Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Living on a Lower Median Income

A commenter said wives can no longer afford to not work a job in the taxed economy.

My reply:

The median income will always afford the median home.

If every wife worked for in home consumption rather than in the taxed economy the median home might be smaller and the median meal have a little less meat or fish and the median air conditioner be set a little higher in summer and heat lower in winter, median shoes a little cheaper, and people would eat out a little less but we could certainly afford it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Drug laws and Prison Populations

People are often over or underestimate the impacts of drug laws on incarceration rates. 

Here are the number: "Among sentenced prisoners under State jurisdiction in 2008, 18 percent were sentenced for drug offences and only 6 percent were incarcerated for drug possession alone."

Here is 538 on the same: "Releasing Drug Offenders Won’t End Mass Incarceration"

Here are some Federal Bureau of Prisons statistics.

Nevertheless reducing state prison populations by 18% and federal prison populations by about 50% would be a big improvement. Also some crime is due to the high price of drugs that would be very cheap if they were legal.

I also think our sentences are too long for most other crimes. Restitution should be used for property crime, home imprisonment with ankle bracelets and supervision should used for those who committed violent crimes but are low risk to commit again (an argument can even be made for more corporal punishment over prison see here: http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/06/in-favor-of-flogging.html). Long sentences are not a good replacement for good enforcement and are expensive.

Again I would completely legalize all drugs and enable the sale of medicine (except antibiotics for which I would require a prescription and/or a test to get.) with out requiring a prescription.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What I expect Parents would Demand from Schools if they were not Run by Government

Expecting parents and students to select the schools that provide the Best Educations through a voucher program is like expecting food stamp recipients to use free market judgement to select the healthiest food in the supermarket.

I am against vouchers because but I do think we should experiment charging he non-poor for each child that they put in Government schools based on their income but..

I would expect parents to select schools that serve their wants most. Like:

1. School that are open 7:00 am-6:00 pm for daycare before and after classes.
2. Schools open in the summer.
3. Schools that handle most problems on site without calls to parents.
4. Schools that do not charge too much. (IMHO we in the USA spend way to much on schooling.)
5. Schools that teach what the parents want on religious issues like evolution.
6. Sports.
7. An middling education. (In Korea children go to school from 8:00 am to 10: pm, we are not that schooling crazy in the USA.) Schooling adds less that most people think.
This would be good.

Also it is a wonder that private schools flunk anyone at all but they do.

The Stationary Bandit Model of Government

KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON has an article at the link were he discusses the stationary bandit model of Government.
The Public Sector: Standing in Our Way until We Pay Up

To me it looks like Government in most of the developed countries conform pretty well to the stationary bandit model, with the bandits being the median voter, but with lots of scams mixed in by which the median voter is scammed by the politicians.

The median voter is like the mob demanding things, but the politicians are like corrupt accountants messing with the books to hide what is really going on. Intelligent, high SES Democrats are happy with the Politicians scamming the people (things like hidden matching FICA) because they think it is for the good. They think what the voters do not know allows for more charity for the poor (the average US citizen thinks he pays into SS and that everyone gets out of SS in direct potion to what they pay in, even though the low earners get more that double high earners per dollar they were taxed). Intelligent Republicans do not like it so much but know fighting it too much is a losing proposition.

Retire Earlier Die Earlier?

Surprisingly people seem to die earlier when they retire earlier (link below) and this seems especially true for blue collar workers. This weakens the argument that waiting longer to retire is very hard on the blue collar workers.