Friday, July 9, 2010

Random thoughts

Tax Code and the Bible
Of only one other book can it be said ... that great minds have devoted countless hours to the scrutiny and learned exegesis of every passage; that differing interpretations of the text have given rise to some of humanity's most epic struggles; and that, while millions mine it for valuable insights and inspiration, those who claim to live by the book and follow its precepts probably far outnumber those who actually do so.
--Mark Iwry, senior advisor to the Treasury secretary, on the similarity between the tax code and the Bible

WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!! So why are rational economists still using cash?

Q: How many Austrian economists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: You can’t make quantitative predictions.

Q: What do you call 100 Austrian Economists at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A reaction to monetary policy incompatible with individual time preference.
Thank you, Newmark and The .Plan.

And from Marginal Revolution: Laundering money legally and rationally in Zimbabwe:
Low-denomination U.S bank notes change hands until they fall apart here in Africa, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.
Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside sheets and items of clothing.
A commenter reminds us that Africa is NOT a country and Zimbabwe is, in almost all things, an outlier:
In the other african countries I've visited [the rules are] no tears, no small bills (or valued at a lower rate), no 100s before 2006 (due to fear of counterfeiting or to allow frequent travelers to buy old 100s at less than face value locally and spend them outside the continent). We have the phenomenon of ironing money, but I doubt many would risk putting a dollar in the wash.

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