Private vs Government Websites

As told by Reason:

The ProPublica site features a simple search box beneath the question: “Has your health professional received drug company money?” The federal government’s Open Payments site features a six-step instruction manual about how to search:

1.     Click on the file labeled, “General Payment Data with Identifying Recipient Information – Detailed Dataset 2013 Reporting Year.” This will display a table where the first column reads, “General_Transaction_ID.”
2.     To the right of the table you will see a sidebar labeled, “Filter.”
3.     In the first white box, you will see “Teaching_Hospital_Name” and a down arrow next to it. Click the first down arrow (circled in red on the screenshot). This will open up a dropdown menu where you can “Select a column to filter by.” Scroll down the list using the scroll bar on the right until you see “Physician_First_Name.”
4.     Select “Physician_First_Name” and enter the first name of your doctor into the text box that appears under “Physician_First_Name.” Press Enter or Return.

Another view on the Sterling affair

He tried quite hard to be a racist, and failed in most respects.

Why does Mr. Sterling only talk the racist talk but not walk the racist walk?  The reason is market competition.  Were he to act like a racist in public – say, by employing only white players – his team would be worse on the court and worth less on the market.  Mr. Sterling can either make as much money as possible or he can indulge his racism, but the market prevents him from doing both.

Once again, via Cafe Hayek.

Banlieues Economists

Having read Mr. Krugman in The New York Times, [these youth] have been persuaded that there is a chronic lack of demand in the French economy that they have decided to stimulate by burning cars. What better stimulation, indeed, could be imagined? The roughly 40,000 cars burned a year (as I have said, no one knows the precise figures) provide employment for thousands of people. The cars have to be replaced, so manufacturing is encouraged; service industries such as sales and insurance are likewise given a fillip. When M. (soon to be president) Sarkozy called the rabble who rioted in 2005 “scum,” he should really have thanked them for their presciently Keynesian conduct.

Read it all here.

And remember: 99.995% of cars in France are NOT burned on new year’s eve.


The Weakonomics blog talks about how history is taught in school.

In the grade school level, the content was always about events. It was “this thing happened on this date”. We never had to explain why it was important or even where that event fits in with its past and future. High schoolers can do that, but it was never presented that way.

And shares a video he finds entertaining. We agree, although a video of course does not allow for the conversation that he seems to imply would benefit education (here, too: we agree).  In any case, a subject we enjoy as we, too, believe in the importance of delving deeper in to historical knowledge.

Trickle Down

Theodore Dalrymple explains it, at Library of Law and Liberty:

 The trickle-down theory of wealth may or may not be correct, but those who hold it do not express, and never have expressed, ‘a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power…’ On the contrary, according to the theory it is not the rich whose goodness benefits the poor, but the system that allowed them to become rich, even if the rich should turn out to be hard-hearted skinflints. A system of redistribution, by contrast, really does require the goodness of at least the superior echelons of the system, faith in which is genuinely rather crude and naïve.