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EclectEcon
I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
I subscribe to the Washington Post online. Imagine my shock (with a touch of mirth) when I saw this headline in this afternoon's edition: Obama secures votes to clinch Iran victory in Congress When I clicked through to the article, I saw that the headline there was a bit different. [Note: headlines are typically written by editors, not by the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at EclectEcon
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There are two things that have been noted in the news recently about London, Ontario, that are intriguing. Because of the time lapse between the two, however, I doubt if they are related. London was at one time the serial murder capital of the world. This: "...the city became the "serial killer capital of the world" from 1959 to 1984,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at EclectEcon
Please note that this applies equally to left-wing elitist interventionists (of whom Keynesians and big-gubmnt folk are a subset) who promise all sorts of gubmnt solutions. OP-ED COLUMNIST A Heckuva Job By PAUL KRUGMAN As some Republican candidates have shown, it's not too difficult to fool many of the people for quite a long time. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at EclectEcon
I am an old man. And I am generally a mild-mannered, contented, happy, grateful old man. But there are some things in restaurants that really turn me into a Grumpy Old Man. "We". The server greets us in a condescendingly chipper voice, "Hi Folks, and how are we today?" They are really asking, "How are you today?" and so why... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at EclectEcon
No foolin', and this is good news: the earth's biomass of plants has been growing, and noticeably so. From the G&M [via JR]: ... between 2003 and 2012 (the last year... analyzed), something surprising happened: The trees started growing back. Their results showed that deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia slowed sharply, while better growing conditions in the savannahs of northern... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
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Most of the OPEC countries seem to have budgeted with the expectation that oil prices would be up over $70US/bbl or higher. If the price of crude oil remains where it is, down under $50/bbl, these countries will have massive budgetary deficits. And so, btw, will Alberta (and Canada) Furthermore, those of us in the rest of Canada, hoping for... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at EclectEcon
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Please, Facebook Friends! Save the Kittens! [via Scoop] Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at EclectEcon
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I have been thinking about posting about this for some time, but have been reluctant. I may lose some FB friends over this, but here goes: For those who don't know, I was born and raised in the USA. When the US changed its pledge of allegiance to the flag in 1954 to add the prepositional phrase "under God", as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at EclectEcon
In response to the news that the IAEA is going to trust Iran to do its own monitoring of its nuclear activities, JR (my favourite drug dealer) wrote, So the U.S. government has an army of bureaucrats called the I.R.S. to audit Americans, but decides to trust the IAEA who are trusting the Iranians. Leading from behind becomes trust outsourcing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at EclectEcon
Success Academy, a network of charter schools in New York, seems to be doing very well for its students. And their success seems to be the result of more than just selection bias [see this]. What if those Success Academy kids had been distributed among all of the top schools in the city? Would they have done better or worse... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at EclectEcon
Discovering that some 16-ounce glass mugs we had recently purchased were not quite as big as we would like, Ms Eclectic and I were delighted to discover these 17-ounce glass mugs on Amazon. It turns out they aren't really much, if any, bigger than the 16-ounce mugs we already had. Q. How could 17-ounces and 16-ounces be approximately the same... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at EclectEcon
According to this article, the universe as we know it is dying [h/t Jack]. Stars are burning out and energy is being dispersed. New data further confirms [sic] that our 13.8 billion-year-old universe is well past its prime, and is slowly fading out. The Australian-led project known as Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) has been measuring the energy output of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at EclectEcon
First, traditionally "organic" meant chemical compounds with carbon in them. All living things, plants and animals, have carbon in them, and so all plant and animal food is "organic" in that sense. Second, much of the hoopla about so-called organic foods is nonsense: Dick Tavern in his excellent book, The March of Unreason – science, democracy and the new fundamentalism,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at EclectEcon
I predict that Justin Trudeau will be the next Prime Minister of Canada. Whether he and the Liberals will form a majority or minority gubmnt, though, is up for grabs. I have a bet in this regard with my friend and colleague Salim Mansur. I also predict the Progressive Conservatives will be lucky to win 50 seats in the October... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at EclectEcon
You read or hear that recently China devalued its currency, but just what did they devalue: was it the yuan or was it the renminbi? The answer is yes..... or both. The yuan is the primary denomination of China's currency, which is officially called the renminbi. As this site says, Renminbi — abbreviated RMB — is the formal term most... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2015 at EclectEcon
My guess is that Iran will have working nuclear weapons and missiles capable of "delivering" them within the next five or fewer years. (somehow using the verb "deliver" with launching a nuclear weapon cries for the use of quotation marks in my mind.) My guess, also, is that the US and the West will do nothing more to impede this... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at EclectEcon
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About 25 years ago, I wrote a column "In Praise of Fairweather Fans". Unfortunately, I can no longer find it; otherwise I would just link to it. With the way the Trono Blue Jays are playing these days, Blue Jay fans are coming out of the woodwork. Like many fans, I love watching their games when they win. And when... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at EclectEcon
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When I was an undergraduate nearly 97 years ago, I had a professor [Ada M. Harrison] who opined that we didn't really need all those different brands of toothpaste or bar soap. I questioned her assertion, suggesting that consumers like choice and value different flavours, smells, textures, and packaging. She essentially poo-pooed this thought. She was a brilliant professor, probably... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at EclectEcon
Four months ago I had reached my goal weight of 160lbs [see this] and promptly began celebrating. I continued to celebrate for four months, making great use of the hashtag #carbsbedamned on Facebook. By this past weekend, after our fun anniversary celebration watching the Jays at Rogers Centre and "lunching" up the CN Tower, I had gained over ten pounds... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at EclectEcon
Sent by Ms Eclectic's cousin: I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance (pensions). I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s licence and my own car. I have ID that gets me into bars and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2015 at EclectEcon
Especially marijuana. From Wonkblog at The Washington Post, Wonkblog Sheriffs are asking for armored trucks to wage war on marijuana. Yes, really. By Christopher Ingraham August 11 at 7:30 AM Police officers in Mason City, Iowa, get a look at the department's new mine resistant-ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle on loan from the Department of Defense on Monday, April 14, 2014. (AP... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at EclectEcon
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As regular readers of EclectEcon know, I sometimes "nose" deer-warning signs by putting a 2" diameter circle of red reflector tape on the nose of the deer on the sign. E.g., Most people I know seem to get a kick out of seeing the signs after the signs have been "nosed". Because of this positive feedback, I willingly take the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at EclectEcon
From Bjorn Lomborg's page on Facebook: The United Arab Emirates just cut its fossil fuel subsidies significantly following the lead of countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, who have also managed to cut their subsidies. That means less pollution, lower CO2-emissions and not least more money for more important areas such as health and education. In its most recent report, the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at EclectEcon
CBC has some information on how to maximize your chances of seeing falling stars during the Perseid meteor shower over the next few nights. Go someplace dark [a real problem for us urban dwellers]. Try to catch the peak [roughly 4am on August 13th]. Watch after midnight [may be possible for those who are nightowls or who wake during the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at EclectEcon
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Last week, Ms Eclectic and I were at the SkyDome Rogers Centre Marriott Renaissance Hotel to watch a couple of Trono Blue Jays baseball games. Less than an hour after the final game of the homestand, hundreds of employees began the all-night-and-longer process of transforming the field from a baseball stadium into a football stadium for the Sunday evening CFL... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2015 at EclectEcon