Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Inequality is relative too

From Dr Arthur Shenfield’s Myth & Reality in Economic Systems:

 We have already noted that in capitalism wealth comes to those who serve the masses.  Thus in capitalism the inequality of condition is little more than the difference between the Cadillac and the Chevrolet, the Parisian couturier’s model and the excellent mass-produced copies of it, caviar and the equally nutritious cod’s roe. In pre-capitalist societies it was the difference between the mansion and the hovel, between silks and rags, between exquisite luxury and frequent famine.

In socialist societies it is between the luxurious country villa and the miserable worker’s flat, between the special shops carrying high-quality goods imported from capitalist countries reserved for the Party elite and the endless queueing for the shoddy products of socialist industry imposed on the masses.

Piketty on US Inequality

As explained in Reason.com:

Piketty is being celebrated for supposedly demonstrating that the deep structures of capitalism tend toward ever-greater inequality. But in the United States—the most unequal of all the advanced economies—the main explanation offered for the growing gap between rich and poor is that 100,000 or so corporate managers are being overpaid. What’s getting all the attention is Piketty’s depiction of rising inequality as the tragic flaw at the heart of the entire capitalist economic system. But what’s really going on, at least according to Piketty, is a comparatively narrow and shallow problem of corporate governance.