Alternatively, the initial announcement (called an advance estimate) indicated growth was in the 58th percentile, while today's updated release (called a preliminary estimate) is in the 69th percentile.
If I were giving pluses and minuses, I'd say that further consideration has suggested we bump the economy up from a "B-" to a "B".
William Crowninshield Endicott's name came up twice for me in less than 18 hours.
Endicott was Secretary of War in Grover Cleveland's first administration. That's pretty obscure.
But, I'm reading Robert Massie's Dreadnought, and there on pg. 237 is Joe Chamberlain (father of Neville) meeting and marrying Endicott's daughter in 1887 while on a diplomatic trip to Washington D.C. to address some problems with fishing boats.
And today I read an article in The New York Times about rebuilding New Orleans that features a picture of Fort Pike, and in researching its history for the previous post I find that it is part of the Third System of U.S. coastal fortifications which were superceded by forts planned by the Endicott Board started up in 1885 by you know who.
If you click on the photos that accompany the "Multimedia" link on the left a window opens showing photos of damage. The second shows an obscure location, Fort Pike.
Going to Fort Pike was the last touristy thing I did before moving out of New Orleans (my 18 month old had a blast). Fort Pike is a brick fort from the Third System of pre-Civil War coastal fortifications. The fort is the structure on the right of the photo.
The perspective that I'd like to share is that those of you contemplating the problems of New Orleans without much practical understanding of the problem need to recognize that the water was 25-30 feet deep for several hours when Katrina passed the point in this photo. That fort was completely under water by no less than 10 feet at its highest point!
And ... the prospective plans they are discussing in the article call for putting a flood wall with gates across the estuary in the background of the picture. To put some perspective on that, the flood wall would need to be about the size of the two World Trade Center towers laid end to end (and anchored 100+ feet down, and towering 50+ feet over the water). Of course, keep in mind that in order for that to be effective they'd have to continue that flood wall around a much larger perimeter - say something like the length of a thousand or so World Trade Centers laid end to end.
I find it really scary how little serious discussion there is of whether this is a worthwhile way to spend money.
I think the appropriate question here is why it took them so long to notice.
Let's see: nerdy guys who spent their first 30 years trying not to notice the girls, and not-so-nerdy girls looking for a big return on the 10 or more years of heavy investment in being noticed.
This may not be socially desirable, but it seems like an economically efficient outcome to me, and a profitable one for the firm that figures it out.
I can even remember talking at the Southern Economics Association meetings about 15 years ago as to whether publishers' chose textbook reps based on looks and forwardness, or whether the reps were just closer to the oldest profession than anyone would care to admit. Of course ... in the sorting of perky women and nerds economists probably come out closer to the bottom than the top.
This is fun - an article from Encarta on 9 underrated inventions from history. There are some surprises on the list (e.g., carborundum), some obvious one (e.g., the horse collar), and some ones that we too often forget (e.g., eyeglasses).
On the suggestion of my colleague Joe Baker I read Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity by James Gwartney, Richard L. Stroup, and Dwight R. Lee.
Joe is looking at this as a readings book for a freshman GenEd class on economic issues.
I'm sympathetic to the ideas here, but the prose reads like a phone book.
There are two big things in this book that make it attractive. First, it is divided into four broad sections, and three of them start out with a list of key elements for the reader to carry away. Second, unlike most books pitched for this level, this one includes a prominent section on managing your personal finances from a common sense libertarian perspective.
This piece from the New York Times caught my eye because it gives a list of the top 10 pharmaceuticals in 2004. (Even if you have a subscription you need to click on the graphic to see the chart that interested me).
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