpty reneged it all
All what was conservative then
is not conservative now.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Are American corporate profits really so high?

The debate among economists on corporate profits rages on.  Are they real up relative to wages or not. The first link it Tyler Cowen on the same, and the 2nd link is a search of the subject on Marginal Revolution.


Are American corporate profits really so high?

More on the same.

What does Spain Tell Us about Crime

I vacationed in Spain recently. People warned us of the crime so I looked a could of stats. Spain has a very low rate of crime. 

Spain's murder rate is second lowest in the EU, data shows

Spain Unemployment Rate is at 16.55%, compared to 16.38% last quarter and 18.63% last year.

The gap between the rich and poor of Spain has widened during the economic crisis, a new report on income inequality has confirmed. 

The causes of crime are not what most people think they are. It is not poverty nor relative poverty. I have a suspicion though that what causes crime causes relative poverty.

Alcohol abuse appears to me to cause crime and relative poverty.

Alchohol and Child Abuse

Maltreatment of girls and adolescent pregnancy in the US  by Bill Gardner

The US National Academy of Sciences reports on US health in a global perspective and the news is bad. Citizens of peer nations live longer than Americans do, and the difference is growing, especially for women. The report notes nine health domains where the US falls short. I’m going to highlight two domains that are critical to child health: Injuries and Homicides and Adolescent pregnancy. These two domains are connected in a distressing way.

It interests me that Italy shows up as so low on the chart above. It makes me think that the biggest problem is alcoholism. The rate of alcoholism is very low in Italy. Interestingly Japan has one of the lowest overall rates of crime in the world where Italy is close to the middle of the pack of developed countries in crime but the rate of Maltreatment death is more than double in Japan what it is in Italy (at least on that chart).

(Here is a great post by Tyler Cowen on the subject of alcohol. ) So the question is what can we do to reduce the overuse of alcohol. It is important that we diagnose the problem correctly. I wonder if we have good studies on the relationship of alcohol use to abuse.

Middle Class Decline?

Many people are talking about a decline in the middle class. I think they are wrong. I think that the middle class is as solid as it has ever been. Median real wages have continued to rise, though slower than in 1950-1975, as have wages at the 20 percentile.

But what I agree has happened is NIMBY has driven up housing costs in the highest wage cities to an absurd degree, allowing owners of existing housing to capture most the rise in income in those cities.

Also at it's 1970's peak about 18% of USA workers worked in manufacturing and a little more than half of them were highly paid. Those jobs are almost all gone. But though highly paid, those where not great jobs, it was boring, hard work. So as sad as it is that they are gone the lower paying jobs that replaced them at least are not as hard. When I worked in restaurants we joked that the one good thing about a low wage job is you did not care so much if you lost the job but the environment was good.

If you took all the income gains to the top 20% above the gains of the rest and spread it over the rest of workers you would raise the bottom 20% by about 25%.  That would be great but not life changing.

My son took a job as an assistant plumber right out of high school within a few years he was doing great pay wise, so the skilled trades still doing quite well. He bought a very nice 2 bedroom condominium here for $44k. He lived with us 2 years and saved his money and added some college money that he got from my father and paid cash for the condo. Why is so cheap here in Gainesville FL to buy a nice condo, because they let people build sufficient housing unites here in Gainesville FL. See here

We could all live much better than folks in the 1970's and before if we lived more like they did. Here is a story about the poorest county in the USA the folks there live middle class similar how people used to live.