Friday, February 28, 2014

If Only We Had Something Valuable We Could Sell.....

An email from a reader.

Seattle's push for a $15 minimum wage isn't the only economic illiteracy we have here on the left coast. Here's an additional slice of annual economic illiteracy from our local zoo

1. The zoo needs money (they're always asking for donations at the gate). 

2. The zoo has something very valuable, where the demand is much higher than the supply. So what does a Seattle zoo do (ha!) with this valuable resource? Do they auction it to the highest bidder(s), perhaps with a dutch auction, thereby maximizing some much needed revenue? No, of course not, this is Seattle! 

Since this special fertilizer is limited, [they are going to sell it, right?  no...]  you have to enter a lottery for the chance to purchase... Sigh. Face palm. Double face palm.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Munger Over America Tour

Got some ink for the Kids Prefer Cheese blog, written by M. Munger and some other guy.  I think "Chopped Liver" is a fine name for the other guy.

From the Muncie Free Press:  A story.  More than 100 students and faculty showed up.  It was fun!  Then dinner at the very nice Vera Mae's.  Mushroom risotto:  yum!  Thanks to Cecil Bohanan!  And thanks to Kathryn Kennison (whom I inexplicably called "Elizabeth" in front of an audience at least twice!), a morning "tea" talk at the E.B. Ball Center.  She handled it pretty well, though.  She said, "Now, you come back soon, John!"

Spoke to the Bastiat Society of Indianapolis.  GREAT crowd.  Then dinner here.  Wonderful. Big props to Fundman; good call on the restaurant.  I had the "Spinach and Artichoke Pici;"  amazing.

Then, senior session for Econ majors at Davidson College, thanks to Prof. Fred Smith.  And dinner at Brickhouse, with amazing beer list, and pints just $4 all the time.

Three nights, four talks, three very fine meals out, three hotel rooms in different cities where I spent very little time.  Wednesday was the worst:  got up at 3 am to catch 3:30 taxi to IND to catch 5:10 am plane to Raleigh.  Drive to Duke to teach macro class, then drive to Davidson.  Give talk.  Informal talk with students.  Dinner with students and faculty.  Went to bed at 11 pm.  A long day.

Today, Thursday, I gave a talk to a group of Kazakh officials about democracy.  They are for it.  Me, I have questions.

Now all I need to do is not eat for a week, and it's all good!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What chopped liver feels like

"Have nothing to do on Monday night?

Duke University professor Michael Munger, the Kids Prefer Cheese blogger, will speak at 7 p.m. in Cardinal Hall B of the Pitttinger Student Center.

This guy did a walkabout around college campuses teaching economics and political science after a stint working for the Federal Trade Commission.

After four books and 100 published articles, Munger use the Kids blog to talk about politics, policy and people, and has a new blog, Euvoluntary, looking at philosophy and voluntary change.

His Public Choice 101 should be a hoot to all those economics and political science junkies.
Go to for more of Munger's wisdom and wit."

Hat tip to Dr. Phil

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday's Child

1.  This is clever.  Buy stuff you hate, buy ALL of it, then return it on the last day of the "grace" period.  It's not very nice, but it is clever.

2.  This is sweet.  But from the description of the outfit, I doubt if anyone else would have bought them.

3.  You can see why folks get confused.  Why would stealing from your employer disqualify you for a job stealing from taxpayers?  It ought to be part of the job description, if they were honest.

4.  32JJ?  I didn't know they "made" JJ.  Wow.

5.  Beware the Texas Hooker!

6.  Haters gotta hate.

7.  Wow.  Quite a headline, takes a while to parse it.

8.  Sometimes you feel like a forklift.

9.  Trash:  She knew it when she saw it.  Cookies?  Really?

10.  Some insightful maps.

11.   Amazing read about Assange.  A lot of us wanted him to be a hero.  He's not.  This movie is worth watching.  First half, you think, "hero!"  Second half, you think...."ewwww...really, really NOT a hero."

12.  The long arm....the STRONG arm...of the law!  Jail?  Seriously?

13.  From "The Derrick" (published in "Oil City, PA"), a special donation.

14.  This is quite remarkable.  There are essentially no legal fully automatic Ak-47s in the U.S., as a proportion of the guns owned by private citizens.  None.  Nada.  They are illegal.  People talk about "assault rifles" as if they were automatic.  But that is not true.  They are SEMI-automatic.  One trigger pull, one round downrange.

15.  Should Facebook change your privacy settings if you die?

16.  Very cute pup reunion video.  This is exactly how the LMM reacts to my return after a long separation.  Not.

17.  Why do economists always want to take the natural log of everything?   On a related note, I understand that Paul Krugman's karaoke performance of "You Make Me Feel Like a  Natural Log" is still spoken of in hushed tones in a downtown Tokyo hotel bar.

18.  From a tweet:  ": When protesters are Instagramming your personal zoo, it usually means you’re done. "  Details here.  I propose (following Dan Drezner) that this be called henceforth "Hounshell's Law."

19.  Many nice things about this little post by E.V.  The comments are....insane, for the most part.  Not sure why it is wrong to sell cookies outside a medical facility.  Not really the same as a strip club.  Unless you think it is.

20.  I'm not sure J.C. is right here.  And if he is right, is he right to be happy about it?  I'm not sure.

21.  Top Five Characteristics of Bad Academic Advisers...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oklahoma is NOT OK.

Apparently, we are the 8th least happy state in the Union and a member of the mid-south slough of despond. Check the mappage; the Bible belt is a pretty sad place these days.

(Clik teh Pik for an even more depressing image).

Source is here and the hat tip goes to David Yves.

Royals, by Puddles the Sad Clown