Hello and welcome to this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists! We have an exciting and wide ranging line up, which I have tried to categorize (a mostly futile exercise, I might add) for your reading pleasure.
So with no further adieu, I present this week’s entrants:
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“October 17th was the day that the web was officially born just 10 years ago. That day a company called Spry (later CompuServe then AOL) introduced a product called “Internet in a Box.” For the first time, you could trot down to a store, buy a software package, take it home and have everything you needed to connect to the Internet and the World Wide Web . . .”
“How to get your customers to fill you in – with the information you need in forms to be filled up. Let them form a good impression of you and your store – give them forms with function”
“The frustration for Johnny was obvious. His website had strong visitor traffic numbers, he thought. Johnny’s site offered a complete line of very good, and highly reputable products. He thought he had set up an acceptable way to buy them online.
There were plenty of visitors arriving daily to make any online business a major success. The problem for Johnny was, despite the large number of people visiting his site, not many of them bought his products.”
Blogs are becoming the “topic” of the day, all over the web, it seems. Jane
cannot open any newsletter, magazine, ezine, or even regular email, without
a question or comment on blogging present in the content.
We are delighted to see our favorite form of communication getting the
attention it deserves, but… the true purpose of web-logging is getting
lost in the rhetoric bouncing around the net.
Incidentally Yvonne gets a bonus mention for “Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online,” — I can’t comment on how effective that title may be — but it sure got my attention.
Alan Greenspan & the Federal Reserve
Taxes and Government
Or more accurately is it a problem we need to be looking at now rather than later? Kevin Drum feels it is one we can put off for awhile. I think he is wrong.
The problem is that the Social Security surplus is currently used to lower the deficit. So while the fund is “solvent for the next 40 years”, it will start running a deficit much, much sooner. In 2022, according to the Trustees Report, the trust fund’s income rates become permanently negative. In 2007 the income rates will reach a (local) peak and start declining. This means that starting in 2007, holding all else constant (in real terms), budget deficits will increase.
Phillip Wilson, Laboring Away At the Institute discusses Andy Stern on Social Security. (The viewpoint is sonewhat different than Steve’s). I like Phillip’s sig: “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people” -Ancient Chinese Proverb
Prescott re-casts the trade-off as between “market time” and “non-market time.” In addition to TV and Bon-Bons, you spend some of your non-market time producing goods and services, such as home-improvement projects, meals cooked at home, housework, and child care. Thinking of the choice in those terms, an increase in your wage rate could have a significant effect on your labor supply. The higher your wage rate, the more it makes sense for you to “outsource” household chores . . .
Andy Clarkson, The Charlotte Capitalist parodies what it would be like if local governments ran food and nutrition systems the same way they run education and transportation systems.
A bonus tax/gov’t post: Tax Free Day and Gold Standards
Jay at Accidental Verbosity (who along with Rob started this whole ball of wax) advises us to Teach Your Children Well — especially about capitalism and economics, if we want to prepare them for life in the real world.
Tex the Pontificator thinks along the same lines in Economic Illiteracy, finding inspiration in the San Antonio Express-News grouping of letters to the editor relating to flu shots. (Apparently tha part of Texas is not a hotbed of economic literacy)
Don Lloyd of Catallarchy considers What is the Proper Criterion to Prefer One Theoretical Economy to Another? (Of course, this is hardly a question for economic illiterates, making the other posts in the section all the more relevant!)
Lastly, Tim Worstall of Obvious or Trivial Except… chastises the NYT’s Thomas Friedman on the Gap in the columnist’s economic knowledge. (Add it to the list of other things to chastise Friedman about)
Exercising my prerogative as host, I bring you Rob Fraim, a special blogless guest poster at the Big Picture, where he Revists the Crash of 1987. “You mean you were actually there, Grandpa? You remember the Crash of ’87?” Yes, I was, and yes I do, confirming rumors that I am, in fact, older than dirt . . .
Kyle Markley of Cap’n Arbyte‘s fame looks at Productivity of Stock Trading: What are the economic benefits of capital markets, and what is the productive role of stock trading, countering the widespread belief that traders don’t create anything. (Hint: They do, by guiding capital to its most profitable uses).
Stephen Bainbridge a/k/a/ Professor Bainbridge, looks at the Takeover Fight at Mondavi? of Constellation Brands unsolicited $1.3 Billion bid to acquire publicly held Mondavi winery. If you were unaware, inaddition to his posts on all matters legal the So-Cal located Prof writes extensively on Wine (He had my vote for John Cleese’s role on Wine for the confused on the Food Network).
Suhit Anantula of the World is Green ponders The Indian Development Paradox – Manufacturing or Services?
Entrepreneurs and Small Business
David Tufte of voluntaryXchange (eschewing the opposable thumbs meme) disucsses why Chimps Can’t Dress. You may think the corporate “monkey suit” is about conformity, but rather it covers up the fact that some people are weak in an important business skill – they can’t categorize well. And casual Fridays may even help identify the weaker thinkers. Fascinating stuff.
Miscellaneous Topics, which are increasingly difficult to categorize due to my brain ceasing functionality at this point
Mike Pechar is an Interested-Participant observing Multicultural Home Improvement Market. Did you know there are more Mexicans in the United States than there are Canadians in Canada? THis is a burgeoning demographic with increasing economic clout.
Dan K. O’Leary explains Why he loves his job (hint: Cookies, Bikes, Pizza and Perks have alot to do with it).