Old News edition.
- Capitalism is awesome (EconLog)
(Take “capitalism” to mean “competition in relatively unfettered markets”.)
- Twitter vs. flying cars (EconLog)
I’m sick of people shitting on Twitter, especially now that it’s established its utility as a low transaction cost (that part’s important, reread it until you understand why) ad-hoc communications medium. For example, this would have been mired in delusional architecture and Kafkaesque specifications-by-committee if Twitter hadn’t made it possible for Translink’s customer-service folks to simply tell everyone who was interested why the bus is late today. And if you don’t think web development is all that hard, I invite you to try to buy American health insurance. Software will fuck you up.
- Ho-hum, move along, nothing to see here (Marginal Revolution)
Turns out the market’s response to the horrible, eschatological, cataclysmic government shutdown was… “Huh, did you say something? Government what now? Sorry, I was focusing on things that might affect my bottom line.” You’d think a Mad Max scenario would qualify, which should make you wonder whether it was likely to happen in the first place.
- What would default look like? (Marginal Revolution)
“Treasury bonds default” has gone from “don’t be absurd” to “well, of course it’s an absurd idea, but…“. This does not make me any happier. There’s also this:
Addendum: By the way, we used to read that an attack of the bond market vigilantes would be good for the economy, but it seems this is no longer the case when the vigilantes are led by Republicans. Hint: an attack of the bond market vigilantes is not good for the economy.
- Getting beneath the veil of effective schools (Marginal Revolution)
Curiously, it turns out that most of the things teachers’ unions champion are of great benefit to teachers but not so much to students. Don’t read the comments, they’ll give you cancer.
- Dani Rodrik on premature deindustrialization (Marginal Revolution)
An immediate consequence is that developing countries are turning into service economies at substantially lower levels of income.
“Deindustrialization”, if you haven’t bothered to click through, is the act of turning manufacturing jobs that make anti-sweatshop activists righteously indignant into call-centre jobs that make anti-sweatshop activists with bricked iPhones righteously indignant. Which is progress, I suppose, because if their iPhones are bricked they can’t tweet you handwringing nonsense when you’re busy trying to set your fantasy football lineup.
Quick: Who among you would be so generous as to take in a family of complete strangers with a sick child, give them a room for the night, and serve them breakfast? Oh, uh, spoiler warning.
- Why not protect workers from customers? (EconLog)
“And then Bryan Caplan stood up and just started Bryan Caplanning at everyone.”