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links for 2011-05-17

  • Quote:"Suppose you're part of a married couple, both age 60, you're earning about $75,000 per year, and you've earned a similar amount throughout your career, adjusted for average growth in wages. Also suppose your spouse had sporadic earnings and will be relying on the Social Security spouse's benefit based on your earnings record.

    In this case, your Social Security income at age 66, which is your Full Retirement Age (FRA), will be roughly $2,000 per month. Your spouse would receive an additional $1,000 per month at his or her FRA for a combined income of $3,000 per month, or $36,000 per year. Now consider a move that may sound radical, but is also quite practical: consider hooking up with another like-minded couple in a similar situation, finding a nice three-bedroom house, and living together. Your combined income will be $72,000 per year.

    // Too bad it won't work for my generation.

  • // Great article by Nick Nelson on the Twins Front Office woes.

    What remains to be understood is why the Twins were good for so long while relying on scouting instead of statistical evaluation.

    My answer would be that in the last ten years, the statistical gaps the Twins exploited, speed, all around players, defense, finesse pitching, have closed. Six years ago, it was hard to properly evaluate a player who had a low OPS but a good glove and could steal bases. Now we can. The Twins used to have success picking up these types of players when every other team was focused on HRs and Strike Outs. No more. The only way the Twins can settle in for longterm success by tapping into undervalued players is by a sabremetric makeover.

  • Quote:""People don't realize the risk we're taking by taking care of these patients," the newspaper quoted Dr. Albert Triana of South Miami as saying. "There's more risk of something going wrong and more risk of getting sued. Everything is more complicated with an obese patient in GYN surgeries and in [pregnancies]," he told the newspaper.

    // No, we don't tort reform…

  • // Vin Mazzaro gave up 14 ER in 2.1 IP. And it was not his fault. He didn't have a good outing, walking three guys and giving up a home run, but that isn't all that unusual. What is unusual is the BaBIP of .667 or so. A pitcher has no control over the defense. If anyone should get sent down to the minors, it's the Royals' manager Ned Yost, for allowing his pitcher to be abused like this. Yost stubbornly forced Vin to keep pitching regardless of the outcome. Ridiculous.
  • Quote:"The annual increase in the consumer prices index to a 30-month high of 4.5%, from 4% in March, wrongfooted the City and intensifies the dilemma for the Bank of England over how much longer it can keep interest rates low to support the flagging economy.

    Governor Mervyn King was forced to write another letter to the chancellor, George Osborne, to explain why inflation is so far above the Bank's 2% target. He blamed high commodity and import prices, and the increase in VAT to 20% in January

    // Send them Paul Krugman.

  • // Interesting read. Somehow, I do not believe this new explanation for the "Geronimo" codeword.
  • Quote:"The Killer was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball history, but he was also one of the nicest people ever to play the game. He was one of the few players who would go out of his way to compliment umpires on a good job, even if their calls went against him. I'd call a tough strike on him and he would turn around and say approvingly, "Good call." And he was the same way in the field. And he never did this to get help on close plays, as some players do. The man hit 573 major league home runs and no umpire ever swung a bat for him.

    —Ron Luciano

  • Quote:"Two leading makers of lighting products are showcasing LED bulbs that are bright enough to replace energy-guzzling 100-watt light bulbs set to disappear from stores in January.

    Their demonstrations at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week mean that brighter LED bulbs will likely go on sale next year, but after a government ban takes effect.

    The new bulbs will also be expensive — about $50 each — so the development may not prevent consumers from hoarding traditional bulbs.

    // The light bulb ban is rather stupid, imho. In Minnesota, does heat from an incandescent bulb get wasted?

  • Quote:"They said the real impact of the recession for workers was not in transitory unemployment, but was in permanently lowered future wages that would then feed into Social Security formulas in a way that would permanently lower benefits. "The reduction in wage growth affects nearly all workers — not just the relatively few who lost their jobs — and lasts for their entire post-recession career," the report said.

    Young workers will be harder hit, because the length of the careers they have ahead of them will magnify the effect of the lost wage growth, the study said. Their income at age 70 will be almost five percent lower than it would have been, or about $3,000 per person.

    But higher income workers will have the most to lose and will lose the most. Young workers in the top 20 percent of wage earners will lose an average of $7,500 a year in their 70s, the study said.

    // And that's every year of your working life.

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