Sunday, December 11, 2011

College Tuition Inflation

College tuition prices are, to be sure, just one example of how subsidies and taxes seldom turn out to benefit the people we hope the will benefit. Virginia Postrel sites a study about subsidizing the purchase of capital equipment, but the same can be shown in almost every area of the economy that has access to government enforced market manipulation. The effect is most exaggerated when one side of the supply and demand curve for a particular good or service is less elastic than the other side. Alex Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution explains: ""Who pays a tax is determined not by the laws of Congress but by the law of supply and demand,” as Tyler and I say in Modern Principles. In particular, whether demanders or suppliers pay a tax is determined by the elasticities of demand and supply. The more elastic side of the market can better escape a tax, leaving more of it to be paid by the inelastic side. The same thing is true for a subsidy but in reverse, the inelastic side of the market gets the benefit of the subsidy." Take the minimum wage for instance, we want the poorest people among us to still be able to live on their wages so we set and arbitrary bottom to the cost of labor. The result is not, as we might hope, that the producer of the goods and services in question absorbs a narrower profit margin and everyone else benefits. Instead in areas of inelastic demand, like for instance food products, the price of the product is increased to cover the cost of the labor involved in it's production. We all need food so we buy it anyway and must forgo other purchases to do so. To a person of considerable wealth the loss of disposable income that comes with increased food products will be felt primarily in the loss of luxury items which are not necessary. But to the poor the choice will be much harder, losses are seen in the nutritional value of the food chosen, the loss of basic other necessities like utilities, transportation, educational needs and so on. Because the demand for food is relatively inelastic the costs are not born by the producer but rather the consumer. Poor people end up paying their own minimum wage at the grocery store and the gas pump. The list of these unfortunate unintended consequences goes on and on. Farm subsidies don't decrease the cost of food, they in fact increase the cost of both food and of farm land which in turn limits the ability of small farmers to enter into the market. Larger corporate farms succeed not by producing more and better food at a lower cost, but by gaming the system to absorb the most subsidies, often by producing less food. An intended result of many farm subsidies is an increase in market price by limiting the supply that ends up on the market. But this result is seldom seen where it's needed which is poor farmers, instead the result is seen on your dinner table. When we implemented farm subsidies to encourage the production of corn ethanol for our cars we eventually discovered that producing corn ethanol was more expensive and damaging to the environment than just using regular gasoline. This is widely accepted in the scientific community today but we still have the subsidies and we still have the required corn ethanol in our gas. Meanwhile so much corn is being used to produce fuel that the cost of using corn for feeding people and livestock has increased dramatically. We rich Americans have seen dramatic increases in the cost of food, but the result is most dramatic not here where we use the ethanol but in third world countries where people survive on abundant and cheap corn which is no longer available. For many around the world the subsidization of corn ethanol is not an issue of environmental impact but one of basic survival. We lose on all fronts with this subsidy. This is not to say that the urge to use our considerable political might for good is somehow a bad urge, but we must realize that the market is a more powerful force than government and when we attempt to push it around it pushes back. Today the complaint is that college costs too much, and to wit it does, but the problem may very well be that we're doing too much of the wrong things to fix it. We end up causing the exact problem we endeavored to eliminate.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Drunk blogging the Republican debate

And we're done. I feel dirty

Bachman admires Cain because of his stupid tax plan because people are stupid. Ugh. My god she's a dumb cunt.

Paul admires the people who have come to agree with him... Awesome.

Mitt admires Ron Paul's qualities of leadership

The dogs are bugging me because I had dinner, even though it's not time for dinner.

7:43 Perry endorses Paul's stance on the FED.

Santorum thinks Gingrich is the guy and wants to be vp. Ha ha ha ha

Exactly ron Paul. The government fails when it tells I you how to take care of yourself.

"3rd party payer" is going to be a big point for a while.

Rick Santorum,: when did I live through hard times? Well I don't like faggots.

Ron Paul: when did I live though hard times? Well there was that great depression I lived through.

Look Ann Romney and the man that must be her mistress.

Rick Perry earned nothing the year I was born... Boo hoo. Pussy.

Rick perry is an asshole robot I swear it.

I have to say that the idea that the israelis or the Palestinians are new to the region is appalling. They have both been in the area for more than a thousand years... Shut up.t

I appologise for missions some big fails in the last ten minutes but my iPad keyboard suddenly turned retarded the problem is resolved.

Bachman wants me to know who was in rooms she was in before she was there?

When was mitt friends with benjamin netanyah? We know Newt has been for years and years.

Mitt is pissed that Newt actually knows some history?

Anybody notice that Ron Paul knows the history of the ottoman empire palestinians?

Newt is running against Jimmy Carter on the Israel issue.

Damn right stay out of the worlds issues

Ron Paul's podium is too high. It's weird.

There something really creepy about Perry's neck. He wears high collars and when it slips its like he's got weird shit under his skin, I'm not even guessing what it

We can stipulate that Evernote here thinks that securing the border is priority one? I'm not sure we can stipulate that Diane.

the founders wrote about marital infidelity.... Really Michelle?

Way to go Ron Paul the answer is the oath of office not your marriage vows

"Individuals who have been in fidelity with their spouse" I do not think this word means what perry thinks that it means

Wow "Newts a cheater" question right after the commercial? Let's see if newt can handle it.

6:42 commercial break. Fire on the Mountain makes GREAT wings.

Bachman is claiming responsibility for the Tea Party???

Santorum is running for a cabinet post

Sanatorum just called Bachman a loser

Romney is packaging himself as the states rights big government liberal...mhmmm creepy.

"I've got othe book and I wrote the book" mitt

"I frankly was floundering" newt

Rick Perry's job is to make Bachman sound sensible. Ick.

Perry and I agree on one thing, neither of us know what that sentence meant.

Ohnshit Rick perry is still here. I'm sorry Rick, I forgot you were there.

Watching Bachman speak is like watching a Disney animatronic zombie skank talk, I just can't even hear what she says.

Michelle Bachman says she's been in private business for 50 years. Hmmm

The right answer to newt is that he must not give that good advice if we had to bail his client out.

I love ron Paul but he can take a win and make it sound rambly

Does an entry level janitor in the ny school district make more than an entry level teacher? Anybody know the answer to that? Cite a source if you can

"the only reason you didn't become a career politician is that you lost to Teddy Kennedy" newt to mitt. SNAP BITCH

6:20. Romney chuckles at Gingrich electability... Keep chuckling hairpiece.

Ron Paul wants to keep tax cuts and pay for them by ending wars. Suck it everyone else.

Romney calls it the Obama economy but were sitting in a copy of Romney policy. Hmm

Diane sawyer is the least articulate person at the republican debate... That's a big accomplishment

Bachman wants to create "literally millions of dollars" of growth. This is the "win plan"

Perry is a sound bite.

Mitt Romney, prepositions are not something to end sentences with.

It's About Policing What You're Thinking

The Red Cross wants to make it illegal to violate the geneva convention, in made up places.

I'd say the urge to control the thoughts of other people was starting to get out of hand but that ship sailed a long time ago.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The EPA is like a parody of itself.

I once told a friend that I thought the EPA wanted to control everything right down to our breathing. I thought I was being hyperbolic...

But there's this

Monday, August 15, 2011

He's Just Given up, Right?

President campaigning on tax increases during a down economy.
I feel bad, he's not even trying anymore.

I Know I Feel Safer

Don't you?

Big Move by Google

Google and Motorola are in the midst of a deal that would give the internet search giant it's own mobile platform for the very low low price of $12.5b or just over 65% above the price of Motorola stock. It's not certain what google intends to do with Moto, but I'm sure their patent holdings were a big part of the mix.

Google is in a patent fight with Apple over it's Android OS and as a relatively young company they haven't built up the kind of patent stable you need for that kind of fight. The way it works for most companies is simple, company A sees that company B is controlling a piece of the market share in a product line. Company A finds some obscure patent that they own with which they can sue company B for infringement. Nobody wants to lose their investment so company B tracks down a patent that company A is in violation of and then they negotiate until both sides get to make their product and both sides get paid. The problem for Google is that they don't own very many patents and certainly very few in the mobile phone world. This is where Motorola will really shine in their portfolio. The only question is will they be allowed to make the deal. There's significant reason to suspect that an anti-trust challenge would succeed. But Google is betting it wont and they are putting up $2.5b in earnest money that they'll lose if the deal falls apart. You want to bet that kind of money, you better know something.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Latest News

So Eureka has been canceled. It's not a shock as Sci-Fi had planned an abbreviated sixth season already. Wil Wheaton has the story.

Most people think that most congressmen should be thrown out of office but for the first time since in CNN's polling history most people think that THEIR OWN congressman doesn't deserve another shot at it.

Remember, remember the fifth of November
... When Anonymous (the hacker contingent) says it plans to destroy Facebook. They must have missed how Facebook is already destroying itself.

"Tyranny" was the battle cry, 'we'll show you, we'll take it to the people.' Well it appears that the people have spoken. Despite millions upon millions of union dollars flowing into Wisconsin apparently this is what democracy looks like. Which goes to show that just because you're loud, and just because you're angry, it doesn't mean you're a majority.

QR Codes on Athlete's Bikini Bottoms?

So now every creepy pervert who watches beach volleyball because he can't afford a strip club will have an excuse to take pictures of the girl's asses with impunity? Awesome.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Latest News

If you're not doing anything wrong then you shouldn't mind if we take a look. Right?

You say the space program is dead? I say it got out of the way of the private sector.

For every time I hear some whiny asshole tell me that rich conservative or libertarian businessman is a scumbag because he's wealthy I have George Soros to comfort me. For all their possible failings most businessmen make something that people want. Soros has never made an honest dollar in his life, he sucks up money by betting that countries will fail and he has for years had the means to help them along in the process. He's an enormous piece of shit and if you're on his payroll, so are you.

Warning KOS Link. I don't usually link to the partisan hack Markos Moulitsas because, well because he's a partisan hack. But I'm interested in people's responses to this article on his site by Mark Sumner. Not sure I agree completely but it's not the desperate left wing chant that the minority party has caused all our woes. It's an interesting and legitimate possibility. We should remind ourselves that everyone has a personal motive.

This is the kind of shitty reporting that is why I don't usually link to KOS. Maybe the guy beats his wife, maybe not but the editorial authority of this article doesn't imply the need to prove it before calling him a wife beater. It's the oldest scumbag move around "Mr. Senator, do you still beat your wife?". Christ Kaili do some research, get us there before you shout cliche' accusations. #terriblereporting

I'm no expert but didn't we choose this guy to stop this shit?

Worst Presser Ever

"the markets on the other hand continued to believe out credit status is triple A"

"In fact Warren Buffet who knows a thing or two about good investments said, if there were a quadruple A rating I'd give the United States that."


There is literally no useful information in this press conference. I really can't figure out how a writer wrote this script and thought even Obama could sell it.

I honestly think that the prompters have arrows to tell him when he might choose to change directions with his head.

How does not extending unemployment benefits kill jobs? It's bad but, how does it kill jobs. I want to figure out the mechanics of that statement.

"some of the most productive workers"...
We're the best at everything but our workforce? I think this is a weak jab at non-union workers. But I can't be sure because it's an awfully soft statement.

He hasn't made eye contact once. Does he know there's a camera?

Ugh it's so sad, this performance almost makes me want to root for him, I'm embarrassed for him. It's like he's walking home in the morning in last night's torn formal dress after he let the whole fraternity have their way with him. You want to judge him but you also want to get him some help.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Latest News

Well this is the best attitude to have. I'm sure the world markets will be reassured by the former head of the Federal reserve reminding them that we'd be happy to devalue all of our currency and bankrupt our own citizens just to pretend that we're symbolically honoring our debt.

It would be just like the Republicans to think that their knight in shining armor is a cocky evangelical christian from Texas who's comfortable executing innocent people. It's almost painful to watch them walking into it.

Hey this is good news.

Hello Pot? Yeah it's the Kettle, I have a message for you.

The politics of policing; or how hard is it to be an honest cop? on the Debt Ceiling "Deal".

RIP Mark Hatfield

Oregon Senate Legend Mark O. Hatfield has passed away at the age of 89. Love him or hate him, his name is sure on a ton of shit.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Latest News

You all think I'm being hyperbolic when I say we use militarized SWAT teams against farmers but I'm not just talking about pot growers. Hows that raw milk treating you? Who will stand up when they come for you?

Adam Kokesh on labeling political opponents as "terrorists"

Walter Russell Mead on the crisis that faces American Progressives.

"Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water. Our shark"... Shark Week.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Latest News

Former NFL defensive end and Super Bowl V winner Bubba Smith has passed away today at the age of 66. You may know him better as Lt. Moses Hightower from the Police Academy movies. RIP Bubba.

Just so you know I think Lesbians have super powers and excellent judgment, and make the best films. I'm just sayin'.

Matt Damon says teachers make a shitty salary, Editor Nick Gillespie's analysis would suggest that Damon is off base. I tend to agree with Gillespie but I think the larger issue is not if teacher salaries are high enough, because teaching is a shitty job, but rather why are we paying so much more for our teachers than they end up getting paid? The quick answer is that administrative costs and union contributions are milking the system dry before any real money makes it to the classroom. The argument I've heard often, that teachers are overpaid, is mostly ridiculous but it's hard not to think so when we pay upwards of $15,000 a year per student but only 10% of that ends up making it to the teacher. We'd all be better off hiring a private teacher to handle 6 students at a time and take home $90k, nobody would need a union rep or an army of lobbyists with that salary.

Budget cuts you say? I say nay nay. And so do a lot of other people including Chris Edwards at the Cato Institute.

Very interesting behind the scenes of a movement piece by choreographer Trisha Brown and performer Elizabeth Streb

Spider man, Spider Man, does whatever a spider can. Is he gay? Maybe so. We know he's biracial though. Lookout! There goes the spider man... The new Spider Man is a half Black half Latino teenager who might be gay? Bravo Marvel, Bravo. When you pick a demographic you don't fuck around, you get right damned specific. A lot of people would call that pandering, but not me Marvel. I say thee Bravo. I think I can speak for all of the possibly gay, half Black, half Latino teenagers with super powers that could only have come from an irradiated spider, (like how is that gonna happen twice), when I say thank you, thank you, thank you, now *I* (them, not me, I'm painfully white) have. A. Voice.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Latest News

Up to the Officer's discretion... whether or not to risk other people's lives? Not sure that's a "policy" I'll accept.

Putin says we're parasites. True but we're also the host.

And a Slow Clap for Congress.

Manufacturing jobs take a hit which can't be related to this... Can it?

Some Good News I don't know why she chose this vote but it's nice to see her up and around.

DB Cooper Update My Mother was on a plane out of Seattle that night and in those days there were no texts to tell people you were safe. The event had an effect and may have played into me sharing the initials of the infamous fugitive.

WinXP is below 50% market share which isn't news at all really. What's fascinating is the graph, I thought for sure OS X was over 5%.

Chip Kelley says he's not losing sleep over Willie Lyles ordeal. Remember it took the NCAA 5 years to nail USC and where was Pete Carroll when they did? Not at USC.

Meanwhile In Washington

Republicans: Mr President, we will not allow you to continue this absurd trend of massive spending that we were more than happy to engage in with a Republican president.
President Obama: Well I'll agree to pretend to slow down a little on the spending that we both want, if you agree to let me punish some rich people so I can get votes.
Democrats: Hell no you will not pretend to cut spending, if we pretend to cut spending we'll lose the money from all our lobbyist and trial lawyer friends.
President Obama: Dammit Democrats play along, if we just get them to let us punish rich people we'll be fine.
Republicans: Hell no if you pretend to punish rich people we'll lose the money from our lobbyist and military contractor friends. Now we'll pretend to want to balance the budget as punishment.
Democrats: What? You want to do what? Balanced budget? That's ridiculous no one could ever spend less than %150 of their income.
Republicans: Ha ha.. fooled you. We were kidding about that balanced budget thing. How about this we'll agree to fake spending cuts if you'll agree to no changes in the tax laws, your friends at GE will be so happy they'll let you cum in thier mouths.
Democrats: That sounds more than fair, can we still call you buggering assholes though?
Republicans:We would expect nothing less. Now shall we adjourn to our private gourmet dining room, the first $500 bottle of wine is on me, and by me I mean my constituents.
Democrats: Oh lets, that would be fantastic. Then lets drive around drunk and force ourselves on some teenagers.
Republicans: I like the way you think.
President Obama: Hey you guys know I'm standing right here... Right?.. Hello:? Guys? Awww dammit I never have any friends.