10 Monday Reads

Back to the daily routine, beginning with the best morning train reads in the land:

• What Happens After Oil Gets Cut in Half? (TRB)
• Hedge Funds Close Doors, Facing Low Returns and Investor Scrutiny (NYT) see also Killing the Myth About How Hedge Funds Generate Alpha (Integrity-Research)
• How Homo Economicus Went Extinct (WSJ)
• On mobile, slow speeds kill (Om Malik)
• Iraq war judged a mistake by today’s White House hopefuls (CS Monitor)

Continues here



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Discussions found on the web:
  1. VennData commented on May 18

    Graham says he’ll announce for president


    ​Raise the tariffs to protect South Carolina’s textile workers!​

    Tariffs are great. They work In fact they work so well we should double them, triples them!

    By the same logic If ACA is “gov’t health care” (even if it’s free market based) and you HATE it then why not be honest and say you want to get rid of Medicare?

    • intlacct commented on May 18

      “By the same logic If ACA is “gov’t health care” (even if it’s free market based) and you HATE it then why not be honest and say you want to get rid of Medicare?”

      Especially if a good portion of the 47% ‘takers’ are collecting Medicare… Evil oldsters!

  2. rd commented on May 18

    I am not sure why teachers are on this list. At the moment, the standardized testing that accompanies the Common Core is being used as a weapon to try to reduce the teachers’ ranks. If you are struggling to find replacements, you usually don’t go on an all-out blitz to thin your existing labor pool, driving many of them out of the profession. I also know a few people who tried to be teachers in the past decade and couldn’t get a job, despite having good qualifications.

    My suspicion is that they want to hire teachers for charter schools etc. for lower wages than they are currently getting in the public schools but are struggling to find them at those wages, so the need ends up on the list.


    • theexpertisin commented on May 18

      Teahers fill charter, private and religious-sponsored schools because they are sick of the bull shit of unenforced discipline, administrative population overkill and political correctness. They just want to teach in a disciplined classroom where students for the most part want to learn.It usually pays less, but at least they can apply their craft in a service occupation that was never meant to be used as a financial honey pot.

      In a few years when folks figure out monstrously overpriced universities are educational relics more spolied brat profs will have to foresake rarified nine hour work weeks times twenty eight (maybe) weeks per year and join the ranks of elementary and secondary educators on the front line to earn their keep – at the prevailing wage. I hope they are employed by urban public schools so the atrocious internals of the 21st century equivalent of a reformatory where inmates run the asylum will strike them hard.

  3. RW commented on May 18

    It’s Monday and a certain WaPo columnist is confused about the economy …again.

    Robert Samuelson Finds Currency Values Far More Complicated Than They Are

    To make the point as simple as possible, if we had something close to balanced trade, instead of a trade deficit of more than $500 billion a year (@ 3 percent of GDP), we would be close to full employment. This would mean that employers would be paying workers more and giving better benefits because that would be the only way they could get and keep workers. But hey, what’s the big deal?

    Let’s get to Samuelson’s effort to complicate matters so we don’t think crazy thoughts like, hey maybe we should address currency values so that we can have full employment. …

    NB: Governments manipulating currencies to maintain a low value against major trade currencies such as the $USD is equivalent to governments subsidizing their export industry except that it effectively supports all their export industries rather than individually targeted sectors. The fact that most trade agreements address direct subsidies but not currencies could be an artifact of an era in which currencies were ‘harder’ but it is more likely a consequence of botched bailouts that forced developing countries to increase their foreign currency reserves which were augmented by mercantilist policies in developing countries once their governments (and those observing them) perceived how this benefited their export and employment picture.

  4. rd commented on May 18

    A good piece on what nostalgia for the good old days is forgetting:

    But maybe we could use more of the vision thing going on then. Imagine the west and southwest today without the reservoirs built in the 1930s-60s or the country without the Interstate Highway System of: the 50s and 60s, or even without the railroads from the 1800s.

    • willid3 commented on May 18

      well give us a few years, and you will see country without an interstate highway system. and that may solve the problem with the lack of water, as people leave those states to go where there is water. course that might be after businesses leave too, cause lack of water means lack of electricity. and most businesses today cant function with out that any more

  5. ilsm commented on May 18

    GOP candidates are enjoying the fall out of Iraq invasion: the near doubling of the pentagon budget while it is no closer to accounting for any money it spends.

    While they abandon W they are all for more bombing terrorists at which Obomber is deficient.

    They may walk from W but they won’t walk from the war profiteers.

    • Whammer commented on May 18

      In constant dollars, our “defense” spending is ~200 Billion/year more than the Cold War average.

      With $200 Billion/year, we could send everyone who graduates from high school to their in-state universities, every year, tuition-free, and still have plenty of money left over.

      Oh, and we could still have a defense budget equal to the average that we spent during the Cold War, when we had a much more powerful adversary than the current crop of morons riding around in glorified Toyota pickups.

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