…We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep…
William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Rien ne va plus? The luck of the draw? Is that the way the cookie crumbles? Born with the proverbial gold spoon in the mouth? For whom the bell tolls? Cast your fate to the winds?
On such questions Chris Dillow over at stumbling and mumbling has a response. In yet another of his many sterling posts he addresses LUCK, who may or may not be a lady, and may well be a damsel in distress. Mention of Mincer equations is merely part of making a reference, without the need to state the equations.
And that leads us back to an earlier post of his on education and daring to be instantly rich and famous. The name, Simon Cowell, should attract interest in the post, GOVE VS COWELL: AN OLD DILEMMA. Should a youngster or other focus more on defying the odds and seek out fame and wealth, rather than on seeking a solid education, which also allows for ‘survival’ skills? The audacity of hope over experience? Quest for ‘The Maltese Falcon’?
But what would the Red Queen say? We join the madness. The chase is on…
In the field of dreams then,
and George joins the chase
And back in time for tea with the Mad Hatter…
…if we consider that there are economists with a cause and economists with analysis, and even economists with insufficient analysis, we learn to discard (or not buy) the chaff…
Two articles from different directions merit a glance.
In the area of macroeconomics we find an article that sheds light on the design and implementation of macroeconomic policy. Simple and straightforward – having only a hammer or having expertise in using only that hammer does not make everything a nail, when the task at hand is to repair a leaking faucet or to treat a wound.
It is all the more serious when the policy is directed to benefit mainly the more influential class of society to the detriment of the less fortunate – where the culprit, in this case the financial sector, is promptly bailed out and enabled, and the victims, the unemployed and increasingly disadvantaged, pay to support the earlier and continuing transgressions of that sector. An example, the latest unemployment rate, for the Eurozone, 12.1%; Spain, 26%; Greece, 27.5% – rates that have generated no sense of urgency to remedy the problem in the affected countries, as focus remains on austerity.
Mike Konczal comes to the rescue over at next new deal, despite the esoteric-sounding title of the post, Two Simple Reasons to Not Fight Bubbles With Higher Interest Rates.
In the area of microeconomics, Tim Taylor over at conversable economist uses the US Thanksgiving Day celebration to explain supply and demand for the holiday victuals. The analysis highlights the importance of data and how the data are transformed into charts and tables that complement or reinforce the analysis. Aside a minor typo, he offers something to chew on with his, An Economist Chews Over Thankgiving.
So, then, once the likelihood of ideology or ignorance in economic discourse is considered, economics comes across not as indiscipline or alchemy but rather as the discipline that it is. Charlatans do abound.
…That annual US ritual that speaks volumes, albeit unwittingly, on a society which abides its existence…
We get a gem from couple stunned (???) observers, Presidential turkey pardon. To add to the farce, under its Lifestyle Section establishment WaPo even has a header for the names, yes, the names of the two turkeys. Is that the ‘Ego te absolvo…’ Catholic ritual we see the Leader of the Free World pronouncing on one of the turkeys? Whether the turkeys trust the pardon is another question.
That goes well with this observation of Abby Zimet over at common dreams, Pardon People, Not Just Turkeys. We get even the vital statistics on the two turkeys, including their favourite song. Yes, favourite song for each turkey. To be this exceptionally frivolous, one must be, well, exceptional. No need to address the consequences of the massive destruction to the world economy and employment opportunities for the 99% by the 1% exceptionals and their political representatives, unimportant. Or the US addiction to perpetual war, unimportant.
All we do is reflect for just a moment. Done. And realise it is indeed a Thanksgiving for the reality, and a warning which the affected world heeds.
An excellent ritual, and useful reminder, that. And, yes, the other reminder is that, because a specific Thanksgiving Day is celebrated by the US, that does not mean it is celebrated by other countries of the world — really difficult to grasp…
The world’s greatest democracy and bastion of pure capitalism shows the world how it’s really, really done.
Routinely ignored by the corporate MSM is that President Obama, in lusty appreciation of capitalism, allowed the insurance industry to design, ‘write’, his landmark eponymous health plan. That his plan compares unfavourably with those of most OECD countries is less important than the fact that it is ‘made in the US’ by amply rewarded health insurance contributors, and is not from some ‘socialist’ country, where active government participation, however well directed, merits condemnation as such. The simpler and more cost-effective single payer option, once promised, was summarily abandoned without effort — perhaps insufficiently capitalist.
This chart, Life expectancy and health care spending, from the post of Aaron Carroll over at incidental economist gives an indication – life expectancy in the US is lower, despite the substantially higher level of expenditure per capita. Read the rest of this entry »