Friday, February 11, 2011

Ginormous Bag o Blog Links

I was going back through my old posts to see if there were any I had drafted but never posted. This was one from September.

Easterly posts on the FAO's new hunger numbers. Skeptical with good reason: the numbers come from models and extrapolations (okay, that's fine, but let's debate the model) rather than country-by-country data gathering.

Rent-controlled housing:
In the end, the goal of the rent control laws is thwarted (the low rents are enjoyed by well-paid tenured faculty rather than the needy), the income tax laws are thwarted (a sizable part of compensation is untaxed), and all this is done by a nonprofit institution (the university) whose ostensible purpose is to serve the public interest.
Roberts unpacks Krugman's argument and finds plenty to blame on government in the current recession:
In fact, if there had been one category called “Taxes and Government Regulations” it might have been seen as the biggest problem, listed by 36% of respondents, up from 29% in the year before and surpassing sales as the biggest problem. ...

So when the stimulus was put in place, 28% of small businesses cited sales as their biggest problem. A year into the stimulus, somehow, the proportion citing sales had climbed to 31%. And today, 18 months or so into the stimulus, the number is still 31%. So somehow, during the first part of the stimulus, during all that government spending,  a greater proportion of small businesses found sales to be to their biggest problem. But the sum of taxes and government regulations went from 30% to 36%.
 First past the post vs. last past: parenting incentives.

M. Nestle on replacing "high fructose corn syrup" with "corn sugars":
I would prefer Corn Sugars (plural) to indicate that it is a mixture of glucose and fructose.  But as long as they don’t call it “natural,” the change is OK with me.
And she links to this comment:
Only Big Food would find a way to make a product full of refined white sugar (which at one time was also demonized) seem like a healthy alternative. It’s like I always say, the food industry is very good at taking criticism and turning it into a marketing opportunity.

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