Monty Python football

Paul Krugman takes a step to clearer vision & reform of America

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Paul Krugman made a remarkable admission for a political columnist in America, one that points the way to a path for the reform of America. He took a step towards seeing that there is no “reality-based party” in America.

Eye of the hurricane

“… first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
— Matthew 7:5.

Today both Left and Right routinely “create their own reality”. The Right invented and perfected this methodology to mobilize their followers (via engines of disinformation such as Fox News and the Washington Times). The Left has copied them, making this the primary tactic for their crusades. The most obvious example is the fight against climate change, where the Left has liberated themselves from dependence on the consensus of climate scientists (as expressed through the IPCC and major climate agencies). Unusual weather (no matter…

View original post 507 more words

Another kitten video

Wheeler and Hannah on the OCR leak

croaking cassandra

I will offer some thoughts on the FSR itself tomorrow, but I had few quick reactions to the comments made at the press conference this morning about the MediaWorks OCR leak and related issues.

I had heard that the Reserve Bank had been considering backtracking on the discontinuation of lock-ups, and had in fact been consulting selected journalists on the conditions on which media lock-ups might be reinstated.  That was confirmed by the Governor this morning.

Frankly, they seem all over the place.  Less than a month ago, they announced the discontinuation of lock-ups.  I thought that was the right decision at the time (and had called for it earlier).  Presumably the Bank  had carefully considered the various options open to it then, and decided on balance that (a) consultation with affected parties was not required, and (b) that it was not appropriate to continue with lock-ups.  One wonders what has changed…

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Evolution of The United States of America

Children who had fast food 3+ times in past week in New Zealand by sex & deprivation index

once again: college effects do not matter, college major effects are huge

I just discovered an Economist article from last year showing that, once again, which college you go to is a lot less important than what you do at college. Using NCES data, PayScale estimated return on investment for students from selective and non-selective colleges. Then, they separated STEM majors from arts/humanities. Each dot represents a college major and its estimated rate of return:


Some obvious points:

  • In the world of STEM, it really doesn’t matter where you go to school.
  • High prestige arts majors do worse, probably because they go into low paying careers, like being a professional painter (e.g., a Yale drama grad will actually try Broadway, while others may not get that far).
  • A fair number of arts/humanities majors have *negative* rates of return.
  • None of the STEM majors have a negative rate of return.
  • The big message – college matters less than major.

There is also a…

View original post 62 more words

Motherhood earnings penalties and work-family policies: Is more always better?

Work in Progress

14432831937_65e5266464_o Image AWO Saarland via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

by Irene Boeckmann, Joya Misra & Michelle Budig

Mothers earn less than fathers and childless men on average, but also less than women without children at home. Part of these earnings difference can be explained by the work experience mothers might lose due to employment interruptions or part-time work while caring for their families.

Even after taking differences in education, labor market experience, job characteristics, work hours, and marital status, mothers still earn significantly less than women without care responsibilities.

Indeed, in a study we recently published, we find that U.S. mothers pay an earnings penalty of 8% per child.

View original post 1,097 more words

Numbers of days needed to start a business in high income countries


Source: Historical Data – Doing Business- World Bank Group.

Don’t be fooled by simple media “science”

Open Parachute

This video is getting plenty of coverage – and despite its length, it is worth watching. The humour helps, of course. You certainly won’t be bored if you commit the 20 minutes required to watch the video right through.

Oliver warns about the way journalists often misrepresent the science. Further, he is warning that often the science itself is suspect – or even no good.

It’s a warning we should all take on board. If we are interested in understanding something, and not just cherry-picking to confirm an existing ideological bias, then we have to approach what we read in the media about science critically and thoughtfully. Not accepting things at face value. Nor interpreting a journalist attempt at a false balance as somehow authenticating an article.

Hell, all good working scientists know that we should approach the peer-reviewed scientific literature itself in the same critical way. So we should hardly be…

View original post 69 more words

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