Graduates and the finishing school effect

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

“Kiss that graduate pay rise goodbye,” says the Times’s financial editor Patrick Hosking. He was commenting on a recent Bank of England report on the composition of the UK workforce which noted that, while the proportion of graduates has gone up over the last two decades, their pay premium has gone down.

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The Bank comments:

There are a number of possible explanations which would be consistent with this finding. For example, if demand for highly skilled workers has not kept pace with an increase in supply, an increasing number of graduates would also lead to a decrease in the wage premium for those with degrees. Alternatively it is possible that the large increase in individuals studying for a degree in the United Kingdom has led to a fall in its signalling value (the ability of degrees to correctly identify more talented individuals) and thus the amount of pay which those…

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@BernieSanders lies more often than @HillaryClinton

Source: The presidential scorecards so far | PolitiFact.

The presidential scorecards so far @realdonaldtrump

Source: The presidential scorecards so far | PolitiFact

Owen Jones’ 3 problems

The Gerasites

By Saul Freeman

I’ll keep this brief. Partly – actually almost completely – because I’m tired. Tired of having to explain and justify. Tired of having to confront. Tired of having to witness.  

Tired of being a canary.

And I’m not the only one who’s tired. When Soupy tells you he/she is tired of the toxic brew of hate, you know we’re in trouble.

Those of you who – like me – spend too much time existing in one little corner of Twitter may have noticed that in the current climate of (welcome) interest in the long-standing phenomena of (very unwelcome) Left wing anti-Semitism, I have been an insistent voice calling out Owen Jones.

I’m not alone in this, but I am in a very small minority. Many other campaigners and voices from the anti-totalitarian Left accept Owen at his word. And Owen is good with words and has…

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Well-educated people think they are more left wing – Telegraph


Well-educated people often believe themselves to be more left wing than they actually are, a study has found.

From the page: “University graduates are less able to recognise their conservative tendencies than people who leave school at 16, according to the research.

Its author suggests that adults fail to notice as the political opinions of their youth weaken as they join the workforce and start families.

Additionally, because well-eductated people tend to socialise with others who have conservative views, their perception of where the ideoligical middle ground lies is skewed, wrote James Rockey, an economics lecturer at the University of Leicester.

However, earning a high salary can jolt employees into a better awareness of where they sit in the political spectrum, he added.

“Politics is social,” Mr Rockey said. “There are two main factors–the first is that people compare themselves not to the population as a whole but to…

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Impacts of Modest Global Warming

The Lukewarmer's Way

What will happen if our planet’s atmosphere warms 2 degrees Celsius during this century? I don’t know. I haven’t seen studies of warming to that extent (and I would welcome any links to studies that exist.)


What we’ve seen is mostly media reports of what will happen if temperatures rise much higher and most of those reports are pretty over-dramatic. But a careful study of modest temperature rises would be useful–after all, even if temperatures do climb higher, they will pass through the 2C range and perhaps stay there for quite a while.

The impacts that I have seen discussed are mostly on an unspecified gradient, which may be the best climate science can do at present. At some point between temperature rises of 1C and 4C, disruptions of large scale weather phenomena, such as the monsoon cycle, are expected to occur. But we don’t know at what point.


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% of New Zealand mortgages that were fixed and floating since 2004

Despite the best efforts of the libertarian paternalists to sell the other people are stupid fallacy, ordinary New Zealanders are quite nimble at moving between fixed and floating rates depending upon their forecasts of the future of interest rates. Price controls on floating rate mortgages, as suggested by the New Zealand Labour Party, would make this more difficult, not easier.


Source: S8 Banks: Mortgage lending ($m) – Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Global Warming, Climate Change

Open Mind

It seems to me that Roger Pielke Jr. is now persona non grata at Nate Silver’s 538 blog. Silver, whose statistics-based predictions of the last presidential election were stunningly accurate, hoped to capitalize on his celebrity by starting a blog which would present interesting and sometimes important posts which were based on competent analysis of actual data. What a concept! Unfortunately for Silver (in my opinion), he failed miserably when choosing Pielke as his point-man for the global warming/climate change issue. Many of us noted the kerfuffle which followed Pielke’s first foray, with Silver himself admitting publicly that it wasn’t up to the standard he hoped to set.

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Marking Territory | Life with a Cat

The explosion of lead in the saddlebags of trade agreements @KennedyGraham @DavidShearerMP #TPPANoWay


Source: CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: A Fundamental Shift in the Nature of Trade Agreements

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“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.


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