Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Bang for the Effort in Education

A Review of “The Case Against Education”

I think that I have a better way to put Bryan Caplan's hypothesis here it is:

  • My grandfather went to school for 1 years. He successfully ran a barber shop and speculated in real-estate (though he lost most of it in the great depression). He could read, write and do arithmetic, so it looks like the marginal value of an addition year of education falls off fast. 
  • Did you ever notice that people like Bernie Sanders seldom talk about ways of educating at lower cost?
  • Did you ever notice that we talk a lot about more about how to teach students more but little about what knowledge and skills will yield the most bang for the effort?
 From the review:

So what do we actually do in these courses? Push through hard problems, endure boredom, write, follow instructions, coordinate and communicate. Those are all job-relevant.

Would we learn those better another way like working or playing or while learning useful skills/knowledge? And BTW Bryan does address that saying you could learn that better working a job.

Friday, November 9, 2018

CO2 tax Fails in Highly Demoratic Washinton State

And one striking result from Tuesday’s election is that voters in Washington state, a Democratic stronghold, soundly rejected a proposed carbon tax by a margin of 56 to 44 percent. This raises the prospect that the carbon tax may be dead as a policy for the time being, including at the state level. As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Liam Denning writes: “We can debate the magnitude of the vaunted blue wave, but there was definitely no green wave.”

It seems that each Democrat only wants to tax people who are richer than them. I democrat who makes the enormous sum of $150,000/year only wants to tax people make $200,000/year or more.

Republicans on the other hand only want to tax those who make less them (i'm just kidding), or a per person tax. One of my GOP friends actually says now and then, that the only fair tax  is a per person tax.

So politicians have become masters at hiding taxes and showing benefits. For example CAFE standards are not seen as a tax but cost 6x as much per unit of CO2 saved than a CO2 tax. See:
I and other scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimate that the new standards will cost the economy on the whole — for the same reduction in gas use — at least six times more than a federal gas tax of roughly 45 cents per dollar of gasoline. That is because a gas tax provides immediate, direct incentives for drivers to reduce gasoline use, while the efficiency standards must squeeze the reduction out of new vehicles only. The new standards also encourage more driving, not less.

Nevertheless, it is hard to address a problem before harm is obvious, especially by raising taxes.

AGW doesn't scare me because the solutions seem adequate to the problem and when the harms get obvious it will be addressed and I would bet that solution will not be too costly.
Solar, wind, batteries and nuclear basic research is mostly done, we'll need businesses to reduce costs incrementally and that look promising. I think nuclear, along with solar might be a very good way to reduce emissions in the developed countries and India and china?

But I think removal from the air might turn out to be less costly than abatement and it can be done latter. (Enhanced weathering, deep ocean iron fertilization and biochar might have potential.)