Pornography Conference Next Weekend at UWO
The link to the conference announcement is an .mx file with lots of bells and whistles.
I don't see any Paris Hilton films on the schedule.
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
Maybe contributory negligence would have led to some contribution by the building owner (1% of the loss?), but for a tresspasser? I don't care about the doctrinal law in this case -- awards like this create the wrong incentives. If the common law is efficient, what happened here??
A teenage criminal who received £567,000 in compensation after falling through a roof while trespassing boasted about his wealth yesterday, saying that he was looking forward to buying "a few houses and a flash car".
In his first public interview since receiving the award, Murphy - who has convictions for robbery, burglary and assault - said that he did not care about the response.
"I deserve this money and I don't care what anybody says about me," he said. "I'm going to buy a big house so I have a place to live with me mum when she gets out of jail. I might buy a few houses - I'll buy whatever I want." He added: "The papers just call me a yob and a thug because I've been done for robbery and assault but those were just silly stupid little things, like.
"I want to spend my money the way I want without people interfering and I want to have a prosperous future.
"I want to take my mates to Liverpool games and get a flash car. This money is mine now and I'll do what I want. I don't care about anyone or what they have to say about it."
Murphy received his compensation after suing the company that owned the warehouse. He claimed that if the perimeter fence had not been in disrepair he would not have been able to gain entry and suffer his injuries.
Thanks to BenS for the tip. His comment: "Crime does pay."
Russian scientists claim a beating with a cane on the naked buttocks is a way to cure everything from depression to alcoholism, reports Izvestia. Researchers at the Novosibirsk Institute of Medicine say the caning releases endorphins, leading to feelings of euphoria, a reduction of appetite, the release of sex hormones and an enhancement of the immune response. "The treatment works," says biologist Dr. Sergei Speransky. "I'm not sadistic, at least not in the classical sense, but I do advocate caning." Dr. Marina Chuhrova added she had 10 patients she caned regularly: "At first they didn't like it, but when they started to feel the benefits, they kept asking for more."From one of my all-time favourite movies, "Thank you, sir! May I have another?"
An 87-year-old American sex tourist who was arrested as he set off to have sex with two pre-teen girls in the Philippines was sentenced to 20 years in jail yesterday. ...
I wonder what happened to the Los Angeles street price for hookers' services after this case broke. In a sense it is analogous to any other trade barrier that reduces the foreign supply and/or increases demand for the domestically produced good or service.
Seljan, a former country singer, was the first person to be convicted at trial of violating the 2003 Protect Act that punishes U.S. sex tourists irrespective of where the crime occurred.
He was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in October, 2003, prior to boarding a flight to thePhilippines, where prosecutors said he was planning to have sex with two girls aged nine and 12.
The suspect was well-prepared, with US$8,000 in cash, 45 kilograms of chocolates, sex aids, 127 pornographic pictures and sexually explicit letters written to the two young girls. He also had maps to the girls’ homes.
I certainly hope we are not squaring off for tariff wars like the ones initiated by the US with the Smoot-Hawley tariffs. Nobody wins with those.
The announcement of a 15 per cent surtax on cigarettes, oysters and live swine from the United States came Thursday, just as the European Union took similar measures.Canada is joining countries from around the world protesting a U.S. trade measure known as the Byrd amendment, which the World Trade Organization has deemed illegal.The Byrd amendment allows American companies to keep the proceeds that Washington collects in anti-dumping disputes - something Canada and other countries complain unfairly enriches their U.S. rival firms.
"For the last four years, Canada and a number of other countries have repeatedly urged the United States to repeal the Byrd amendment," Trade Minister Jim Peterson said in a statement Thursday."Retaliation is not our preferred option, but it is a necessary action. International trade rules must be respected."
The highly unusual Canadian sanctions, which also cover certain types of fish, are to take effect May 1.
The EU says it will slap duties of up to 15 per cent, also on May 1, on such U.S. imports as paper, textiles, machinery and farm produce.The 25-member EU said it took that action "in light of the continuing failure of the United States to bring its legislation in conformity with its international obligations."
Both Canada and the EU have long asked Washington to repeal the three-year-old Byrd amendment.Last November, the WTO gave Canada and the other co-complainants the authority to retaliate.
The other countries involved include Mexico, Japan, India and Brazil.
As I was relating to my students just the other day, the unintended consequence of the minimum wage in the U.S. is that it enriches white middle class families with working teenagers and further impoverishes working class black families. When you show students the unintended consequences of the minimum wage I've noticed that in South Carolina and in the United Arab Emirates there are some students who will ask this question in class: "Say what? You said the purpose of the minimum wage law was to benefit the poor. Why are you teaching us about something that shows the opposite effect?" Though they feel confused, such a student has learned a lot in 50 minutes.
It's not exactly macroeconomics, but PowerLine takes note that the "The Employment Policies Institute has calculated the average family income of employees who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage based on Census Bureau Data (click here). According to the EPI breakdown (based on 2003 data), the average family income of Minnesota's destitute minimum wage workers is...$57,421."
Read that again: $57,421.
Minnesota has passed a law that says big nasty corporate gasoline stations are not allowed to make consumers better off by charging low prices for gasoline. The reason? They'll drive the small guys out of business and then jack up the prices when they have the market all to themselves. Phil Miller at Market Power has a terrific post debunking such nonsense.
Here is a quote from the article that shows the predatory pricing argument is at work here:
But Cornish said the survival of small stations is at stake if major corporate sellers offer gas at below cost. "It will be a way of closing down these stations - the little ones," Cornish said. That could be devastating for smaller towns where there might be just a single option for purchasing gas, Cornish said. And if most competitors are eliminated, the big sellers would ultimately be able to sell at a higher price than they could if nearby rivals still existed.
First, if consumers in the small town have an option to buy low-price gasoline at a "corporate" gas station, why should the government restrict their options and how would this be devastating to the community? It would have just the opposite effect. Sure, the owner of the gas station would feel a negative effect, but the consumers of gas in the small town would gain. Not only could they get gas cheaper, but they can put the savings towards the purchase of other things.
Second, those who use the predatory pricing argument say they fear monopolization. Never mind that the evidence suggests that predatory pricing exists in models but not in practice. If there really is only one gas station in a small town, doesn't that station have market power which it can use to jack up its prices? Won't legislation designed to keep competitors out enhance its market power and allow it to maintain its high prices? The answer to both questions is yes.
Third, do we really think that the small town gas station would actually go out of business? What if the nearest "corporate" gas station is 30 miles away? How often are residents of the little town going to drive 60 miles (30 miles there and back) just to get a full tank of gas?
Despite such cogent pieces as this, it seems our work is never done.
Hmm, so slashing the pay for substitute teachers results in...a huge dearth of substitute teachers. Who would have thought?
Denver Public Schools is asking parents to fill in as substitute teachers. The school district said it's so short of subs that it's writing to parents in hopes that they'll step in. The shortage comes after daily pay for substitutes was cut from $120 to $81.
School officials say substitutes do not need teaching experience, just a college degree and a special certificate, which can be obtained.
From the Scottish Journal of Political Economy (Pricing Personal Services: An Empirical Study of Earnings in the UK Prostitution Industry): In late 1998, a website named Punternet was launched in the UK by an individual using the pseudonym 'Galahad'. The website's main purpose is an information exchange for clients. Clients are invited to submit 'reports' to the site on prostitutes whom they have recently encountered. The report is submitted pro-forma, and contains the location and duration of the encounter, the working-name and contact details of the provider, some information about her physical attributes and personality, a description of the services rendered, and, most crucially, the price paid. <> The data set generated by this website presents us with a rare opportunity to identify the factors which determine the price paid to a provider for their services.
In the case of Terri Schaivo, the courts appear to have decided: her husband has the legal entitlement to decide what to do with her. It has been costly for him (and many others), but this legal entitlement has withstood many assaults and is (in some sense) comparatively easy to enforce.
If her parents wished to obtain the legal entitlement to decide what to do with her, presumably the transaction costs were quite low. They could have made a deal. If her husband was in it strictly for the money, he could have sold his legal entitlement for quite a large sum, according to Steven Landsburg.
He turned down a $10m offer to purchase that legal entitlement? I understand he wanted to remarry, and that he is nominally a Roman Catholic and so divorce might not have been acceptable, but why would he turn down such a large offer?
I have less understanding of why Schiavo's parents want to keep
feeding her. And insofar as they want others to keep feeding her—through Medicare, etc.—I think we can safely ignore their preferences. But provided they and their supporters are willing to bear those costs, I infer that this is something they want very much and there's not much reason to stop them.
You could argue in response that Michael Schiavo has signaled an equally strong desire to bury her (by turning down an offer of $1 million and by some reports $10 million)...
On March 11, 2005, media tycoon Robert Herring (who believes that embryonic stem cell research could cure Schiavo's condition in the future) offered $1 million to Michael Schiavo if he agreed to waive hisAccording to this interpretation, the legal entitlement was determined to belong to Terri Schiavo herself; the court also determined that she did not wish to sell it to her parents (or their representatives) on behalf of her husband. I am sure there are many other interpretations of the events, but I like this Coasian approach.
guardianship to his wife's parents. The offer was rejected, Schiavo having reportedly found it "offensive." Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, stated that Schiavo has received other monetary offers, also rejected, including one of $10 million. These offers may have been made under the misconception that the removal of Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube remains simply a matter of Mr. Schiavo's choice. It was ruled in February 2000 that Mrs. Schiavo would choose to have the tube removed, and Michael Schiavo does not have the ability to simply overrule this legal determination.
The December 26 tsunami that killed more than 250,000 people in southern Asia and Africa brought India a macabre windfall: tons of titanium ore, worth untold millions of dollars, deposited along more than 300 miles of shoreline. The deposits—as high as 10 feet in some places—were left on sand dunes about a mile inshore, significantly adding to the titanium ore already there. The Times of India speculates that more than 40 million tons landed on the coast, but Victor Loveson, a geologist for the Central Mining Research Institute, says it’s too early to make an accurate estimate.
Apparently a bizarre side effect of the tsunami in December was that it threw up 40 million tons of titanium ore onto the beaches of India. A rough calculation of the price (last pricing I could find was 1998, so any commodities traders do get in touch) of $4.38/lb would mean there's roughly $350 BILLION lying around on the beaches, which would roughly pay for all of the reconstruction work in every affected country, wouldn't it?
Tuesday's payment comes as Canadian beef farmers continue to be hammered by continued trade restrictions with the United States. Grain growers, meanwhile, are struggling to overcome low commodity prices, the impact of a stronger Canadian dollar and the one-two punch of recent droughts and frosts in some regions.
I don't see much guidance here from economics, political philosophy, or virtue ethics. My instincts are to "look toward the future," but I don't have a good argument that avoids all possible repugnant conclusions. ...Tyler is correct. The Terri Schaivo case is only the first of many such cases in which people will have to make very difficult decisions.
As Medicare grows as a percentage of the federal budget, this issue will become increasingly important. And as technology advances, no one will be left with a comfortable intellectual position.
I have written about this potential problem before. My question to Mr. Drucker is, as I asked before, "If foreign central banks decide to hold fewer U.S. dollar-denominated securities, what will they decide to hold more of? Probably not Euros."
The next major economic crisis will most probably be a crisis of the U.S. dollar in the world economy. It will put to a severe test the oligopoly of the central banks of the developed countries that now rules over the world financial economy.
Sixty years ago, in the Bretton Woods meetings of 1944, which tried to refashion a world economy that had been devastated by depression and war, John Maynard Keynes, the 20th century's greatest economist, proposed a supra-national central bank. It was vetoed by the United States. The two institutions that Bretton Woods established instead, the Bank for International Development (World Bank) and the international Monetary Fund (IMF), are, despite their impressive names, auxiliary rather than central--the former mainly financing development projects, the latter providing financial first aid to
governments in distress.
The Bretton Woods system was never the stable, "non-political" system Keynes wanted. It could not and did not prevent currencies from being overvalued or undervalued. Still, although it limped from one crisis to the next, the Bretton Woods system worked for most of the half-century after World War II. And there was only one reason why it worked (however poorly): the commitment to it of the United States and the strength of the U.S. dollar as the world's key currency.
The dollar is still the world's key currency. But the Bretton Woods system is being killed by the U.S. government deficit, which is fast becoming the sinkhole of the world financial economy. The persistent U.S. deficit creates a persistent deficit in the U.S. balance of payments, which make both the U.S. economy and the government increasingly dependent on massive injections of short-term and panic-prone money from abroad. The U.S. savings rate is barely high enough to finance the minimum capital needs of industry. It could, in all likelihood, be raised considerably by raising interest rates. But that is not only politically almost impossible; it would also require that a larger share of incomes go into savings rather than into consumption, with an inevitable collapse of an economy based on consumer spending and low interest rates, as for instance, the U.S. housing market.
The government deficit is therefore being financed almost in its entirety by foreign investments in the United States, mostly in government securities like short-term treasury notes and medium-term bonds. The Japanese are converting most, if not all, of their trade surplus with the United States into dollar-denominated U.S. government securities and have thus become the largest U.S. creditor.
... The economic fact is that the United States increasingly borrows short term (U.S. securities can be sold overnight) to invest long term and with very limited liquidity. This, needless to say, is an unstable and volatile system. It would collapse if the foreign holders of U.S. government securities (above all, the Japanese) were for whatever reason (such as a crash in their own economy) to dump their holdings of U.S. government securities. ...
I wonder if times have changed. I wonder if the growth in the number of women in the profession has had an effect on outsiders' perceptions of economists.
About 30 years ago, we were at an economics convention, doing the usual stuff -- meeting people, going to paper presentations, interviewing candidates and/or interviewing for jobs, looking at book displays, drinking like fish, etc. After about a day and a half, one of the bellhops at the convention hotel asked us, "What do you guys do for a living, anyway?"
We proudly informed him we were economists. "Why do you ask?"
"I've never seen a convention like this," he said. "More booze than I've ever seen before, but no broads. What's wrong with you guys? Where are the hookers?"
So the rumour isn't true, right?
IT IS the rumour no well dressed expectant mother could afford to ignore: Harvey Nichols gives £500 gift vouchers to pregnant women who go into labour while shopping in the store.
...Now Harvey Nichols has been forced to publicly deny the "urban myth" amid concern at the number of women apparently intent on giving birth in their St Andrew Square shop.
Last night a spokesman for the company tried to pour cold water on the rumours. "We have first-aiders on site but they are not trained in childbirth and therefore this rumour is a concern to us.
This non-denial denial is not likely to do much to squelch the rumour. And, as BrianF said when he sent me this link, "People respond to incentives."
Harvey Nichols’ spokesman said the company was now in a difficult position: it did not want to encourage pregnant women to give birth in the store and yet it would not want to be stingy in the unlikely event that a mother did start to give birth in store.
"If a woman does go into labour we would consider giving her some vouchers if her intentions were not for it to deliberately happen in our store," he said.
Suggestions that the "urban myth" might not be such a myth after all are backed up by the comments of other Scottish stores.
Mothercare and Marks and Spencers said although they didn’t
have a policy on gifts for mothers going into labour it was up to the discretion of individual branch managers if they wanted to give a present of baby clothes and goods.
All too often, sugar is both protected and subsidized. Here is a recent piece from Kick-Aas about sugar subsidies, and the comment notes the problems of trade barriers.
St. Kitts sugar is exported to the European Union, which has pledged to conform to World Trade Organization regulations and cut the price support it gives to Caribbean sugar production.
Next year, the price St. Kitts receives for its sugar will drop by 37 per cent and further cuts are planned in 2007, Agriculture Minister Cedric Liburd said Sunday."It is unfortunate that after having a sugar industry for some 300 years we have to depart from it," Liburd said....
Rising production costs and falling revenues have left the state-owned St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corp. owing local banks about $117
"The sugar industry has become like a cancer. If the cancer remains, it spreads; and then it is too late to cure, and the person dies ... I will perform surgery," Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said Tuesday.
I wrote earlier that I expect sugar subsidies and protection will be changed, but only slowly and gradually.
What have the Queen of England, Prince Charles and Tate and Lyle, the sugar company, got in common? Answer: they have all been milking subsidies from Europe’s Common Agriculture policy. The Queen and Prince Charles received £1 million during the past two years but Tate and Lyle hit the jackpot – with receipts of £233m over the same period.
It may have something to do with the 300% export subsidy that sugar attracts. We know all this only because The Guardian used the new Freedom of Information Act to get the full figures out of the government . The Guardian also wrote an editorial about it asking two questions: why has it taken so long to reveal details of where the taxpayer’s money has been going and, more important, why on earth are these subsidies being paid out in the first place? They are overwhelmingly going to big farmers and wealthy landowners, not small ones. The net effect is to make it almost impossible for developing countries to compete on a level playing field even for crops where they have a climatic advantage - such as sugar.
In America for some years it has been possible to access this web site to
get details of where all the US the subsidies have been going.
In Lithuania sugar imports are dutiable which to a certain extent limits sugar imports. The import duty is 87 per cent. The duty is based on a minimum price of LTL 2.20/kg (approx DKK 3.74). This rate of duty will apply until Lithuania joins the World Trade Organisation, and a new rate of duty will be stipulated in the agreement with the WTO.
Wonderful. More EU agriculture policy at work. Ugh.
LITHUANIAN SUGAR SALES RISE 2 % IN 2003 Lithuania's sugar refineries reported aggregate sales of 81,800 tons of sugar for the year 2003, up by 2 % from 80,200 tons in 2002. Lithuania's sugar stocks reached 150,000 tons at the start of 2004, of which 30,000 tons were over-quota sugar. All surplus sugar would have to be shipped out of the country by May 2005, under the EU's new regulations. Lithuania should export around 60,000 tons of sugar in 2004. The Government is expected to allot around LTL 50 million (€ 14.49 m) to compensate producers for losses due to sugar exports. The Government has not yet set a sugar production quota for 2004. Lithuania has secured an annual quota of 103,010 tons for sugar production from the EU.