- "of an individual, business or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business or nation"
posted by Gyan
on Jan 11, 2007 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
The Harvard University Worklife Wizard
, created by an international team of journalists, economists, and statisticians, is Barbara Ehrenreich's wet dream. It's also a fantastic resource that has flown pretty much under everyone's radar. The Worklife Survey
drives the constantly-revised, constantly-refined Salary Comparison Tool
, which is always hungry for more data about employment from around the world. And when they say they want data from everyone, they mean it-- there's even a VIP Salary Checker that pits the wages of the Yankees against those of the Red Sox
. (Plus if you take the survey, you can apparently earn a chance to win a trip to South Africa). Personally, I love the Workplace Horror Stories
(and there's a competition there too). I can't look at a nail clipper the same way now.
posted by yellowcandy
on Nov 20, 2006 -
Milton Friedman has died.
One of the most famous economists to come out of the Chicago school
, his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom
was a straightforward challenge to the predominant Keynesian model
that government intervention was frequently necessary to prevent market failures, arguing instead that the way to true political freedom was through economic freedom. He was a devout monetarist
and although conventional wisdom conflates conservatism with laissez-faire economics, he described his own philosophy as liberal
in the Enlightenment sense of the word. His 1980 book Free to Choose
, written with his wife Rose in conjunction with the PBS series
of the same name, explained in layman's term his philosophy of how a truly free market works for the benefit of society.
posted by Doofus Magoo
on Nov 16, 2006 -
The First Law of Petropolitics, in short, argues that the price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation. As the price of oil goes up in what I call petroauthoritarian states—like Iran, Sudan, Venezuela—the pace of freedom goes down. These regimes can afford to be less responsive to their people and outside pressure. And as the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up because these regimes have to open up to the world if they want to deliver for their people, and they have to empower their people more.
But how to lower oil prices and help freedom on its proverbial march? Many, from Alan Greenspan
to Andrew Sullivan
to Ray Magliozzi from Car Talk
think the answer may be to . . . raise the gas tax?
The Pigou Club
is an ever-updated list of economists, politicians and others who have advocated Pigouvian (or is it Pigovian?
) taxes to not only lower oil prices, but reduce greenhouse gases, fix the federal deficit and strengthen our national security. Though some remain more than a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon
and others remain skeptical
that the movement is anything more than "just talk," this could be an idea whose time has come, especially since the gas tax isn't as regressive one would think
posted by joshuaconner
on Oct 25, 2006 -
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -
Plunging into the shadows:
"In thinly traded, lightly regulated and untransparent markets
, the bold
can make an awful lot of money—and they can lose it
on an even more extravagant scale... In today's caffeine-fuelled dealing rooms, a barely regulated private-equity group could very well borrow money from syndicates of private lenders, including hedge funds, to spend on taking public companies private. At each stage, risks can be converted into securities
, sliced up, repackaged, sold on and sliced up again. The endless opportunities to write contracts on underlying debt instruments
explains why the outstanding value of credit-derivatives contracts has rocketed
to $26 trillion—$9 trillion more than six months ago, and seven times as much as in 2003."
posted by kliuless
on Sep 24, 2006 -
Foreign Aid: Can it work? The conundrum facing the rich countries is that everywhere in the developing world, and particularly in Africa, you see children dying for want of pennies, while it's equally obvious that aid often doesn't work very well....But the pitfalls of aid tend not to be discussed among humanitarians, at least in loud voices, for fear of scaring donors. And now along comes William Easterly, in his tremendously important and provocative new book, The White Man's Burden, which asserts with great force that the aid industry is deeply flawed.
posted by storybored
on Sep 23, 2006 -
Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution asks
: "Assuming you start from a multi-dimensional global utility maximum, which Lancastrian characteristics—with non-trivial shadow prices—would you like more of in a corresponding unconstrained equilibrium?"
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Jun 23, 2006 -
How valuable is your favorite sports star to his or her team? Sports economics
take center stage as the NBA finals are underway in the United States and World Cup fever has gripped the rest of the world. Malcolm Gladwell
reviews the Wages of Wins
, where “Freakonomics meets ESPN”
posted by msali
on Jun 13, 2006 -
A collection of links to videos about economics for those who want to learn more about the dismal science.
posted by srboisvert
on May 29, 2006 -
Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
, has long posited
a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues
that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees
, of course.
posted by daksya
on Dec 4, 2005 -