Money, Wealth, and Happiness
I love the question. I was first introduced to it by Tibor Scitovsky's classic, The Joyless Economy.
Please. No comments about my not being a rational maximizer.
Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common:
Both dwell on foregone opportunities
C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca
This story reminds me of the all-time classic movie, Johnny Dangerously.
WASHINGTON - You're an Ashcroft! No, you're the Ashcroft!
Imagine hearing that exchange in a movie - you'd think that Hollywood had come up with a crazy new insult. Well, it turns out that some airline passengers watching the Oscar-nominated film "Sideways" on foreign flights are, in fact, hearing "Ashcroft" as a substitute for a certain seven-letter epithet commonly used to denote a human orifice.
The Post's Monte Reel, based in Buenos Aires, tells us he heard the former attorney general's name substituted at least twice in "Sideways" dialogue when he watched the film earlier this week on an Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Lima, Peru. The movie was shown in English and the dubbing was done "in the actual voices of the actors," Reel reports. Star Thomas Haden Church utters the A-word....
Ashcroft did not return our phone message, but we're certain he was busy and not just being an...
The entrepreneurial brothel owner mentioned ... earlier ... was apparently the first brothel owner to use the system and when she did the algorithm matched the job to the waitress. A letter was then automatically generated informing her of the opportunity. There is a box to check to accept or decline the job on a form which must be returned. When she declined, the system automatically cut her benefits. To this point everything happened without human intervention. She then complained to human authorities who immediately recognized the match as an error and reinstated her benefits.The algorithm was immediately changed.
As a result of its lethality and the relative youth of its victims, HIV/AIDs has reduced life expectancy by more than 20 years in many African countries. Life expectancy in some countries is projected to fall to roughly 30 years within the next decade, whereas in the absence of HIV/AIDS some were expected to approach or exceed 70 years.No matter how you value a human life in these countries, "free" condoms would have a net positive benefit-cost result. How long will it take aid organizations to move full speed in this direction?
Not that I like or agree with the tone on that site. I actually thought the arguments in the memo were worth pursuing, and I have used it in my teaching for years.
'Just between you and me shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [least developed countries]?" So wrote Treasury Secretary designee Lawrence Summers, then the chief economist at the World Bank, in a 1991 World Bank internal memorandum arguing for the transfer of waste and dirty industries from industrialized to developing countries. There's more: "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.... I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted; their air quality is vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City." After the memo was leaked, Summers apologized, saying it was intended to be ironic and that it was offered as a thought experiment.
Later reports suggest that someone else actually wrote the memo, although Summers's name appeared on it.
But here is the question that remains unanswered, and that should be atop the list of questions posed by the senators who have to confirm Summers's appointment to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin: "Ironic or not, from your point of view, what was wrong with the logic of the memo?" The notion that poor countries should import pollution and waste is just an unsavory application of the economic theory of the U.S. Treasury Department, shared also by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, to a lesser extent, the World Bank. In this worldview, poor countries should exploit their "comparative advantage" of low wages, or access to natural resources, or lower environmental standards.
My conclusion: Failing to buy off one's enemies? Priceless.
Direct per capita costs for north were $140. Cost of the north buying and releasing the slaves would have been $90 per capita. Direct and indirect costs to the liberated land, the south, totaled $490 per capita.
Fast forward to 2005:
Cost to give every Iraqi citizen 5 years income (based on pre-war GDP): $189.6 billion. I suspect that even the much feared and overhyped Sunni population might settle their asses down and run the terrorists out themselves if we just paid them well enough.
Cost to buy off all Syrian troops in Lebanon with $1 million each. $16 billion.
Seeing the big picture
Psychologists from McMaster University have discovered that the aging process improves a certain ability -- being able to grasp the "big picture," says Plebius Press. The study, published in the journal Neuron, dispels the myth that older people always perform more slowly and worse than younger people. Researchers measured how long it took for study participants to indicate in which direction a set of bars moved across a computer screen. Younger people were faster when the bars were small or low in contrast. However, when bars were large and high-contrast, the older people were faster. "The results are exciting," says Patrick Bennett, the study's senior author, along with Allison Sekuler, "because they show an odd case in which older people have better vision than younger people."
I created this blog to inform my fellow female providers of the names and email addresses of grimy men that use Craigs List in NYC and the tri-state area. I will post men that bs, vice stings and any other kind of crap thats going around in this underground world.
I have a friend with a big old Victorian house near the Clinton Slots (a mini- casino with slot machines and a bit of OTB for horse races). Two weeks ago I mentioned to her, in jest, that their house would make a great brothel (note: the conversation began because she was playing a madam in a play I was directing). She thought the idea sounded pretty fascinating.
FEDERAL GRITS will be asked to support legalizing prostitution when they gather for their convention in Ottawa next week, Sun Media has learned. A resolution prepared by Young Liberals calls for the removal of the Criminal Code offence of communicating for the purposes of sex in return for money.
'IT'S A GREAT IDEA'
"The sex trade is a profession central to the subsistence of many Canadian citizens" and the fear of being charged drives hookers into "dangerous and harmful locations," the resolution reads.
"It's a great idea," said Grit Senator Mac Harb, who has long supported decriminalizing the world's oldest profession and giving municipalities the power to license and regulate brothels in designated red-light districts.
"I think you will solve a problem that isn't going to go away," Harb said.
In 2003 there were nearly 6,000 prostitution-related charges filed in Canada.
As the Fraser study itself says,
McKitrick, Green and Schwartz[in a study for the Fraser Institute] challenge the methodology used to compute [the] estimates of death by air pollution. In the Toronto case, they argue that if the model used by the health board were applied to the much higher levels of air pollution in the 1960s, "it would attribute at least half and, in one case, more than 100 per cent, of monthly deaths in Toronto to air pollution."
On the basis of Environment Canada data and alternative epidemiological studies, the Fraser experts conclude: "Air pollution in Ontario has been successfully reduced under existing regulations and is generally much lower than 30 years ago. Current evidence does not provide consistent support for the claim that levels of air pollution are a significant source of risk for death or disease."
What about global warming? According to the OCAA, Ontario's coal plants account for "approximately 20 per cent of Ontario's greenhouse-gas emissions (causing climate change)."
The Fraser authors counter that coal-fired plants in Ontario are responsible for only "about one-10th of one per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions and shutting them down will not make a perceptible difference." Besides, Ontario would have to compensate for the loss of coal-fired power in the short-term by importing more electricity from coal-fired plants in the industrial U.S. Northeast.
Surprisingly, despite the large potential impacts of closing the plants, there has been no systematic evaluation of whether this action will confer net benefits on Ontarians. There is no question that coal-fired power plants contribute to Ontario's air pollution emissions. The question is whether the harm associated with these emissions exceed the social and economic benefits of the electricity they provide. Our review of the evidence suggests that the coal-fired plants have a relatively small environmental impact and that closing them will have large, adverse economic consequences that will fall disproportionately on low-income households.
Some of the recent photos have been truly amazing. Phil Miller also has posted some of them on Market Power.
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Even if the vandals could be apprehended, they are probably judgement-proof, meaning they will not be able to compensate the dog's owner for having caused the short. So who should bear the loss, given that it has happened? Who is the least-cost bearer of this risk? The municipality or the dog owner?
It let out a yelp and died on the spot.
The owner received a shock when he tried to help the dog and was taken to hospital, the town hall said.
1) Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit,
2) John G. Roberts of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia,
3) J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and
4) J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and
5) Samuel A. Alito of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, who is mentioned as "another possible candidate."
The person who wrote this piece says,
This is a high caliber list of intellectual heavyweights who, I believe with the exception of Judge Alito, are all former Supreme Court clerks. My personal favorite for the appointment is Judge Roberts, who I have found to be an absolutely superb thinker and writer in the opinions that he has penned while on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Update: for more highlights, see this story at the CBC.
Also, see here for The Fraser Institute's recommendations. It looks as if they will be happy with much of the budget, but certainly not all of it.
The Fed added $3 billion in 5 day repos for the holiday weekend, far short of what was needed to cover $8 billion in expiring bills. We knew that would happen. We also knew that since the IRS would be pumping another wad of Friday party favors into the bank accounts of early filing taxpayers, it would be no problem.For more pithy analysis and discussion like this, click on the blog ad at the upper right.
Thanks to Jack for the pointer
Stunned astronomers described yesterday the greatest cosmic explosion ever monitored — a starburst from the other side of the galaxy that was briefly brighter than the full Moon and swamped satellites and telescopes.
The high-radiation flash, detected Dec. 27, caused no harm to Earth but would have fried the planet had it occurred within a few light years of home.
Normally reserved skywatchers struggled for superlatives.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Rob Fender of Southampton University in southern England.
“We have observed an object only 20 kilometres across, on the other
side of our galaxy, releasing more energy in a tenth of a second than the sun emits in 100,000 years.”
“It was the mother of all magnetic flares — a true monster,” said Kevin Hurley, a research physicist at the University of California at Berkeley.
Currently, viewership for the channel is minuscule, with 500 people tuning in daily and the total rising to 900 during prime time. Lee said a great deal of marketing is planned to try to drive curlers to subscribe to the channel, which can be obtained only through a digital receiver or a satellite dish.
Okay, folks. Whose wise idea was it to show curling on CBC's extremely lame "Country Canada"???? We don't get it where we live, and we will now miss a LOT of curling.
I sure hope CBC paid somebody a lot of the taxpayers money to make sure that fewer Canadians now have less access to watching curling on television.
... under terms of its licence from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Country Canada is permitted to allot only 10 per cent of its broadcasting week to amateur or professional sports. Based on Country Canada's 18-hour day, that equates to 12.6 hours for the week. According to a schedule posted on the CBC's website, it will be more than that, no matter how the nine-day event is sliced into a seven-day period. And that doesn't even account for any extra-end games or tiebreakers.In other words, the CBC bid taxpayer dollars for something that the regulations will not permit them to show in its entirety.... What a bunch of #%#^%^. The CBC finally figured out how to get around this problem by fobbing off coverage of two of the prime time matches to The Score, the Canadian CTV all-sports network. I haven't been able to find any financial details of the arrangement, but I'll bet the negotiations were amusing.
...the new television agreement will provide more hours of exposure on the main CBC network than any other sport, amateur or professional, except for NHL Hockey once it returns to arenas around North America.Yes more on CBC, and a whole lot less in total. I don't see how this sophistry is of any benefit to the Canadian Curling Association.
In the final analysis, the CBC’s proposal was stronger.How so? Did the CBC hire some executives of the Canadian Curling Association [and/or their relatives] as consultants??
Most importantly, the CBC is making more live curling coverage moreThis is a specious argument. CBC reaches a few more people than TSN because its rebroadcasts and transmitters are subsidized everywhere; and I can readily imagine that considerably fewer will be watching curling during prime time when it is available only on digital or satellite. More people seeing less curling, with considerably less total viewership does not sound like a strong proposal to me.
widely available to more Canadians than ever before.
Teaming up with CBC means we’re able to deliver world-class curling toThis is total nonsense: reaching maybe 1% more households for 50% less air time has to amount to less total viewership. This situation cannot be good for curling in Canada.
99% of all Canadian households.
Every game is available live and there are no longer any tape delays.This is just plain wrong, and if that is what the CBC promised, they are in breach of their contract. And by repeating it, the Curling Association is flat-out lying to its fans and correspondents.
And if the last option above explains what happened, it is yet another example of how bureaucrats who are spending taxpayer money [directly or indirectly] make decisions that might help expand their bureaucracies but which are truly poor business decisions.
In what some describe as a Taliban-like effort to impose a militant Islamic aesthetic, extremists have been warning Iraqi barbers not to violate strict Islamic teachings by trimming or removing men's beards.
Giving Western-style haircuts or removing hair in an "effeminate" manner, they say, are crimes punishable by death. "They went to all the barbers," said one threatened hairstylist, Ali Mahmood, 28. "They told them not to shave beards. They told them no sideburns. No American styles. They told them none of this or they would die."
Since the threats began a little more than a month ago, at least eight barbers have been killed, and a dozen shops have been bombed, colleagues and police say....
Mahmood, the 28-year-old who was threatened, has quit cutting
hair after eight years and now works as an armed bodyguard for Western clients. He considers his new job less dangerous than cutting hair.
Since the Federal Reserve began raising short-term interest rates last June, intermediate and long-term rates have moved lower, confounding many observers, even Fed head Alan Greenspan.The above quotation is from an article in Barron's [$ subscription required], reproduced in The Financial Post [also $ subscription reqd;h/t to Jack].
The Fed’s policy-setting open market committee reiterated earlier this month that policy makers still expect to raise the fed funds rate target at a “measured” pace, the modifier used by the central bank to describe its anticipated pace of tightening in quarter-percentage-point increments.The Fisher Equation:
Nothing captures the insidious drip-drip of Jew hatred provided by the British media so clearly as the continued ritual invocation of the "Jenin massacre" two years after it was conclusively established that no such thing ever occurred. In the annals of shoddy, propaganda journalism, the reportage of the battle in Jenin by the British media, including the BBC, deserves a full chapter.There were many more, similar incidents involving Jenin [click here to read more]. Why would the British media do such a thing? Here is one possible explanation.
I see. The British media are afraid of fatwas, but U.S. and Canadian journalists aren't? I wonder why there's a difference.
Interviewed by Martin Himel in Massacring the Truth, Tim Benson, director of the British Cartoon Society, explains the award for the best political cartoon of 2003 to Dave Brown for his portrayal of a grossly fat Sharon dropping Palestinian babies into his mouth. Benson calls the cartoon a great one because of its emotional power.
What about the emotional power of Jewish children blown to bits by suicide bombers? Himel asks.
"Jews don't issue fatwas against journalists," Benson replies.
A couple of people sent this to me--both highly skeptical. I'm not so sure. I have definitely seen gradations of evil in criminal cases and an effort to define and identify some of the factors that make up evil strikes me as useful. How it gets used may be another matter.
Pfizer said two websites named in the suit sold "potentially dangerous medications" unapproved by regulators.
The websites involved are CanadianPharmacy and E-Pharmacy Direct.
In addition, Microsoft has filed three suits against web spammers who promote online drug stores, such as Discount RX, Virtual RX and EzeDrugStore.com.
"Together, these pharmacy spam rings have allegedly sent hundreds of millions of e-mail messages to Microsoft's MSN Hotmail customers within the past year alone," the joint statement said.
As BrianF, who sent this to me, says, "This is part of the reason the FDA is reluctant to OK reimportation of drugs from Canada via internet pharmacies. Just because a site appears to be in Canada doesn't mean the drugs are coming from Canada."
Computers in New York received online orders which were then sent to a call centre based in Canada before being processed in India, the lawsuit claims.
The pills were then shipped from India to the US and delivered by an air freight company based in the US.
An unoccupied shopping center may be a form of urban decay, but to compare it to water or air quality is a stretch. It merely gives Wal-Mart's opponents another means to block a store. Nobody who can hire a lawyer should be allowed to go out of business because of Wal-Mart lest their building go unoccupied.In case you didn't figure it out, that last sentence is sarcasm.
Others have said this, many times, but he said it so well.
That's just what we do in Canada, only we call it "Old Age Assistance" instead of "Geezer Pleasers"; nice name, though.
The looming bankruptcy is both absolutely real and absolutely insignificant. You could reverse it in an instant by changing a definition or two. Keep benefits exactly as they are, but call only half of them "Social Security benefits"; call the rest something else, like, say, "Geezer Pleasers." Social Security taxes would exceed "Social Security benefits." Voilà, no more bankruptcy.
Big tax breaks to induce people to save for retirement will go a long way toward this goal.....
The true crisis lies elsewhere. It has nothing to do with bankruptcy, nothing to do with definitions or accounting tricks, nothing to do with
lockboxes or anything else about the way the system is structured. Instead, the crisis is completely defined by the fact that in the future (as in the present) there will be only a finite number of goods to go around, and in the future (unlike in the present) there will be a lot more old people clamoring for a share...
If you want to address the Social Security crisis of the future, you must adopt laws that encourage saving in the present. There's nothing else you can do.
because, after all, people respond to incentives.
For a good take on U.S. Social Security reform, read what Kip has to say.
Wang Yueqin, vice-director of Shanghai Paper Trade Association, said... he was "beginning to worry about the large wood consumption" and the industry needed to consider other technologies and uses.The price system should do a pretty good job of encouraging people and producers to consider alternatives.
"We are trying to encourage the application of new materials and technologies," he said, pointing to one factory in Jiangsu province now making toilet paper from straw.
Another in southern Guangxi has managed to produce tissues from sugarcane. ...
"The 140,000 tons of tissues and toilet paper Shanghai uses every year consumes some 80,000 tons of wood pulp, equal to about 300,000 tons of wood," said Wang.
One textile merchant said he hoped the pressure would reinvigorate use of the handkerchief, at least for runny noses."At least"??
In 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had "serious artistic merit" -- an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes.
On what it calls Art Club Nights, the Erotic City strip club charges customers $15 for a sketch pad, pencil, and a chance to see completely naked women dancers.
Regardless of your views on the morality of this situation, you have to recognize the important economic prinicple underlying it:
Teague [the club owner] said he got the idea when a customer asked if he could get in for free to sketch the dancers. Realizing that "art classes" were exempt from the law, Teague decided to bill Mondays and Tuesdays as art nights, and let the dancers go without their G-strings and pasties.
In the two months since they began, Art Club Nights have drawn full crowds of 60 people but no police citations, he said.
Tyranny truly plunges societies into darkness - in more ways than one.