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I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
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 yesterday 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 5 days ago at EclectEcon
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 6 days ago at EclectEcon
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 6 days ago 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 7 days ago 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
Taken during a dress rehearsal by Ross Davidson: Related articles Charley in Death of a Salesman Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at EclectEcon
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
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
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
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
From Coyote Blog, a spectacularly accurate and funny Venn diagram: The first lesson of economics is (or ought to be), "People respond to incentives." And I would add, ".... whether we like it or not." Scott Sumner has more along the same line at EconLog: A few weeks ago I did a post pointing out that pundits on both the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2014 at EclectEcon
One of my very favourite lines from Catch-22 is Yossarian's statement (paraphrased), They have the right to do whatever they cannot be prevented from doing. I was reminded of that line by this story from the CBC [via Ms Eclectic] which outlines how law-enforcement officials in the US take cash from people's cars. Across America, law enforcement officers — from... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2014 at EclectEcon
The Elder of Ziyon links to a report from MEMRI [the Middle East Media Reports Institute] that as soon as the cease-fire was announced in Gaza, work on deeper tunnels was begun to prepare for renewed attacks on Israel. A recent Al-Jazeera TV report took the viewers down into new tunnels dug by the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at EclectEcon
Everything I have read about the Apple Watch looks nice. But there's a killer drawback: I like to wear my watch all the time, including at night and while swimming. If it isn't waterproof, and if it needs to be taken off at night for recharging, I'll pass. For now I'll stick with my Timex Expedition. Also see this and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at EclectEcon
Stephen Hawking wrote that discovering and messing with the Higgs-Boson particle might lead to the end of the universe as we know it. [via Jack] He wrote: "The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV)." What might this lead to? Hawkins explained: "This could mean that the universe could undergo... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at EclectEcon
These are absolutely amazing drawings, utilizing the extreme convexity of a cyclindrical mirror. Here's a "standard" piece... a picture of a tree: Here's a more complex one, in that without the cylinder it looks like a seascape, but in the cylinder it looks like a portrait: And I love this one. A weird, intriguing sculpture that shows a hand to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at EclectEcon
Fifty years ago I was content with the concept of an infinite universe --- infinite in time and space. Then I started learning about expansion, deflation, the big bang, string theory, parallel universes, 11 dimensions, criticisms of string theory, etc. I was shaken from my contentedness by the turmoil and uncertainty of it all. Ms Eclectic and I began reading... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at EclectEcon
This article is directed toward Bay Street lawyers in Trono, but probably applies in many other situations [ht Raffi]. And even if the advice doesn't work for all jobs, the overall direction of the advice might be useful. [A]ll of our experts agreed on these finer points of dressing like a fully formed lawyer Gentlemen Well-kept facial hair is fine.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at EclectEcon
Here is a short exchange from the play, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Charley: When a deposit bottle is broken, you don't get your nickel back. Willy: That's easy enough for you to say. Charley: That ain't easy for me to say. Charley is telling Willy to recognize that he can't change the past, but Willy holds onto... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at EclectEcon
see this - an intriguing example. (apologies that I haven't been able to find a way to embed the video here). A small bobcat-like vehicle that saws and splits wood. Now to find an attachment that stacks and bundles the wood! Technological change, coupled with increased labour costs and reduced costs of capital rotate the isocosts, shifting the expansion path,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at EclectEcon