50 captures
26 Dec 2009 - 27 Nov 2020
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Monday February 28th 2011
RestrainedRadical's comments
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The irony of the tragedy of the commons
Feb 28th 2011 4:02 GMT
@merch79, most policy experts, politicians included, favor carbon taxes. Among the unwashed, however, there is a difference in how amendable the left and right are to Coasian bargaining. These comments confirm that.
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The irony of the tragedy of the commons
Feb 25th 2011 6:18 GMT
@Stephen Morris, oops. I'll have to say ten Hail Guido Calabresis for that slip.
@g cross, there is a school of economics that prioritizes equality over the general welfare. It's called Marxism.
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Going the Manchurian candidate one better
Feb 25th 2011 3:52 GMT
@TV, it was possibly procedurally illegal. Junior officers should refuse to obey illegal orders.
@SirWellington, I don't think anyone else shares your definition of propaganda. The government's anti-smoking ads are propaganda. Campaign ads paid for by public funding are propaganda. What is prohibited by US law is unauthorized propaganda on US citizens. Cadwell tried to use the IO unit on US citizens which is isn't authorized to do. He can do the same thing through public affairs which is what he ended up doing.
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The irony of the tragedy of the commons
Feb 25th 2011 2:58 GMT
@bampbs, that kind of moralizing might work at HuffPo but you're at the Economist now. Robert Coase is a god.
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The irony of the tragedy of the commons
Feb 25th 2011 12:52 GMT
I once worked for a Democratic politician. In the context of some regulation, I suggested a Pigovian tax. I was told "No, I don't want them to be able to pay their way out of it. I want it banned." I think a large segment of the population believes if something shouldn't be done, it should be banned outright and that things like cap-and-trade and Pigovian taxes are still letting the wrongdoers off too easy. Taxes don't carry moral condemnation. I think it may be because they see business activity less as economic decisions and more as moral ones. Does anyone think that if we had a high carbon tax, people would stop calling for a reining in of gas guzzlers? This is primarily problem on the left. The right's problem is that they aren't thinking about the political reality. If you close the door to Coasian bargaining, you're gonna get bad regulations.
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Going the Manchurian candidate one better
Feb 24th 2011 7:58 GMT
@Bernardo, I don't know if Lex defended it. I certain did not. I said it may be illegal. If it is, Cadwell should be held accountable. Commentor Colonialist said it best: "I think theres probably little difference with most psyops techniques and marketing/sales techniques. I don't think that makes it any less wrong. The problem is the military sidestepping the civilian control and oversight structure."
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Going the Manchurian candidate one better
Feb 24th 2011 6:55 GMT
@SirWellington, public affairs isn't propaganda? And Voice of America is still alive and well.
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Going the Manchurian candidate one better
Feb 24th 2011 6:15 GMT
IO was asked to prepare a report on how best to convince senators. A bit different from waterboarding. If you wanna know what IO does, read Dale Carnegie. Hardly sinister stuff. Nevertheless, it may be illegal to use IO for this purpose. After the incident, Caldwell transferred them to public affairs where they could do the same thing legally.
"the army is pretty desperate to convince people the war in Afghanistan is going swimmingly"
And somehow that's supposed to make senators want to increase troop levels which is what Caldwell wanted? These psy-ops must be good.
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Libertarian unionism
Feb 24th 2011 12:00 GMT
I'd like to propose a solution. An unwaivable right to unionize plus binding arbitration. Aside from those two conditions, employees and employers can come up with any arrangement they want.
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Libertarian unionism
Feb 24th 2011 5:02 GMT
I'm certain in many of my beliefs but I admit that balancing labor and capitalists is tough. WW isn't alone. I firmly believe in the right to free association but I also know unions do much harm. We can propose theoretical policies that may or may not strike the right balance. Since it's all theory, WW believes libertarian policies produce optimal results. I'm skeptical but, again, it's all theoretical.
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Barriers to trade back in the day
Feb 24th 2011 12:02 GMT
Who drinks domestic rum?
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Barriers to trade back in the day
Feb 23rd 2011 10:44 GMT
Come on. There's a big difference between protectionism and blockades. The former erect barriers to your own country. The latter erects barriers to other countries. Yes, if the US prevented Japan, Korea, and Germany from exporting cars to the rest of the world, the US would profit. That's not what we mean when we talk about protectionism.
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A quick thought on Mitch Daniels
Feb 23rd 2011 8:23 GMT
Moderates are the favorites in presidential primaries so I don't know why this would count against Daniels. On Intrade, Daniels is tied with Palin.
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Teaching quality and bargaining
Feb 23rd 2011 6:26 GMT
@Bernardo, actually conservatives usually want to roll back labor laws to lower unemployment. But my point was that if given a choice between labor laws and unions, conservatives would probably pick the latter evil. I'd distinguish here between conservatives and libertarians. Libertarians are hostile to unions. Conservatives tend to be more sympathetic to unions, at least private sector unions.
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Teaching quality and bargaining
Feb 23rd 2011 6:00 GMT
First there's the problem with combining SAT and ACT scores. Looking at ACT alone Virginia beats Wisconsin. If you look at SAT scores alone, you notice something very odd. The poorer states outperform the more affluent states. This is due to varying participation rates. Only 3% of students (the very brightest) in South Dakota take the SATs and as a result their scores are far above average. Contrast that with Maine which has 100% participation and ranks dead last.
So now that we've disposed of that, on to MS's remaining point about foreign unionization. Conservatives would love if the US adopted Japanese style unions. Unfortunately, they're illegal in the US. Conservatives would also love to roll back labor laws to German levels and let unions protect workers instead. But liberals insist on more and more labor laws which end up diminishing the role of unions.
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Now that's a really good question
Feb 23rd 2011 12:24 GMT
@g cross, liberals do believe that the state should intervene in perceived market failures like stagnant middle class income due to deunionization. The expected liberal solution is to have the state take over the role of the union. Liberals need to choose. Either the state is better than the private sector at protecting workers (in which case public sector unions are unnecessary) or the state is worse (in which case we should all support smaller government).
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Now that's a really good question
Feb 22nd 2011 10:39 GMT
Question for liberals: Wouldn't you want the state to take over union duties? We're told that the benevolent state makes the best choices. Seniors on Medicare have zero bargaining power. They can't strike. They only have their votes, just like everyone else. Yet the state generously provides for them. Why isn't that arrangement good enough for teachers?
If you do agree that the government negotiating with itself isn't the best arrangement, if you believe that ideally private associations would do things like babysitting co-ops and car pooling, welcome to the right.
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Now that's a really good question
Feb 22nd 2011 10:18 GMT
Funny. MS, your liberal utopian union is also the conservative dream of what church's would do. Solidarity is a religious doctrine after all. But churches won't replace unions. The state has been replacing both.
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Giving away government money accidentally on purpose
Feb 22nd 2011 8:19 GMT

@sparkleby, it would be nice if all costs of business were deducted from shareholder dividends instead of passed on to consumers or deducted from investment. As I've stated, I don't actually mind making them pay but I also don't live in a fantasy world where taxes only prevent Wall Street execs from buying bigger yachts. These royalty-free leases don't do "nothing." They have at least as good a bang-for-the-buck as space exploration spending.
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Giving away government money accidentally on purpose
Feb 22nd 2011 5:46 GMT
The first sign that MS is being his usual deceptive self should've been his suggestion that Congress needs to enact a new law to collect royalties that are already required by law. The fact is that they aren't required to pay royalties. The Interior Department screwed up by offering royalty-free leases and now wants to modify the contracts. The courts wouldn't do it so they tried the legislative route. I actually don't have a problem with it but it should be noted that it isn't the oil companies that are reneging.
And personally I think $1.5 billion a year is a worthwhile sum but why is MS hung up over it? Whenever Republicans offer tens or hundreds of billions in savings MS always comes back with "That's nothing! Cut defense!"
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