Remember: correlation is not causation. Also, don't assume that just because one thing preceded another, it must have caused it. Keep that in mind. Are you remembering? Good, because otherwise you're going to imagine that hiring LeBron cost 30 Miami Heat ticket sales people their jobs. (hat tip: MR)
I mean, no one complains that neurosurgery is a terribly elitist field of practice. Or what about high-stakes contract law? Those fields are both dominated by a very small and, for lack of a better term, elite group of practitioners. And for very good reason, as I think most of us would agree. ... It seems to me that the stakes are ... higher [in humanitarian work]. What we do affects not just a single individual, but entire communities, regions, in some instances maybe even nations. And yet, somehow we think that this is a field of practice where any random well-meaning person can be relevant to the conversation? You kidding?
Good news in Kenya (buried at the bottom of the post on the MPI): "Kenya has achieved a stunning drop in child mortality since 2003."
MR also gives us a graph showing just how underwater home owners are. Over 4million owe more than 50% more than their house is worth.
We're debating a new zoning plan in Dryden that's stinks to Terre Haute. Yglesias on zoning laws:
Some land-use restrictions—those that aim to preserve undeveloped natural land—have a clear environmental rationale that should be weighed against the economic cost. But most land-use restrictions don’t prevent development, they just force it to be inefficiently low-intensity. Such laws are bad for the environment, chewing up space and wasting energy, as well as economically harmful.
The “hot potato” process is the central concept of monetary economics. If you put more cash into circulation than people want to hold, they’ll try to get rid of it. Individually they can, but collectively they cannot. The attempt to get rid of the cash will drive up AD. I think everyone understands this (excluding post-Keynesians of course) but many economists forget what monetary policy is all about; the supply and demand for money.
Mankiw reports on unintended effects from the Dodd-Frank bill:
Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are all refusing to allow their ratings to be used in documentation for new bond sales, each said in statements in recent days. Each says it fears being exposed to new legal liability created by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
The new law will make ratings firms liable for the quality of their ratings decisions, effective immediately. The companies say that, until they get a better understanding of their legal exposure, they are refusing to let bond issuers use their ratings.
That is important because some bonds, notably those that are made up of consumer loans, are required by law to include ratings in their official documentation. That means new bond sales in the $1.4 trillion market for mortgages, autos, student loans and credit cards could effectively shut down.