As of 11 a.m. this morning, a Salvation Army captain in Minnesota has embarked upon the grueling task of standing outside and ringing his bell for 80 hours straight. He won't be sitting, eating or drink during the world record attempt, which also has the goal of raising around $300 per hour.
At the New Republic, Thomas Nagel has a review of Joshua Greene's Moral Tribes, and I recommend it to any of my readers who haven't already read it. Nagel's main point is given by his title "You can't learn about morality from brain scans", and I certainly agree with that. Like most people who think psychology and neuroscience can be used to uncover the basis of sound ethics, Greene is a utilitarian.
Do you ever wonder what happens when your readers reach the end of your posts? What do they click on? Where do they go next? What if you've piqued a reader's interest and left them wanting more, but don't give them the option to do so?
Today, we're so happy to announce Related Posts on WordPress.com -- one of the most requested features from users.
The greatest number of jobs is created when startups create a new market - one where the product or service never existed before or is radically more convenient. Yet this is where startups will run into anti-innovation opponents they may not expect. These opponents have their own name – “rent seekers” – the landlords of the status-quo.
Smart startups prepare to face off against rent seekers and map out creative strategies for doing so....
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From the WSJ:
The slack job creation isn’t as bad if you average it with the revised figures since December. The average job growth for the last four months is 181,000, and 169,000 over the last year. Nonetheless, in the 45 months since the recession ended, job creation has averaged 113,000 fewer jobs a month than in a normal recovery, according to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.
If job creation had kept pace with a typical expansion, about 4.2 million more Americans would be collecting a paycheck. The March decline is especially disappointing given the stock market’s strong run and other signs of revived confidence.
As I’ve mentioned many times on the blog before, job growth around the 150,000 mark per month is not actually job growth. The population of the country grows at about one-percent per year. Right now, with our population is somewhere around the 330 million mark, it takes about 165,000 jobs created per month just to keep up with this level of growth. (Assuming a workforce participation rate around 60%.) In previous employment posts, the number was 145,000 per month. And this number is just an average, population growth varies month to month and you have to make some accounting for our aging population.
Still, averaging 169,000 jobs a month over a year means the economy is barely growing enough to support the growing population. That is not a recovery. It’s a floor. We hit rock bottom, and stayed there, eventually we started moving sideways. And this stretch of negligible, meaningless growth IS the recovery. I hate to think what our next correction is going to look like.
There are three parts of GDP, consumer spending, investment (business spending) and government spending. Consumer spending is good because people are getting stuff they want. Investment is good because it grows the pie; investments will, on average in a free economy, return more than what gets put in. Government spending is good when it protects and enables these other categories of GDP. Roads, courts, police, institutions in general, military power and secure borders. Maybe education, if we ever figure out how to deliver a decent education. These are moral uses of economic resources. Not much else. The more government spends, the more it takes capital away from the other two categories, i.e. it takes away from 1) what people want and need 2) investment aimed at getting people more of the stuff they want or need. Every rent-taking bureaucrat, every Parkinson’s Law contractor, every unnecessary ditch and road is immoral.
Bush was President and the world was coming to an end?
Thankfully, there’s no such thing as peak oil anymore.
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I was a political addict for a very long period of time, and one of the symptoms of political addiction is watching every POTUS speech. From about 1995 or so through around the end of Obama’s first year in office, I watched every State of the Union speech, plus whatever other speeches and press conferences I could.
It was a total waste. Could I tell you anything about any of those speeches? No, with the exception of Bush II’s “Hear all of us soon” speech at Ground Zero. Otherwise, nothing. Political speeches, especially in America, approach the theoritical limits of vapidity.
The State of the Union of especially insipid. Anyone can produce a laundry list, throw in some glittering generalities and enjoy the applause of the sycophants who belong in your party. Antonin Scalia gets this right, don’t watch, don’t bother with the State of the Union. I take this even further and tend to avoid paying any attention to the rhetoric of any politician, regardless of party. And this has changed my life for the better. I feel just as informed as before (I still read the news, as long as it has some substance to it) and I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever to let some suit-wearing confidence man sell me intellectual smegma.