I’ve probably read about 10K words in memoriams to him over the last 3 days.
And not once have I seen mentioned a role that … tickled me. I thought it was so cool when watching the 2007 tv-mini-movie/super-episode “Atlantis Squarepantis” of Spongebob Squarepants, when I recognized Bowie’s voice as Lord Royal Highness.
What a cool guy.
I’m sure I man-talked the vXkids more than once about that one.
How on Earth do people not see the similarities between Bernie Sanders and President Snow?
Let me see. They’re both:
Old and hoary,
In favor of greater government control of peoples’ lives,
And they don’t seem to know anyone outside their social circle.
Now, that last one is a bit of a stretch. But here’s the thing about Bernie Sanders. He’s been on the regional and then national stage for 30 years now. Can you name anyone in his circle? Can you name any significant interaction he had with anyone outside his circle before beginning his Quixotic run for President? Even better, note that he doesn’t even include Democrats in his circle (although he’ll gladly accept their votes).
A different view is that the supply churn is the [health insurance] industry's way of solving the problem [that it can’t make money if healthy people don’t buy insurance too]. By changing networks and coverage each year, by canceling policies frequently, by companies forming, dissolving, entering and leaving markets, they keep us on our toes. A stable wide network plan with reasonable cost will attract too many sick people. So, the answer is, keep it unstable. The same kind of price discrimination by complexity that pervades airlines, cell phones, and credit card contracts, might pull in healthy people who don't have time to spend three weeks a year finding out what doctors are covered by what plan. [emphasis added]
* Churn is the quasi-slang word used in finance to the kind of pointless buying and selling that consumers sometimes engage in to get a better deal: the consumers seem to think it has a point, but at the end of the day it looks pointless because few people actually got a better deal.
I picked up this argument from a Mark Perry post on Carpe Diem.
We have roughly 150 million people in our workforce, about half of them female. And there are pervasive claims out there that women are paid 23% less than men.
You’d think we’d be able to find a few matched pairs to demonstrate this factoid.
As a matter of fact:
If there were such ubiquitous gender wage disparities in violation of federal law, why are there not extensive investigations by the Department of Justice or the Office of Civil Rights? And why isn’t there a cottage industry of law firms specializing in representing women who are victims of the supposed pervasive gender discrimination, the way there are hundreds of law firms representing mesothelioma victims who were exposed to asbestos on the job?
Occam’s Razor should lead to the conclusion that there are no such investigations because there’s no examples to make.
Perversely perhaps, maybe the false “77 cents on the dollar” narrative is actually perpetuated by the total lack of any evidence that any employers actually pay women 23% less than men for the same job. After all, it’s better to keep those mythical violations very vague, ambiguous, and undocumented as a way to keep the myth alive, like very rare sightings of Bigfoot.
A commenter on that post actually pointed out that it’s worse than this. If the 77% figure is an average, then something like half of the specific pairs of men and women doing the same job with the same characteristics should be worse than 77%. Where are the 60% examples? Or the 50% examples?
A good quote never hurts. The title of Robert Tracinski’s recent article is:
The Free Market: It’s Like Uber, but for Everything
This cuts right to the heart of teaching economics to college students (and others). People get Uber. They don’t always get free markets. But they should.
P.S. I spent the better part of a couple of days with a new academic friend from another field. His story is private, so I won’t name drop. Anyway, I found him to be less anti-market than most academics, but still probably to the left of most of the public. And he mentioned that Uber has been a game changer for an adult he’s close to who is legally blind. This economist wasn’t surprised in the least.
Suppose we measure a candidate’s “whiteness” by the ratio of their level of white support to their level of nonwhite support within their party. Donald Trump seems to be somewhere around 1.3 – 1.5. Bernie Sanders is somewhere from 3 – 10. It isn’t even close. If any candidate is “playing to the politics of white insecurity” or “preaching to the white electorate” or “harnessing the white vote”, it is he.
(though I should clarify that in a general election, Sanders would no doubt garner much higher nonwhite support than Trump just because of the D after his name. We’re only talking about relative to other people in their own party here)
This explains a couple of otherwise mysterious things. How is Sanders on track to win in Iowa and New Hampshire when he is losing so badly nationally? Well, because Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the whitest states in the country. And how come I keep hearing people say “I’m sure Sanders will win, because even though the media and Big Business support Hillary, everybody I know supports Sanders”? Well, are those people white? Is their entire friend group white? Do they live in very strongly white areas? Then Sanders probably has much higher support among their friends and neighbors than he does nationally.
To be honest with you, I’m not that surprised. I see some flirtation with Sanders in the students and faculty at my whiter-than-most, otherwise conservative, university.
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