10 Tuesday AM Reads

My Two-for-Tuesday morning train reads:

• Buzzkill Profs: Hedge Funds Do Half as Well as You Think (Bloomberg)
• Who Killed Value? (Efficient Frontiersee also Why You Should Allocate to Value over Growth (Advisor Perspectives)
• Did We Just Witness the Best Risk-Adjusted Returns Ever? (A Wealth of Common Sensebut see U.S. Lacks Ammo for Next Economic Crisis (WSJ)
• Stop Kidding Yourself. A Classic Car Is (Almost) Never a Good Investment (Bloombergbut see 100 Beautiful Cars from Pebble Beach Car Show (BTV)
• American Political Jargon (Bloomberg Viewbut see Rand Paul on what America’s been doing all wrong since 1835 (WonkBlog)

Continues here

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    • willid3 commented on Aug 18

      nah its time top double down and remove health insurance for all but those who happen to work for employers who provide it. and let them buy it cross state lines…and,,,,

    • Jojo commented on Aug 18

      It is true that a lot more people now have health insurance. But unfortunately, many cannot afford to use it! Why? Because of high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.

      For example, I have an acquaintance whose total income is around $22k yearly. They are single. Their Obamacare premium is around $900 for a Silver plan and they pay, if I remember correctly, about $150/monthly after the subsidies are applied. so that is $1800 (about 8% of total income).

      Their deductible is (numbers approx) $1600 and total out-of pocket (which is in addition to the deductible) is another $5200. They have need of some surgery but cannot afford to cover the deductible+out-of-pocket after required living expenses.

      If you add the $1600+5200 you get $6800. That $6800 works out to 31% of their gross income AND that is after the 8% they are paying for the premium!

      I have read many stories about this dilemma for many low and relatively low income people. Can we really expect someone who is barely keeping their head above water to not only pay medical insurance premium costs BUT also other costs that could total out to 40% or more of their total income? That is not even close to reasonable.

      And so what happens is that while many more people are covered by medical insurance (as politicians, media and some blog posters trumpet), few are actually getting stuff fixed that they need because they simply cannot afford the total treatment costs.

    • intlacct commented on Aug 19

      Why make life so complicated with insurance blah blah blah? Join the other 34 OECD countries and provide national health care by crossing out the 65 on Medicare and put ‘at birth’ in its place?

  1. RW commented on Aug 18

    A Simple Fix for Drunken Driving

    Modest, immediate penalties can help get offenders to sobriety.

    NB: The author points out that this program also reduces domestic violence and imprisonment; e.g., South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project.

    Before I began to understand how our political system works I would have thought it surprising that programs this efficient and cost effective in addressing major socioeconomic problems weren’t found everywhere.

  2. Jojo commented on Aug 18

    The end is nigh: Robots are learning how to build better clones of themselves
    “Come with me if you want to live!” (Reuters/Mario Anzuon)
    August 14, 2015

    In just about every dystopian film where robots have taken over, they’ve gotten to their dominance over humanity by being able to self-replicate and get better with each new model. Once they’ve become self-aware, they use their superior machine intelligence to make, faster, better, stronger versions of themselves. Scientists at the University of Cambridge have seemingly doomed us to this fate: They’ve designed a robot that builds baby robots, and uses natural selection to determine which one is best to make more of.

    The team, led by Cambridge Engineering researcher Fumiya Iida, seemingly took inspiration from Darwin and his evolutionary theory to build a “mother” robot that can make “children” bots and determine which one has the best traits. The mother, an arm-shaped robot, built five sets of 10 children, using information from each round of building to make an even better baby bot. The mother looked at each robot and decided which ones performed their tasks the best, choosing, as the team called it, “the fittest” robots to base the next version on. The mother measured how far one of its babies could travel from its starting position in a given amount of time.

    “Natural selection is basically reproduction, assessment, reproduction, assessment and so on,” Iida said in a release. “That’s essentially what this robot is doing—we can actually watch the improvement and diversification of the species.”


  3. Jojo commented on Aug 18

    I rarely visit websites that don’t support user comments. If I want a non-interactive experience, magazines are far better.
    Jessamyn West
    13 Aug 2015
    In response to Killing the comments — what’s next?

    Bad comments are a system failure
    So why can’t you fix them like any other bug?

    Good moderation has a top down view of the conversational ecosystem and the underlying technology.

    Internet comments are awful. Recently sites [like Popular Science, Bloomberg Business, Reuters, Mic, The Week, re/code, The Verge, and now The Daily Dot] have been giving up on hosting local comments altogether. Blaming trolls and spambots and the shift in engagement to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, you can almost hear the sighs of relief in their articles discussing these decisions.

    This “What can you do? People are awful amirite!” attitude towards comment sections is fatalistic and misguided. If you don’t want comments on your website, that’s fine, don’t have them. But don’t act like comments are some sort of intractable problem that can’t be realistically addressed by mortals. They’re not. There are only a few reasons why most internet comments sections are terrible and real-world solutions to those problems. Be honest: you could fix this, but your priorities are elsewhere.



    • noncist commented on Aug 18

      You can always comment on an article elsewhere.

      The main negative in my mind is that removing comment sections moves those conversations to social media where it’s even more of an echo chamber and the ‘publisher’ loses insight into some of the reactions they’re having (they’re not all trolls).

      Add-ons like disqus will likely do well, but they’re pretty annoying as well. They definitely exacerbate the point that article makes about ‘no reset’.

  4. RW commented on Aug 18

    The Great Emerging-Market Bubble

    … The bottom line is that unless emerging economies can ensure that they remain flexible and adaptable, they will not continue to “emerge.” And the determinant of that flexibility and ability to adapt lies in political institutions and their willingness to challenge interest groups, mediate social conflicts, and maintain the rule of law. It’s the politics, stupid.

  5. RW commented on Aug 18

    In yet another attempt to innoculate against austerity plague.

    Bumpy deficits, smoother ride: The historical evolution of budget deficits and growth rate

    … Budget deficits, properly managed, are not only not evil — they’re downright good. The long historical record shows that their use has led to smoother and stronger growth.

    In essence, they’ve worked like shock absorbers, smoothing out bumps along the growth path. To eschew their use, as so many policymakers espouse, would mean growth that was both more volatile and somewhat slower.

    Thanks to a new, long time series of historical data, we’re able to show you what we mean. Consider two time periods, which we’ll call BD (before deficits) and AD (after deficits; meaning after deficits started to be more commonly employed in their shock-absorber role). In this analysis, BD runs from 1870 to 1929 and AD from 1950 to 2015 …

  6. VennData commented on Aug 18

    Kasich would keep parts of Obamacare. The part where insurance companies must cover pre-existing conditions.


    So just make insurance companies do that and gut the rest. Sounds like a real “free market” solution. Anything else he wants other industries to just do?

    This guy’s going no where in the GOP primaries. Doesn’t he know that free markets were just about ready to insure all Americans and take over Medicaid if Obama had just stayed out of the way?

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