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I have "delusions of adequacy."
Interests: economics, policy, theatre, music, hiking, geocaching
Recent Activity
I loved all the snow yesterday and I kept hoping it wouldn't rain and get too warm. I got lucky! It kept snowing and didn't get too warm, and so I went out to do my next snow stomp art project last evening. I spent some time sketching what I wanted to do, but of course when I actually get... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at EclectEcon
We had nice snow last night, and I arose early to do some snowstomp art on the condo lawn. The title is The title is "Wear Me". We're a high-risk household, and so we try to isolate a lot, distance, and wear masks the times when we're not isolating. My previous snow stomp art: Wear me (this post) The Meaning... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at EclectEcon
To hear the mainstream media talking heads, Covid-19 has been terribly mishandled in Ontario. Because I'm reading about high case loads in so many jurisdictions, I wondered how bad the situation has been in Ontario compared with other places. See the table below. First I compared it with Michigan, next door, where there was a massive lockdown early and where... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at EclectEcon
The title of this post came to mind when I read this morning's headline in the Democratic Party Newsletter, aka The Washington Post*: Biden plans to move fast on the pandemic and the economy Quite frankly this whole-hog determination that the federal gubmnt must do something about these two issues bothers me. Pandemic policies should be and have mostly been... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at EclectEcon
Is it acceptable to ask whether there really was an historical Jesus? Is it acceptable to ask whether cold fusion will ever be a possibility? Is it acceptable to ask whether Ashkenazim Jews are, on average, smarter than Sephardic or Ethiopian Jews? Is it acceptable to ask whether blacks are, on average, better athletes than whites? Is it acceptable to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2020 at EclectEcon
We decided to try to stuff two large-ish chicken breasts with asparagus, mushrooms, and brie cheese. First, not just one but lots of slices in each breast: And then put some asparagus in the slits: And then some sliced cremini mushrooms and some slices of brie: And then try to tie them shut. Hah! Trim the strings and season them.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2020 at EclectEcon
From JR, my favourite drug dealer: "Consensus science" is similar to "precautionary principle": both are terms used by pseudoscientists, regardless of their pedigree, who do not understand that science is simply the denial of the null hypothesis to support an alternative hypothesis to some degree of probability. Of course, denying consensus makes you "deplorable" in every sphere of life, including... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at EclectEcon
A few weeks ago I wrote about how the FED is vacuuming up liquidity by making interest payments on US commercial bank excess reserves deposited at the Fed. In that post, I noted that so long as the Fed vacuums up the excess liquidity created when they buy up additional debt (gubmnt and otherwise), I can understand why and how... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at EclectEcon
Nearly seven years ago, I described the competition between Keurig and Tassimo here. For a number of very good reasons, I suggested then that if this is a winner-take-all competition, Keurig would be likely to win it. It still looks that way from my perspective as the variety of disks available for Tassimo continues to diminish, as does the shelf... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at EclectEcon
This year and last year I participated in an international convention for The Urban Economy Forum, both as a speaker and as a member of the steering committee. Last year, not knowing what I was getting into, I prepared a 20-30 minute presentation, only to learn a few days in advance that I would have only ten minutes for my... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at EclectEcon
If you're like us, there are times you buy more perishable foods than you can use up before their expiration dates (the best of intentions....). Yesterday we realized we had quite of few things we wanted to use up, and so we made some crustless quiches. Ingredients: one dozen eggs 6 cups of half-and-half half a stick of butter (melted)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2020 at EclectEcon
Fifteen years ago, amidst the threat of Avian Flu, we developed a list of things we wanted to have in our house in case all the dire predictions actually came true. Fortunately they didn't, and since then we've moved into a condo. Jack suggested I develop a list of things people in apartment or condo buildings should try to keep... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at EclectEcon
The United States gubmnt has massively increased its indebtedness, and apparently the Fed has bought most of this debt. Why hasn't this monetization of the debt led to expectations (in the markets) of increased inflation rates a year or two from now? Here's one possible explanation, but I'm open to others. Since I'm an old-skool monetarist, I'm still thinking in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2020 at EclectEcon
The reported new cases per 100,000 in Ontario, Quebec, and Canada are shown in this graph: The blue line in the above graph is Quebec, the brown line is Canada, and the barely visible grey line is Ontario. There was a bit of a discernible rise in the number of cases/100K two weeks after Canada Day [July 1], but there... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2020 at EclectEcon
Headline from today's Trono Globe and Mail: Consumers are buying goods again, but services are slow to recover Exactly. Without reading the article (it's gated and I'm not a subscriber), I can understand the headline. The expected costs of using services have risen considerably under covid, including the costs and risks involve with the possibility of contracting the disease oneself.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at EclectEcon
I've done lots of shopping and search in my lifetime, and I'm often bothered by questions about will I or did I find the right product, service, reference, date, job, theatrical agent, acting gigs, etc. Most of the time, search and shopping don't create much, if any, anxiety for me; I actually enjoy the process. Other times... In the late... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at EclectEcon
A former high school classmate recently bought my three novels, 2605, Susan's Story, and Murder at the Office Christmas Party. He has just begun reading 2605 and here's what he wrote to me [reproduced with his permission]: ... I always have said if I’m going to read a book it better capture my attention in the first 10 pages or... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at EclectEcon
I have self-published my novels 2605, Susan's Story, and Murder at the Office Christmas Party on Amazon. Why did I self-publish them instead of finding an agent and publisher? After all, the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are, for the most part, pretty darned good. The short answer: I'm old, and I wanted to see them in print before I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2020 at EclectEcon
This is a typical breakfast (more like brunch) for us. It is high in protein and fat, and low in carbs. The secret is to begin with the idea of making scrambled eggs with lots of butter and zero milk or cream. We've discovered that "light and fluffy" scrambled eggs whipped up with milk often taste dry and gravelly. These... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2020 at EclectEcon
Despite a marked slowdown in my blogging about economics, EclectEcon is still listed among the top 100 economics blogs. Here's an excerpt from the notice I just received: 5th Annual Top Economics Blogs Winner Dear John, I wanted to let you know that your blog, EclectEcon has been featured in the Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2020 Congratulations! Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2020 at EclectEcon
Recently, I spent three hours listening to brief speeches by members of group that includes urban planners and policy-makers, i.e. listening to the pleadings of elitist-interventionist rent-seekers. Here's a major portion of my feedback to the organizers, slightly edited. I apologize here for misspelling 'gubmnt' in the letter. Dear _____ Let me begin by saying I recognize that I clearly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2020 at EclectEcon
From September, 1965, until July, 1967, I attended The Chicago Theological Seminary and lived on the South Side of Chicago. During that period we participated in numerous civil rights marches and numerous anti-war demonstrations. At every one of those events, I was outside my neighbourhood and, in many cases I was in a different city. I was one of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2020 at EclectEcon
Earlier this month, I wrote a post predicting that we will experience inflation in the 2-3 year long-term. This prediction was based solely on the expectation that central banks will be forced to monetize the massive deficits being created by gubmnts at all levels. Furthermore, even if these are short-term huge increases in deficits, they won't just go away. They... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2020 at EclectEcon
Oops. Fixed it. thanks!
Toggle Commented May 15, 2020 on Masks: Pluses and Minuses at EclectEcon
I wear a mask every time I leave our condo building, and I go out for walks maybe four or five times a week. Over the past month and a half, I have had some thoughts about the pros and cons of wearing a mask. Pluses: For others: A mask will trap some or most of the virus as I... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at EclectEcon