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EclectEcon
I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
There will be a partial eclipse of the sun today. From the CBC: The eclipse will start in Western Canada around 1:30 p.m. PT in Vancouver and Victoria and move east. At its peak around 3 p.m. PT, the moon will cover about two-thirds of the sun when viewed from southern B.C. Generally, the eclipse will be greater (cover more... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at EclectEcon
A discussion with Facebook friends led to this pair of queries: Which would you prefer, marriage to Kim Kardasian or contracting ebola? Which would you prefer, marriage to Kim Kardasian or dying from ebola (he had originally noted that more people in the US have been married to Kim than have died from ebola)? Some preferred contracting ebola, with the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at EclectEcon
Ok, I'm not hearing the beeps during the NLCS, so why was it there during the ALCS? And another question: why are we not seeing the pitch-tracker (computerized graphic showing where pitches were relative to the strike zones) during the league championship series? Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at EclectEcon
I'm watching baseball's ALCS on the international telecast via Sportsnet in Canada. Near the top of each half inning, there's a beep, rapidly repeated four or five times. It's not always before the first pitch; sometimes it is after one or two pitches have been thrown. Does anyone have any idea what that is about? Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at EclectEcon
I'm not thrilled with this year's selection to win the Nobel Prize in economics. People who know me and know my work will not be surprised by this. Despite Tyler Cowen's thorough and positive assessment of the work of the 2014 prize winner's contributions to the field, I took a dimmer view. Most simply put, I saw much of Tirole's... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at EclectEcon
Renowned pro-Israel writer, Melanie Phillips, will be visiting London, Ontario, on October 28th. I am delighted, and I will make sure I go to see her. I have been following Melanie Phillips' writings for nearly a decade, including her early blogging, and while I was teaching in England we corresponded about the growing influence of Islam in London, England. Her... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2014 at EclectEcon
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. It's always on the second Monday of October, giving us a wonderful 3-day weekend to enjoy the autumn colours of the leaves changing. These days, many people (perhaps most?) celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with friends and family on Sunday rather than on the actual holiday Monday. Makes sense to me. It gives everyone a day to prepare,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at EclectEcon
Some basic data from the WSJl [via Sean]: For low-income workers, total pay and benefits rose by 41% from 1999 through 2006. But these workers’ wages increased only by 28%, barely outpacing inflation. The reason: Employer costs for these workers’ health costs nearly doubled, from 6.5% to 12.2% of compensation, and ate up money that could have gone toward salaries.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek has a wonderful, illuminating quote from James Piereson: Piketty implies that reductions in taxes over the past three decades have allowed the rich [EE: sic. I think he means high-income earners] to accumulate money while avoiding paying their fair share of taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth. As income taxes and capital-gains taxes... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
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Amazing, but the plaque put up in my honour last year at The University of Regina is still there! Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at EclectEcon
Putin highly recommends that people take economics courses from Professor Palmer so they will avoid making all the economics mistakes he and his cronies have made in Russia: Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at EclectEcon
When foreign gubmnts subsidize their export industries they do, indeed, make life harder for their competitors here. But they also make consumers here better off. From Richard McKenzie, via Cafe Hayek and referred to by former student, David Henderson, Through foreign subsidies on exports, some U.S. industries are harmed, but others are helped. The net effect of the subsidies is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at EclectEcon
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I will likely have some extra luggage when going to Regina next week to give my seminar on "An Options Market for Human Organs", so I went to the WestJet website to see what the charges might be. Here is a portion of the explanation of the fees at their site: If you are paying a fee at the airport,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at EclectEcon
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But, as I posted earlier on Facebook, on the plus side... Whoever said no news is good news was wrong. Turns out drinking red wine is better for you than going to the gym! How’s that for good news? Jason Dyck and other science researchers in the University of Alberta in Canada found that red wine, nuts and grapes have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at EclectEcon
I like your solution (include an intercept term; i.e. salary plus commission), but the text says "That makes your commission....". And if it's salary plus commission, salary per what?
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2014 on Willy Loman's Commission Structure at EclectEcon
What kind of commission structure is Willy Loman working under in Death of a Salesman? It certainly seems strange to me. Willy: I did five hundred gross in Providence and seven hundred gross in Boston... Linda: ... That makes your commission .... $212!....... How much did you (really) do? Willy: .... it came to roughly two hundred gross in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2014 at EclectEcon
Science is advanced when people are skeptical of received doctrines and "settled science". Advancing both knowledge and our understanding requires an open mind and a willingness to question the mainstream. And yet, throughout the ages, skeptics have been persecuted by religious and political leaders. You would think humans could learn from this history. But no, assuming these remarks were not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at EclectEcon
I'll be giving a seminar at the University of Regina on "An Options Market for Human Organs" on October 3rd. Here is the abstract: There is a chronic shortage of human organs for transplant. This shortage is largely the result of the failure to use market pricing in the face of a phenomenal increase in demand resulting in part from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at EclectEcon
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Taken during a dress rehearsal by Ross Davidson: Related articles Charley in Death of a Salesman Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at EclectEcon
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I have a small role (Charley) in the London Community Players' production of Death of a Salesman, so I claim no credit for this. And I make no claim to being unbiased, though I do my best. This production is one of the best you could ever see. I'll stack it up against any professional production of Death of a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2014 at EclectEcon
The old CBC business model is broken. Television viewers and radio listeners have zillions of options via cable and the internet. Viewership is down and hence so are advertising revenues. The result? The CBC essentially wants to move toward the BBC model: charge everyone a fee (i.e. another tax) to support them, regardless of whether we watch, like, or listen... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2014 at EclectEcon
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I have recently looked at the proposed "Justification Report" the county has prepared to justify their putting a 30-story building where the current Middlesex County Health building is at Ridout and King Street in London, Ontario. Not only will the building take up and block a LOT of park space and add seriously to traffic congestion problems, but I have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at EclectEcon
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Here is a photo of me as Charley in Death of a Salesman. The photo is by Ross Davidson taken during Monday's dress rehearsal. The preview is tonight. We have our official opening tomorrow. Friends who saw the rehearsal last night were VERY moved by the performances. Procunier Hall, The Palace Theatre. Related articles Sunk Costs and "The Death of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at EclectEcon
Via Jason Clemens on Facebook: Some folks have asked for references regarding my comments earlier today about the fact that hiking the minimum wage will not by and large benefit low-income households. This is the first of several FB posts with references. This first post is to an academic article that appeared in the journal Canadian Public Policy. The researchers... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at EclectEcon
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For some reason I didn't bother to pronounce the name of this wine to myself until I got it home and put it in the fridge. I'm glad I bought it now, even though I haven't opened it yet and have no idea what it tastes like. I'm sure my Facebook friend, Michael Snell (aka The Wine Commonsewer) will want... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at EclectEcon