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I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
Recently someone in a local Facebook group asked members to post their ages. In the twelve or so hours since that posting, these are the ages of the people playing Pokemon Go and who are members of the group and who responded (a selective non-representative sample, for sure). Here are the results, grouped unscientifically. They wouldn't be much different with... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at EclectEcon
I just read this piece on the Daily Alert. Iran: Israel's Annihilation Is Imminent Speaking in Tehran on July 1, Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said: "Today, more than ever, there is fertile ground - with the grace of God - for the annihilation, the wiping out, and the collapse of the Zionist regime. In Lebanon alone, over 100,000... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at EclectEcon
I'm doing some research for a paper on "Property Rights and Contract Enforcement in the Post-Zombie Apocalypse." Seriously. In the process of trying to learn more about zombies, I ran across this interview with Max Brooks, in which he says, [Questioner]: How can a layperson like myself distinguish between a zombie and a bureaucrat? Max Brooks: Simply put, a zombie... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2016 at EclectEcon
Today's NYTimes has an article about the battle over bridge sites in Windsor, Ontario. The article seems pretty one-sided to me. A different take on the situation is that an (albeit aggressive) private entrepreneur wants to build a six-lane bridge parallel to the current bridge and has amassed most of the resources necessary to do so. But he is being... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2016 at EclectEcon
Last night I was at a social event with some theatre friends. One person there is widely respected as by far the best tech person in theatre throughout the region -- knowledgeable, creative, industrious, and pleasant to work with. He is also quite possibly a better actor than I might ever hope to be. I laughed that the only reason... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at EclectEcon
We recently had a meeting with the people who manage our pension funds. It was this meeting that spurred me to write this post. I was told that if our portfolio earns 3.8% per year, we'll be in excellent shape. They went on to tell us that 3.8% seemed like a reasonable expectation for a conservative portfolio like ours. First... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at EclectEcon
I went to a website to vote for players for the July Major League Baseball All-Star Game today. At the end, a voter must select a favourite team. I had trouble finding the Toronto Blue Jays on the list Here is a screen capture of the drop-down menu they made available when I voted: Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2016 at EclectEcon
I'm old enough to have experienced major paradigm shifts in many areas. And so I wonder, which theoretical models make predictions most in line with future events? Macroeconomic models? Keynesian stuff we were taught and then retaught ourselves was way off because it tended to understate the importance of money. Monetary models have let us down somewhat because they often... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2016 at EclectEcon
Fair-use of someone's published works means that it's okay to quote sections for review or research purposes. It does not mean it is okay to copy their works holus bolus. My experience with Google Books and with Amazon has always been that that is precisely what they provide. In other words, they were making snippets or brief sections available for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at EclectEcon
I generally like plastic bags for many uses, and I have written about them before. Are Plastic Bags Our Enemy? What Is the Price Elasticity of Demand for Plastic Grocery Bags? But it disturbs me that so many people are so careless and/or thoughtless about using and disposing of plastic bags. Today Ms Eclectic and I walked down to listen... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2016 at EclectEcon
Quoted from the Elder of Ziyon [EE: emphasis added]: Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Erasing Christian History For Palestinian Christians, the destruction of the ancient Byzantine church ruins is yet a further attempt by Palestinian Muslim leaders to efface both Christian history and signs of any Christian presence in the West Bank and Gaza, under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2016 at EclectEcon
Everyone thinks I'm upset because it snowed here again today. Nope. I'm upset because the forecast says it's going to rain tonight and my latest snow stomp art will be washed away soon. Links to most of my previous snow-stomp art (in reverse chronological order): Special Weather Statement (this post) Think Tropics Qubix Valentine, 2016 Paisley'd Circles Happy New Year,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2016 at EclectEcon
Yesterday Jack sent me this piece. Everyone who holds up Scandinavian countries as some sort of big-gubmnt ideal needs to think about these points. At one time, Sweden, a small nation, had the fourth-largest economy in the world. That was in 1970. Twenty-five years later, the economy had tumbled to 14th and the private sector stopped creating jobs, according to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2016 at EclectEcon
There is a long-standing story in Princeton, Ontario (yes, there is such a town), that after the failed Northfield Minnesota bank robbery, Jesse James found his way to Princeton, Ontario. Jason Rip has written a play about what might have happened while he was there, "Mr. Richardson Was Jesse James." The play will be performed as one of the productions... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2016 at EclectEcon
I woke up to see snow on the ground this morning! Yea!!!!! More opportunities for snow-stomp art! This one was far less complex than my previous work (Qubix) but somehow seemed appropriate: Rum! Palms! A hammock! No wonder it also looks like a stylized happy face! Links to most of my previous snow-stomp art: Qubix Valentine, 2016 Paisley'd Circles Happy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2016 at EclectEcon
My granddaughter and I are going to see Titus Andronicus tomorrow evening at The Arts Project in London. If I didn't know the producer/director, and if I didn't know and respect the actors playing the leading roles, and if I didn't enjoy supporting local theatre, I probably wouldn't go to see this play. Murder, rape, dismemberment, mutilation, torture, fratricide, sacrificial... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at EclectEcon
If not prepared properly, red kidney beans (and many other members of the lentil family) can cause food poisoning. Or at least might contain some toxins. [via Jack] Red kidney beans form part of the pulses family (which also includes peas and lentils) and are available in both dried and tinned versions. They are often used in recipes such as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2016 at EclectEcon
I was so excited by the snow we had last night, I had trouble sleeping! I wanted to get out on the lawn this morning to try my latest snow-stomp art idea. If I'd walk straighter, it would look better, but I'm pretty happy with it anyway. Update: By mid-afternoon, there had been some melting and the sun was shining.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2016 at EclectEcon
I have no idea how reliable this source is, but I love the examples posted there, most likely as humour submissions. My own three stupid stories from interviews. They're nowhere near as funny as the ones in the link though. I was in my last year in economics grad school. I figured I'd probably want an academic job, but decided... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2016 at EclectEcon
Former student, Gerry Nicholls, is very witty. I've enjoyed reading things he writes for years. Here's a brilliant example. The conclusion: Sure, I get the concept in theory: government-subsidized companies will invent something amazingly innovative and environmentally friendly, such as machines that run on the warmth generated by Trudeau’s “Sunny ways”. Yet, the sad truth of economics is that companies... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2016 at EclectEcon
I have a strong sense that many of my pro-Palestinian friends use lots of arguments to be anti-Israel, but in reality they just don't think Israel has the right to exist. I wonder if these people would feel the same way if the Arab countries had accepted the 1947 borders and not attacked Israel. But things like this continue to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2016 at EclectEcon
Former student David Henderson makes this point clearly in a recent post at EconLog. He points out that many of the people in the top 1% are professionals whose positions are protected by laws that restrict entry and keep out the competition. Quoting Jonathan Rothwell, he notes, For lawyers, doctors, and dentists-- three of the most over-represented occupations in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2016 at EclectEcon
Professors at Columbia University have taken sides, with some pro-BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] and other anti-BDS. The Elder of Ziyon has an interesting take on the split: Of the 69 Columbia professors who signed a pro-BDS petition. 15 of them work in the anthropology department, six in philosophy, 13 in Middle East studies, two in Gender & Sexuality Studies, four... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2016 at EclectEcon
Don Boudreaux says it so well in his "Bonus Quotation of the Day [March 22]" from a passage by Paul Krugman and in his rhetorical questions that follow that: … from page 220 of the 2005 7th edition of Paul Krugman’s and Maurice Obstfeld’s excellent textbook, International Economics: Theory & Policy: [I]t’s hard to make sense of actual trade policy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2016 at EclectEcon
In recent news, we learned that French's (of mustard fame) indirectly took over the Heinz tomato processing plant in Leamington, Ontario, after Heinz abandoned it. Then Loblaws supermarkets decided not to carry French's ketchup because French's ketchup wasn't eroding Heinz sales, but was "cannibalizing" the sales of Loblaws' own President's Choice brand of ketchup. There is more to the story... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at EclectEcon