Day: April 23, 2016

Economics Can Be Fun, Honest! Lessons for Trump, Clinton and Sanders.

American Elephants

Dr. Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith Institute is explaining how basic economics is based on fundamental understanding of human nature. I posted this back in 2012, and found it in the archives when one visitor called it to my attention. This clearly demonstrates why Donald Trump doesn’t understand Trade at all, and is up the river without a paddle for his canoe. Ditto Hillary and Bernie.

Economics often seems too complicated for us everyday mortals, but it’s just based on understanding the real world. The workings of the market, the everyday buying and selling, profit and loss, tell us, if we choose to pay attention, how money, trade and markets really work.

Never fear, these are all really, really short, and worth your time.

Economics can be fun, and here’s another lesson: Economics is fun, Part 2. All about Price. How do products get priced, and what…

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@jono_naylor only question was why wasn’t this career criminal deported sooner

When a non-citizen spends 10 of his 40 odd years in Australia behind bars, most recently in 2011, the only question that should be posed is why was not he deported much earlier?


Source: Former criminal deported and separated from family after 40 years in Australia |

He is a career criminal who deserves no sympathy. He is the author of his own misfortunes in being separated from his family in Australia. Sympathy should go to his many victims, not to him.

More fool him when he spent 9 months in immigration detention because he chose to appeal his deportation. The criterion for automatic cancellation of Australian visas for criminals is accumulating 12 months in prison. That is a low threshold for automatic deportation unless the minister grants a waiver.

With 10 years behind bars, his appeal had no chance of success. He was a career criminal Australia could well be shot off.

Brexit is a one-way door

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

In his annual letter to shareholders, published earlier this month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said this about decision-making:

Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups.

And the consequences of using the wrong type of decision-making process:

As organizations get larger…

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#MorganFoundation errors about @nzinitiative’s Health of the State – part 2


What % of each occupation needs a license or certificate in the USA?

The 2015 Current Population Survey in the USA added a question about whether you needed a licence or a certificate to practice your occupation. One in 4 Americans say they need a licence or certificate. 22.4% need a license and 3.1% need a certificate among employed over the age of 16 in the USA.


Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics, Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey (2015), Certification and licensing status of the employed by occupation Table 5.

This estimate of 25% is less than the 30% estimated by Kleiner and Vorotnikov (2015) using a Harris Poll. Kleiner and Vorotnikov (2015) also found that some American states regulate twice as many occupations as others. This diversity in federalism strains any public interest explanation of occupational regulation.

Occupational regulation is more likely to be an issue for those who finished further education. It would have been better if the estimate by the Bureau of Labour Statistics was for adults and not have included teenagers.

The purpose of occupational regulation is to protect buyers from quacks and lemons – to overcome asymmetric information about the quality of the provider of the service.

The main issue with quacks in the labour market is whether there is a large cost of less than average quality service, and is there a sub-market who will buy less than average quality products in the presence of competing sellers competing on the basis of quality assurance. This demand for assurance creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to profit by providing assurance of quality.

Mostly disciplinary investigations and deregistrations under the auspices of occupational regulation are for gross misconduct and criminal convictions rather than the shading of quality.

A Presidential Nod to Procompetitive Regulatory Reform: Substance, not Mere Symbolism, is Needed

Truth on the Market

On April 15, President Obama issued Executive Order 13725, “Steps to Increase Competition and Better Inform Consumers and Workers to Support Continued Growth of the American Economy” (“the Order”).  At first blush, the Order appears quite promising.  It commendably (1) praises competitive markets as a cornerstone of the American economy, and (2) sets the promotion of competitive markets as “a shared priority across the Federal Government.”  The Order then directs executive branch departments and agencies (“agencies”) with “authorities that could be used to enhance competition” to “eliminate regulations that restrict competition without corresponding benefits to the American public.”  Furthermore, agencies are to identify ways they “can promote competition through pro-competitive rulemaking and regulations” and  “by eliminating regulations that restrict competition without corresponding benefits to the American public.”  What’s more, within sixty days agencies shall report to the White House:

“[R]ecommendations on agency-specific actions that eliminate barriers to competition, promote…

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Speaking Climate Truth to Policymakers

Science Matters

Rational people charged with making national energy policies need an antidote to the biased and alarmist IPCC “Summary for Policy Makers (SPM)”  As most are aware, that document purports to be summarizing the science proving humanity is causing dangerous global warming by using fossil fuels.  Those who understand the IPCC process are also aware that the SPM wording is negotiated among politicians and the scientific reports are adjusted accordingly.

A timely discussion of this issue is provided by someone with experience in briefing governmental officials on issues requiring choices.  Michael Kelly writes in Standpoint Magazine:

“A well-briefed minister knows about the general area in which a decision is sought, and is given four scenarios before any recommendation. Those scenarios are the upsides and the downsides both of doing nothing and of doing something. Those who give only the upside of doing something and the downside of doing nothing are in fact lobbying.”

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The Climate Fuss

Science Matters

Definition Fussbudget:  A person who fusses over trifles. Also called fusspot.

In the last week, Richard Lindzen has a new youtube video which explains briefly and clearly who is making a fuss about climate and why. (Hint: It is not primarily from climate physicists). The video deserves to go viral, since the presentation is brief, informative and accessible to anyone.

Why are so many people worried, indeed panic-stricken about this issue?
It’s due not so much to climate physicists, as to politicians, environmentalists and media. Global warming alarmism provides the things they most want:

  • For politicians, it’s money and power;
  • For environmentalists, it’s money for their organizations and confirmation of their near-religious devotion to the idea that man is a destructive force acting upon nature;
  • For the media, it’s ideology, money and headlines.
  • And crony capitalists have eagerly grabbed for the subsidies that governments have so lavishly provided.

Beyond the…

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Seven Earth Day predictions that failed spectacularly

Watts Up With That?

Never Trust The Doom-Mongers: Earth Day Predictions That Were All Wrong

The Daily Caller, 22 April 2016

Andrew Follett

Environmentalists truly believed and predicted that the planet was doomed during the first Earth Day in 1970, unless drastic actions were taken to save it. Humanity never quite got around to that drastic action, but environmentalists still recall the first Earth Day fondly and hold many of the predictions in high regard.
So this Earth Day, The Daily Caller News Foundation takes a look at predictions made by environmentalists around the original Earth Day in 1970 to see how they’ve held up.
Have any of these dire predictions come true? No, but that hasn’t stopped environmentalists from worrying. From predicting the end of civilization to classic worries about peak oil, here are seven green predictions that were just flat out wrong.

1: “Civilization Will End Within 15 or 30 Years.”
Harvard biologist Dr. George…

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