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Saturday, March 11, 2017 1:09
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  • Park Savings Accounts – An idea whose time has come | Jay P. Greene’s Blog
    This is why we should support lawmakers in their effort to create Park Savings Accounts. PSAs would allow you to get just the state share of what your local park would spend on your child. You could use this to pay for private summer camp and other summer enrichment alternatives. If you like your local park, nothing will change for you! In fact, since PSAs do not touch local funds, public parks will have more money per student.
  • Nate Silver: The Liberal Media Really Is A Problem – The American Interest
    Silver explains that the media doesn’t just suffer from political homogeneity. The decline of local newspapers has led to a concentration of reporting conducted in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. As Silver puts it, “a more geographically decentralized reporting pool might have asked more questions about why Clinton wasn’t campaigning in Wisconsin.”
  • How the Blue Model Stays in Place – The American Interest
    Declining voter turnout has tracked the consolidation of Democratic power in big cities. Married middle-class homeowners, who reliably show up at the ballot box (and tend to lean right), have increasingly left for the suburbs. Blue cities like Los Angeles are highly unequal, with small wealthy populations that tend to vote Democratic because of social issues, and large impoverished (often minority or immigrant) populations that are loyal to the Democratic Party but have lower turnout rates overall.
  • How disorderly is Sweden really?
    There is also reasonable evidence that immigrants to Sweden are a major reason for the decline in the average quality of Swedish schooling and also Swedish PISA scores. In other contexts, we will be told that such variables are incredibly significant, but in this context the result ends up largely ignored.
  • NYT Botches Mexico City’s Sinking Story
    Meanwhile, there is no attention paid whatsoever to what is clearly going on here: the massive dysfunction bred over many decades by a profoundly corrupt and exploitative political culture. The Mexican elite isn’t even trying to govern its capital city with a minimum of care and attention. This is a much more serious problem for Mexico than climate change. For one thing, unless Mexico reforms its governance (and, frankly, it doesn’t seem to be getting very far), then it will remain unable to respond to its problems—and if climate change makes them worse it will only magnify the gap between what the Mexican government needs to do and what it actually can do.
  • China wage fact of the day
    Average hourly wages in China’s manufacturing sector trebled between 2005 and 2016 to $3.60, according to Euromonitor, while during the same period manufacturing wages fell from $2.90 an hour to $2.70 in Brazil, from $2.20 to $2.10 in Mexico, and from $4.30 to $3.60 in South Africa. Chinese wages also outstripped Argentina, Colombia and Thailand during the same time, as the country integrated more closely into the global economy after its 2001 admission into the World Trade Organisation. …Manufacturing wages in Portugal have plunged from $6.30 an hour to $4.50 last year, bringing wage levels below those in parts of eastern Europe and only leaving them 25 per cent higher than in China.
  • Obamacare’s squeezed middle: Admit it: Republicans’ proposed Obamacare overhaul offers relief for some middle earners | The Economist
    In total, there are 9m unsubsidised buyers for whom criticisms of Obamacare resonate strongly. Most of these people are not rich: a family-of-four stops receiving subsidies at an income of just under $100,000. Obamacare forced such buyers onto the same plans as a lot of people with pre-existing medical conditions who could not previously afford insurance. That pushed their premiums and deductibles up—and they have risen further over time.
  • Irony: Palo Alto to remove name of The Father of Silicon Valley from a school due to his father’s belief in heredity – The Unz Review
    Terman helped make the culture of the Palo Alto area extremely welcoming to the very bright. Likewise, Stanford University ruthlessly uses standardized cognitive tests to help it reject 19 out of every 20 applicants for undergraduate admission. Lewis’s son Fred Terman, long time Dean of Engineering at Stanford, pretty much invented Silicon Valley.
  • CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: International Corporate Tax Rates: Some Comparisons
    Here’s a graph showing top corporate tax rates across countries, with the light green dot showing the top rate in 2003 and the darker green dot showing the top rate in 2012. The US corporate tax rate is at the top of the list, and it’s clear that many other countries have cut their corporate tax rates substantially since the early 2000s. 
  • Ideas: Division Rules and Assortative Mating
    Generalizing from the simple model, we would expect to see assortative mating in contexts where differences among potential partners are large and pairs, or larger groups, are constrained to a roughly equal division, because the loss to the high value partner of having to share equally with the low value partner(s) outweighs the benefit of a more efficient division of labor. We would expect the opposite pattern where potential partners are free to vary the division between them.


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