URLs du Jour

2018-04-21

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 14:35 shows what a mixed bag Proverbs can be:

    35 A king delights in a wise servant,
        but a shameful servant arouses his fury.

    Yeah, it's hard to find good help these days. Even if you're King, and living off the backs of the 99.99% of your subjects trapped in dire poverty.


  • Kevin D. Williamson relates the story of his brief employment with the Atlantic: When the Twitter Mob Came for Me. Might be paywalled, which is nature's way of telling you: get a Wall Street Journal subscription, already.

    Anyway: this paragraph is why I will read KDW anytime, anywhere:

    Which brings us back to that event at South by Southwest, where the Atlantic was sponsoring a panel about marginalized points of view and diversity in journalism. The panelists, all Atlantic writers and editors, argued that the cultural and economic decks are stacked against feminists and advocates of minority interests. They made this argument under the prestigious, high-profile auspices of South by Southwest and their own magazine, hosted by a feminist group called the Female Quotient, which enjoys the patronage of Google, PepsiCo, AT&T, NBCUniversal, Facebook, UBS, JPMorgan Chase and Deloitte. We should all be so marginalized. If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired.

    And, as they say, to ask the question is to answer it.


  • Mr. Greg Weiner, once an aide to Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, notes an endangered species: old-style liberals. When Liberals Become Progressives, Much Is Lost. Sample:

    A liberal can believe that government can do more good or less, and one can debate how much to conserve. But progressivism is inherently hostile to moderation because progress is an unmitigated good. There cannot be too much of it. Like conservative fundamentalism, progressivism contributes to the polarization and paralysis of government because it makes compromise, which entails accepting less progress, not merely inadvisable but irrational. Even when progressives choose their targets strategically — Hillary Clinton, for example, called herself “a progressive who likes to get things done” — the implication is that progress is the fundamental goal and that its opponents are atavists.

    Progressivism is very like a religion. And not a "nice" one, like Episcopalianism, either: One of those nightmarish ones where devotees hunt down heretics with an eye toward ostracism and ruin.


  • At the WaPo, Megan McArdle describes Democrats’ housing problem.

    Since the late 1950s, economists have paid attention to “housing starts” — the number of times in a month that ground is broken to build a home. In recent years, however, economists have started to pay closer attention to something we might call “housing stops”: the thicket of laws and regulations that make it harder for communities to build.

    Since at least 1950, notes housing economist Joseph Gyourko, there has been a growing price divide between low-cost areas where housing is plentiful and cheap, and desirable areas where housing is scarce and expensive. In 1950, housing in the most expensive metropolitan areas cost twice what it did in an average market. By 2000, it was four times as expensive, and Gyourko expects that difference to keep growing.

    Again, see The Captured Economy by Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles, where land-use regulation is one of the prime components of the American game of rent-seeking. Contrary to Megan's headline, it's bad in areas where Democrats are in full control, but it's not great in (for example) New Hampshire, either.


  • And the candidates are starting to show up in our fair state. Andrew Yang is profiled at Vice, with emphasis on his Big Issue: The Presidential Candidate Bent on Beating the Robot Apocalypse Will Give Two Americans a $1,000-per-month Basic Income.

    Next week in New Hampshire, Yang will announce an initiative to give one citizen of the Live Free or Die state the monthly windfall. He’s asking citizens to nominate someone they know who could use the extra income, to offer a real-time test case of his central policy idea. Shortly after, he’ll repeat the process in Iowa (each are swing states, of course, and the first to vote in the primary process).

    <voice accent="yankee">Ayup, nothin' says "Live Free or Die" than becomin' dependent on the government for your financial future</voice>.


  • And xkcd once again looks into my shameful trashy behavior:

    [Clutter Commentary]

    Mouseover: "I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away."