Thursday, June 09, 2016

Public company costs

The SEC is complaining that companies aren't going public, and their investors would do better if there was more regulation.
That these things were written without irony shows how unmoored our discussion of corporate governance has gotten from reality. Clearly, the poor investors of Uber, Airbnb, and Snapchat must be slapping their foreheads, saying “THAT’s why success has eluded us! We need more SEC oversight!”
Oy.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

GDP considered not useful

“We know less about the sources of value in the economy than we did 25 years ago,” wrote economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Adam Saunders in a 2009 article. “We see the influence of the information age everywhere, except in the GDP statistics. More people than ever are using Wikipedia, Facebook, Craigslist, Pandora, Hulu and Google. Thousands of new information goods and services are introduced each year. Yet, according to the official GDP statistics, the information sector (software, publishing, motion picture and sound recording, broadcasting, telecom, and information and data processing services) is about the same share of the economy as it was 25 years ago - about 4%. How is this possible? Don’t we have access to more information than ever before?”

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Where shall I eat now?

Papaya Dog was the spot of spots.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Guns, but which ones

Silly silly silly.
Handguns are by far the most common weapon used in homicides, including mass murders. In 2012 Sen. Dianne Feinstein claimed guns covered by her proposed "assault weapon" ban were involved in 385 murders from 2004 through 2011, a period when there were more than 76,000 gun homicides. Taking Feinstein at her word, "assault weapons" were used in 0.5 percent of gun homicides during that period. Feinstein also attributed 455 injuries to "assault weapons," or an average of about 57 per year—a negligible share of aggravated assaults, which totaled more than 750,000 in 2011. Just as it is not clear why the Sandy Hook plaintiffs think AR-15-style rifles have no legitimate civilian uses, it is not clear why they think such guns are especially lethal. The lawsuit cites three characteristics, none of which is unique to so-called assault weapons:
Just because something looks scary, doesn't mean it is scary.

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Throw the bums out

Apparently in some countries there are rules in Parliament.
Yesterday (or “yisterday,” as they say there), New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key got ejected from Parliament for not following the rules during Question Time (or “Quistion Taime,” as they say there). Specifically, he did not shut up fast enough when the Speaker stood up and called for order. Saying he had warned the PM about this previously, Speaker David Carter enforced the rules by ordering Key to get out.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Does Jesus smoke weed?

So much.

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Don't waste time over-policing charity programs

It makes everyone worse off and no one better off.
Even the financial costs of any detection and enforcement mechanism serious enough to even try to get these false negatives (people who aren’t caught and thrown out of SNAP) down to 0 will be high; it wouldn’t surprise me for those costs alone to exceed $14 million (and I don’t for a second believe there will be $14 million in savings). As conservatives know when it comes to business, environmental, and health regulation, trying to turn one-in-20,000 events to 0-in-20,000 events is hard and expensive and complicated. Moreover (and as they also know) it generates errors in the other direction. “Zero-tolerance” policies are a plague on the American political and legal climate right now. The effort to make sure that no American child ever brings a narcotic or firearm to school is doomed to fail to begin with, and also results in stupid expulsions of children carrying aspirin or squirt guns. What we have here isn’t a new substantive rule (big-money lottery winners are already income-inelgiible for SNAP) but a zero-tolerance mindset applied to the existing rule, an effort to move from trivially-few to zero offenses; and innocent people will get caught in the net. (Something everyone could stand to remember: the lower frequency an offense is, the worse the ratio is likely to be between the false negatives you’re trying to prevent and the false positives you’re going to create.)

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Campus monoculture

JONATHAN HAIDT: I didn’t even know about that. The president was supposed to be the grown-up in the room. He was supposed to show some wisdom, some balance, and some strength. And so we’ve seen, basically what can really only be called Maoist moral bullying – am we saw it very clearly at Claremont McKenna. The video is really chilling–the students surrounding this nice woman who was trying to help them, and reducing her to tears. As we’ve seen more and more of this, I’ve begun calling it, “the Yale problem,” referring to the way that left-leaning institutions are now cut off from any moral vocabulary that they could use to resist the forces of illiberalism. As far as I’m concerned, “Next Yale” can go find its own “Next Alumni.” I don’t plan to give to Yale ever again, unless it reverses course.
Time to stand up for reality.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Catholic and Enjoying It signs off

Mark Shea shall be missed. He was the first blogger I read on a regular basis.

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