W. Arthur Lewis and the Tradeoffs of Economics and Economists - From Vox EU: W. Arthur Lewis and the tradeoffs of economics and economists, by Ravi Kanbur, VoxEU: There is nothing new under the sun. The passionate polit...
16 hours ago
“Though the American commanders still counseled patience last week, they will not put up with inaction for long. Afghan forces told TIME they spotted U.S. and British commandos heading into the Tora Bora mountains last week, traveling in pairs, shouldering heavy supplies and carrying rifles. There were more soldiers on the way, backed by U.S. gunships, bombers and Predator drones, ready to pounce on their prey. It's a safe bet that if bin Laden is holed up in the snowdrifts of Tora Bora, with his hosts defeated and on the run, he still harbors hopes of making a great escape. It's a safer bet that the U.S. would love to see him try.”
“Now he's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, to Paulie. Trouble with cops, deliveries, Tommy... ...he calls Paulie. But now he has to pay Paulie... ...every week no matter what. "Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Had a fire? Fuck you, pay me." "The place got hit by lightning? Fuck you, pay me." Also, Paulie could do anything. Like run up bills on the joint's credit. And why not? Nobody will pay for it anyway. Take deliveries at the front door and– Goodfellas
sell it out the back at a discount. Take a 200 dollar case of booze and sell it for one hundred dollars.
It doesn't matter. It's all profit.”
Al Perruzza, now a senior vice president, recalls a dinner in the early ’70s at which Mr. Wallace rose, clanked a glass and announced that, effective Monday, everyone at Reader’s Digest would get a 10 percent raise. He sat for a moment, conferred with Mrs. Wallace and then stood up again.
“My lovely wife doesn’t think that’s enough,” he said. “So effective Monday, it’s 15 percent.”
He rose a third time and announced a cost-of-living increase.
“We had spent literally weeks preparing a budget,” Mr. Perruzza says with a grin. “I was sitting with the president of my division. The guy went ashen.”
“By 1929, circulation stood at 290,000 subscribers and brought in $900,000 a year — more than $11 million in inflation-adjusted dollars — according to “American Dreamers,” a book about the Wallaces. By the 40th anniversary of Reader’s Digest, Time tallied up the magazine’s achievements: 40 editions, in 13 languages and Braille, and the best-selling publication in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Peru — and on and on. Total worldwide circulation was 23 million.”
“…the walls are dominated by inexpensive prints and lots of corporate propaganda.
That’s right: corporate propaganda. Posters in the corridors of this mostly empty building trumpet something called the FACE plan, an acronym for fast, accountable, candid and engaged. One poster offers simplistic how-tos for running a meeting. (“Ensure that the right people are at the table.”) Another is headed with the words “Vision Statement” and uses lots of empty white space to underscore the point: “We will create the world’s largest multiplatform communities based on branded content.”
That mantra, and all the posters, are the brainchild of Mary Berner, the kinetic former president of Fairchild Publications who landed here with the backing of Ripplewood Holdings, the Manhattan private equity firm that orchestrated the debt-fueled takeover of Reader’s Digest.”
And, finally, when there's nothing
1 left, when you can't borrow
another buck from the bank or buy
another case of booze, you bust
the joint out.
CUT DIRECTLY TO:
LARGE CLOSE UP OF - HANDS
making rolls of toilet paper being kneaded into long rolls
HENRY AND TOMMY shoving wads of Sterno paper into the
You light a match.
IN AMILPAS, a village in the Valley of Oaxaca,2 a drunk wanders down the street, lurching from side to side and shouting insults at all he encounters. Little children run indoors, and people approaching from the other direction dodge off into side streets to avoid meeting him. Ordinary village street life ceases as he approaches and resumes after he has passed. Local residents seem to regard drunks as one of the hazards of village life, along with rabid dogs and loose oxen. There is a similar element of physical danger: if the drunk is armed, he may injure someone, and, in fact, most intra-village quarrels and homicides occur after drinking. My wife and I have vivid memories of dashing into our adobe house along with neighbors when bullets from a street drunk started zinging through the trees. We thought he was shooting at our Coleman lantern!
Drunks do present real physical danger, especially when armed with pistol or machete. However, the social danger represented by the drunk seems to be feared almost as much as the actual physical danger. The drunk does not have to observe the polite conventions which allow everyday life to go on in the village. Instead of a polite, "Good morning, how did you awaken?" he may greet a fellow citizen with an accusation of stealing from the village treasury, failing to repay an old loan, making someone ill (witcheraft), or some other kind of misbehavior. The visiting anthropologist quickly learns that drunks are likely to accuse him of nefarious purposes: being an evangelist, selling data to an enemy village, using villagers for his own gain. Like his informants, he learns to avoid drunks and situations where drunks are congregated. The drunk is likely to say things that were better left unsaid, to voice suspicions that are only suspicions, and by their nature are incapable of being either proved or disproved. He threatens to tear down the polite facade of ordinary social life in the village.”
“Alan B. Krueger is co-author with David Card of Myth and Measurement . Somehow in this book, they manage to throw overboard the law of supply and demand, to reach the conclusion that "the claim, that a higher minimum wage cuts jobs, lacks support."
At one point, they report among a number of "main empirical findings" that (page 3):
Increases in the minimum wage also generate a "ripple effect", leading to pay raises for workers who previously earned wages above the minimum wage.
It is difficult to understand how Card and Krueger can even be considered economists with such beliefs. If one does not believe in the law of supply and demand for the labor market, can one believe in the law of supply and demand, at all, for any market?”
“First, environmentalism is the ultimate “Mommy party” issue. Real men punish evildoers; they don’t adjust their lifestyles to protect the planet. (Here’s some polling to that effect.)
Second, climate change runs up against the anti-intellectual streak in America.”
“This is not the first time Mann's work [the hockey stick] has been put to the test. In 2006, Texas A&M climatologist Gerry North was asked to lead an investigation for the National Academy of Sciences.
North worked with three statisticians and several high-ranking climate experts, picking through Mann's arguments and data. He said the panel came away with a few quibbles over Mann's methods and when they re-did it, the graph didn't have as dramatic an upward slant as the original hockey stick.
But overall, "we thought that qualitatively the paper got it right. The last 30 years were warmer than any 30-year period in the last 600 years and plausibly the last 1,000 years."
North said he did not agree with the way that some other researchers created a continuous graph of global temperatures over the last 1,000 years by combining the proxy data in the past with thermometer data in recent years.”