December 9, 2012

"The anti-fragile is beyond the resilient or robust."

"The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better and better." On that theory:
1. Build cities that won’t just withstand super storms, but gain from them....

2. Let banks fail and abandon economic stabilization practices....

3. Eat like a caveman....


4. Workout like an Olympian. Sleep like a college kid....

5. Be a doer not a thinker....

The author... points to the idea that rich countries have high levels of education and literacy. Therefore, there’s the belief that education leads to wealth, when actually the opposite occurs—countries get rich, and then they get educated. Since studies show that education does not equal GDP, to be anti-fragile, first have skills, and then obtain formal education.

An example given is, “The merchant profession has lots of variance. A dentist has very little.” Although parents want a life of stability for their children, Taleb’s theory would put the odds of success on the merchant in an unpredictable world. “College insulates students from downsides,” he says, “but also prevents brilliance.”

In terms of theory, doing is convex and study is concave. Taleb asks, “Can you study chemistry for a formula for the perfect hummus?” In cooking you can get a big gain from an error (adding lemon or garlic) but you only find out by trial-and-error.

Taleb’s philosophy is also hopeful about our country's mediocre global math and science scores, which he believes, “don’t capture the effectiveness of our citizens on the world,” because we are a country of risk-takers and entrepreneurs.
Here's the book: "Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder," by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (who, according to the linked article is "a notorious jerk." Well, he's got his own way of talking, which I love. (Just bought the book, too.)

90 comments:

ricpic said...

I wonder whether Nassim would categorize Hussein as a Black Swan?

edutcher said...

Nietzsche would approve.

I think it's what Teddy Roosevelt called the Strenuous Life.

buwaya said...

This is correct. Historically, most countries that have gotten to economic takeoff got on that path before they achieved high levels of formal education. There has been an awful lot of wasted effort on education, forcing it on societies that cant afford it.

buwaya said...

This is correct. Historically, most countries that have gotten to economic takeoff got on that path before they achieved high levels of formal education. There has been an awful lot of wasted effort on education, forcing it on societies that cant afford it.

rhhardin said...

The more risks the population takes, the more different things are tried.

The successful things are discovered faster.

Likewise how capital works. It enables more indirect ways of doing things, and there are a lot more indirect ways than direct. More things are tried, and the most successful are quickly found.

rhhardin said...

The Obama idea is take away reasons for taking risk, and reduce the nation to poverty.

Eye of a camel or something.

rhhardin said...

I have an exceedingly risky plan involving all the eggs in the world and one basket.

rhhardin said...

Let a thousand baskets bloom.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Assuming Mr. Taleb's work becomes more popular, now would be a good time to invest in cliché futures.

Meade said...

Sounds like The Dangerous Book for [Big] Boys.

Paco Wové said...

"I have an exceedingly risky plan involving all the eggs in the world and one basket."

But think of the possible upside!

rhhardin said...

ROUGH: 1D[ominant] not smooth. Met. without enough care, feeling, polish. (r. soldier). 2. violent, not quiet or kind. 3. (1). not comnplete, (r. copy, first attempt at a bit of writing; incomplete copy.).

RUDE: 1P[rimary] in natural first condition (without education, art); cf. rough 3. 2D[ominant]. unpleasing in behaviour, probably on purpose. 3 (1,2). r. health, strong having force.

Wm. Empson's untangling of the COD's bungled distinctions for these.

_The Structure of Complex Words_ "Dictionaries" p.402

Seeing Red said...

PPPPPPffffffffffffttt,,


those risk-takers didn't build that.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The best kind of risk-taking is when you privatize the gains and socialize the losses, right guys?

Pogo said...

Taleb's solipsism made 'Black Swan' nearly unreadable. Insights combined, it made one good chapter. The remainder was all about the smartest man in the world versus all the idiots and haters.

And why the neologism?
'Resilience' too New Agey?

Repackaged folk aphorisms. We don't need another Malcolm Gladwell; one was excessive.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MikeR said...

Taleb is hard to read and hard to tolerate, but important. Ignore him at your peril.

EDH said...

Therefore, there’s the belief that education leads to wealth, when actually the opposite occurs —countries get rich, and then they get educated. Since studies show that education does not equal GDP, to be anti-fragile, first have skills, and then obtain formal education.

For confirmation, look back a generation or two at what we now find quaint, versus what they were actually able to accomplish in their lifetimes.

"FRAGILE"

"It must be Italian."

Pogo said...

Mises, Hayek, and Friedman said it first, and better.

bagoh20 said...

Absolutely. Every catastrophe in my life has immediately proceeded a huge advancement far above the old bar, and usually with a whole new and wider view of the possibilities.

As a young man, I dropped out of college, depressed, broke and hopeless. It caused me to pull up roots and take a huge chance by moving to California, where I learned that the world was much bigger and full of opportunities. I tried many new things, which eventually landed me in jail, but I was learning the whole time, and getting more independent and stronger.

Nearly going to prison moved me to try something completely different again, and I started working with a start up company which we grew rapidly. A number of recessions occurred, and each time we redirected our business into something that was better than before. Things were going fine, and then I got cancer and a death sentence, which I escaped by a miracle of luck and science. This really changed my outlook. It changed me into the view of life as something with two simple purposes: 1) to be enjoyed, and 2) to help others as much as possible to fulfill the same two purposes with their lives. I decided the best way for me to do that was to invest in a business where I could do that with a lot of people. The economic crash made it possible for me to afford that business. Another wonderful disaster.

The current continuing bad economy still fuels our business because being an American manufacturer we benefit from the difficulty our customers have importing from China when quantities are low and money is tight. We are here for them, and 2012 will be the best year in the company's 30 year history.

I can hardly wait for the next disaster, but it's really hard even for me to see it as an opportunity before the fact. I need to keep that in mind, because it has always been so, and I would not want to change my history to avoid a single setback that happened.

wyo sis said...

Anyone who studies history could come to the same conclusions. But, he's the one who did and who wrote about it and who is arrogant enough to think he's the only person to ever do that.

ricpic said...

If you'd put all your eggs in the fracking basket you'd be rich in North Dakota, bankrupt in New York. Depends on where the Montana Urban Schmendricks have a death grip.

elkh1 said...

"Eat like a caveman."

A caveman lasts forty some years. Seems we last longer with our high artificial everything diets.

How about "work out like a caveman"? Work out as if we were chased by a saber tooth tiger, and chasing a hairy mammoth to supplement our caveman diet. By the time we are in our sixties, we'll replace our caveman joints with carbon-nanotube joints, our caveman hearts with stem-cell generated hearts.

By the way, that Iceman from the Alps had all the genetic predispositions for our 21st century killer diseases: fat deposits on his heart, and symptoms of arthritis.

EDH said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
The best kind of risk-taking is when you privatize the gains and socialize the losses, right guys?

You mean a progressive company like Solyndra didn't have "binders full of women"?

Rory Moore said...

I too am a big fan of Taleb and will be buying the book, but I do think that his thinking is too one sided and simplistic sometimes.

Fernandinande said...

"Taleb’s philosophy is also hopeful about our country's mediocre global math and science scores, which he believes, ..."

It's our demographics.

"[PISA mathematics] scores for [US] Whites were above the OECD average scores."

Same thing for PISA reading.

chuck said...

Perhaps everyone should learn a craft. That was once required of the Ottoman Sultans, and indeed of some European nobility. Prince Rupprecht, for instance, learned carpentry. I think such a development would be healthy, if only to ensure that enough people had the knowledge needed to maintain civilization in hard times.

bagoh20 said...

Except for those getting a check from the government, I don't know of anyone who can privatize gains. I pay the majority of mine to various governments who then hand it out to people who are living off socializing their losses, often without ever taking a risk.

john said...

This fits in well with why some guys would rather get lost for hours before asking for directions.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I pay the majority of mine to various governments who then hand it out to people who are living off socializing their losses, often without ever taking a risk.

May you have many more years like 2012 - as the ever-looming zenith of the wonderful Obama presidency draws near.

Your paradoxical love of failure might explain your other, seemingly incomprehensible view: That the unprecedented financial successes of the last few years cause you to hate all the more fervently the guy in charge of the economy that created them.

Strange indeed. I'd love to live in your mind for a day and find out what makes for learning in a mind so open as to embrace that.

FleetUSA said...

Since we're in the Christmas season, the headline made me think immediately of the movie A Christmas Story . The mystery box was fra-gil-é

DADvocate said...

I know a fair number of guys who fit the anti-fragile mode. They know carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry, mechanics, etc. One guy finished my basement, did it all himself.

The other guy was a high school vocational/welding teacher. If you met him, you'd think he was a goofy but friendly guy. Built his own house. Not some simple thing, but a 2,500 sq. ft. with hardwood floors, fancy kitchen, full basement, brick, etc. He and his family lived in a single wide trailer on the small farm while he did it. He can fix or build almost anything.

I'm jealous of these guys, but not some highly educated professor.

For survival, rebuilding, etc, I'd choose either one of these guys over almost any college professor any day, especially the liberal arts professors.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Bagoh20 thanks for sharing your viewpoint, it is inspiring. I have a lot of respect for you.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, I never suggested Obama was bad for me, or any of the rich you and he target. It's everyone else that's having their years wasted in stagnation.

The Obama failure makes everything cheaper for those with money or credit, who are scooping it all up. Just like during the depression, assets are at discounts prices, and employees are lined up to work for you.

Again, "I drink your milkshake, I drink it up."

"I'd love to live in your mind for a day and find out what makes for learning..."

I just open my eyes. I live what you have to read about to understand, and then you get it wrong anyway.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, then you didn't get the memo and apparently have another looming failure to learn from - refusing to be grateful for those personal successes or the environment that created them, means that the redistribution will now begin.

Your extra milkshakes will now be confiscated.

See, drive alone doesn't create things. Talent and privilege do as well. These are things that people don't have a say in and hence, they should feel lucky and grateful for them.

But you don't. You feel entitled to them. You didn't earn your talents. And because you feel they make you better than other people (which they don't), the products of that disparity will now be taxed.

Be grateful for the representative voice of government as it now shows you how to be the better person that you tried, came close to, and yet failed to be.

The innovative industries of Silicon Valley and the high tech sector went overwhelmingly for Obama. I take it your business isn't concerned with those things. But no problem, you will now be incorporated into it - the same way you wished to incorporate the types of people who might have worked for you into the horrible Chinese model.

n.n said...

Taleb must be an engineer. This adaptive process is employed in signal processing, navigation, etc., when the objective is known but the optimal path is not known because the system is incompletely characterized or inputs are stochastic processes.

Incidentally, chaos theory describes the model as bounded with indeterminate or random intermediate behavior. This is why within a limited frame of reference, we have reasonable success at forecasting emergent patterns, including: weather events, human behavior, evolutionary processes, etc.; and inconsistent success when leaving that frame -- the scope of scientific inquiry.

countries get rich, and then they get educated

There is a correlation between wealth (and especially GDP) and education, but it is not necessarily causal.

The value of education comes in two forms: deterministic and stochastic. The first is skilled labor and management. The second is entrepreneurs, pioneers, and creative workers. Since intelligence does not predict the second, we increase the likelihood of developing people in this class by increasing the number of people exposed to the conditions we believe will cause that outcome.

The significance of wealth is related to saturation and opportunity, but not necessarily to income, as our education system has confirmed. Until we decouple compensation from integrity, we will continue to suffer progressive corruption.

Taleb is wrong to remain optimistic. Americans are electing in progressive numbers to exchange their liberty for submission with benefits. They prefer to live in a low energy state while demanding the products and services available at a high energy state. The trend does not favor pioneers, entrepreneurs, and creative workers at a high level of competency.

Chip S. said...

You didn't earn your talents. And because you feel they make you better than other people (which they don't), the products of that disparity will now be taxed.

Now your views on taxation make perfect sense to me.

You see the tax code as a vehicle for punishing thoughtcrime.

bagoh20 said...

NoutquiteunBuckley,

Thanks man, but I've been incredibly lucky. I don't even have any specific advice on how to do it, other than the Golden Rule, especially in that freedom and respect get a lot more from people than control in business or anything else.

BTW, that Daniel Day Lewis is a fine actor, and there never seems to be a bowling pin within reach when you need one.

bagoh20 said...

That's was really embarrassing, Ritmo. I'd just delete that if I was you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You see the tax code as a vehicle for punishing thoughtcrime.

No. You see it as a vehicle for treating talents (including the talent of choosing rich parents to be born to) as privileges.

But Bag O's concession was short and sweet. It carried the obligatory sign of self-righteous indignation, but it was hard to miss the sign of surrender buried deeply within it.

People have a habit of rationalizing successes as earned conquests, rather than as privileges - and this holds true despite how something was gained. Bag O's glorified self-identification with a fictionalized murder, who kills in the name of the slogan he repeats after using it to explain his financial exploits, sort of gives that away.

I don't know if he consciously realizes that he is identifying with an exploitative murderer on the silver screen, but it really seems like that's what he's doing.

Daniel Plainview was not meant to be seen in a heroic light, but Bag O's choice of seeing him that way (and going further so as to identify with it) says a lot. I feel sorry for him for not realizing this.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo thinks when you tax a rich guy, he has to sell his top hat, cigars and limo to pay it, and then the government uses the money to feed starving disabled orphans.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, Bag - if that's a delusion, it's a superior one to identifying with an exploitative murderer as the model of success, who kills while uttering the same phrase used to justify his financial gains.

Think about what you're saying when you talk about drinking milkshakes. You really didn't mean to be ironic or sarcastic with that, did you?

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, if you found a million dollars buried in your back yard, and nobody knew about it, how much would you send the government?

Meade said...

Sounds like a shovel-ready job for Ritmo.

But how deep was that million buried?

And how do we know Ritmo didn't have to frac his way down to it?

Chip S. said...

You see it as a vehicle for treating talents (including the talent of choosing rich parents to be born to) as privileges.

You're hilarious today.

I see the tax code as a vehicle for raising revenue, and I prefer to do that as efficiently as possible. I prefer to address inequality on the expenditure side, b/c I'm more interested in assisting the needy than in punishing the wealthy.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I suppose I'd prefer to send less than the 36%, even less than Romney's 12%, but to get greedy over a finding 30 times greater than the median American's annual income seems a bit unhinged.

In any event, Plainview was defending a claim to which another private individual could clearly be argued as having a competing, legitimate claim to - not the government.

You owe the government something every time you make a transaction with the safety and security not found in anarchistic hellholes like Somalia.

Maybe not 50%, or maybe not even 39.6%. But to quibble over the difference between 36% and 39.6% as if three and a half percentage points makes the difference between freedom and totalitarianism is the height of ridiculousness. It calls into question how serious you can be about any questions along those lines.

BTW, a friend I grew up with just "got" a million by selling the rights to some software he patented. He's younger than you, too. How much luckier do you figure he is than this fictional digger or yourself?

Because my guess is he not only gladly paid any due fees off the transaction but got the least assistance or luck in making it happen.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

That's funny, Meade. Almost as funny as marrying into more government-paid wealth than most gardeners ever make, while constantly railing against said government.

DADvocate said...

refusing to be grateful for those personal successes or the environment that created them, means that the redistribution will now begin.

What a sack of bullshit. We're supposed to feel a certain way or be punished. I guess we need a government panel of feelings that will evaluate us and mete out penalties and rewards based on how we feel about our plight in life.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I see the tax code as a vehicle for raising revenue, and I prefer to do that as efficiently as possible. I prefer to address inequality on the expenditure side, b/c I'm more interested in assisting the needy than in punishing the wealthy.

Fine. And you can count on Obama to cut more inefficiencies from spending than the Republicans ever would or could. You supported a candidate whose running mate actually thought his Randriodianism wouldn't count against complaining over $700 cut from the inefficiencies of Medicare. And that's because he thought his disingenuously doing that was a better short-term gamble than risking the opportunity to do away with the program entirely.

Not. Credible. On. Any. Matter. Of. Fiscal. Significance. Ever.

bagoh20 said...

Blah, Blah, Blah. So how much you gonna send to Congress? They clearly need it. Maybe all of it, half, 39%, none? Come on. You have a tax obligation, you gonna honor it?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Glad you got your blah blahs out, Bag. But the fact is you're lucky to find that much money. Anyone would be. And the guys in Congress refusing to do anything are the ones who recessed early last week after taking their salary, pushing us to the fiscal cliff (as they did before), and claiming that a million (coincidental number?) less votes in the House than their opposition gives them the privilege to play chicken with the budget of the world's largest economy.

Just not serious people, but they sure do appeal to your sense of entitlement, don't they?

Chip S. said...

...cut from the inefficiencies of Medicare.

Oh, I see. When it's rhetorically convenient, you hold Medicare before us as the quintessence of administrative efficiency, using a crazy measure of efficiency. But when Obamacare "funds" itself out of the fictional Medicare Trust Fund, that's just the Great Helmsman putting on his legendary green eyeshade.

Good stuff!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

$700 billion might be rhetoric to a liar like Paul Ryan, but it surely can't be to a guy like Bag O' and me, who think $1 million in your backyard is still pretty significant.

15% lower expenses on administrative overhead is also not chump change.

These arguments didn't help your side, Chip - and you are quickly slipping into territory that I think even you would call dangerously rhetorical.

bagoh20 said...

"Just not serious people,"

So why do you want to take more money from me to send it to them.

See you really don't have any principles beyond partisanship and envy with this.

You won't answer my question, because you see how stupid the idea is that we should want to send more money. You wouldn't do yourself. You know that even someone with no experience making good use of capital (like yourself) could not possibly waste it as badly as the government will. And you also know that it's irrelevant how or why you got the money. Even if it was pure luck like finding it, that does not make Congress able to make better use of it.

Paying the expenses for 8 days. Yea, I wanna contribute that charity. I can't possibly think of anything better to do with it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So why do you want to take more money from me to send it to them.

Where did I ever propose sending money to Republicans? Their donors do a good enough job of that already, even if they waste it profligately in campaigns for things that are too insane for anyone to support.

See you really don't have any principles beyond partisanship and envy with this.

I make enough money. I don't envy yours. I care about all those who remain unemployed despite the record profits. It affects the national mood and our honor as a nation. To care more about those who have more than they've ever had, at the expense of a vast many who don't, is just obscene.

Obama's asking revenues to get up to 19% GDP and expenditures down to 21%. Very reasonable. Richer men than you (Warren Buffet) agree. It is the responsible thing to do in a nation that aspires to the mantle of greatness and leadership.

Why you hate that, or feel so entitled to trash it and the idea of caring for anyone, your fellow man and citizen, as much as your own or anyone's own continued enrichment, is impossible to guess. It sounds insane, though.

And it's bad for the economy.

bagoh20 said...

Let me see. I find a $1 million in my back yard and nobody knows I found it. I could:

* Start a business.
* Give it to a charity for starving disabled orphans.
* Help my struggling friends pay off their credit card debt.
*Hire people to gut my grass and other things I do myself.
*Invest in companies in the stock market.
*Put it away to send my kids to college.
*Support a dog rescue and save some innocent animals from euthanasia.
* Help some people suffering in the Obama economy get back on their feet.
* Pay someone to remodle my house.
* Buy stuff from people making a living selling it.
* Put it back in the ground for someone smarter to find.

If I'm not bright enough to think of any of those, I can send it to the Congress.

"Richer men than you (Warren Buffet) agree."

Mr Buffet runs the largest tax shelter in history, so of course he wants higher taxes. It's good for business. Why do you think Mr. Buffet spends millions on accountants and lawyers to reduce his taxes to the minimum possible? Maybe he doesn't think they make good use of it either.

So that leaves only you and Obama thinking the Republican Congress is a good place to send your money. Oops, I mean someone else's money.

bagoh20 said...

Warren Buffet has the money to fix California's money problems, at least for a day or two. Why won't he do that? We have 1/3 of all the welfare cases in the country. Doesn't he care about the poor?

Chip S. said...

Obama's asking revenues to get up to 19% GDP and expenditures down to 21%.

Sounds like a workable plan. Where does Obama lay it out? And by "lay it out," I mean "in terms of actual cuts to be made by his own administration, as opposed to some other administration somewhere in the future".

buwaya said...

Fact is that taxes and regulations on businesses, and legal constraints (effectively both are also taxation, they reduce down to government mandated costs) are necessary, to a degree. They can also all be taken too far. The porridge can be too hot, too cold, or just right. We know where we stand in this Goldilocks situation by the results.
In the case of California, the porridge is definitely too hot.
Business formation is effectively zero. Silicon valley is turning into just a bedroom community for the owners. They are richer, but they employ fewer people locally. Most of the actual employment run out of there, the guys who do the heavy lifting, is outsourced to other states or abroad.
To the extent that the current federal government wants to tax and spend and regulate more like California, and it does, the worse off most of the rest of the country will be. Most of it doesn't have California's natural advantages that compensate for a lot of governmental malpractice.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

He'll show the cuts, Chip. He's just not going to lay those cards that openly and directly out on the table now. There's no reason to. The Republicans are cut-throat in the knives they've shown Boehner, lest he actually agree to feasible revenues before mollifying the Tea Party's appetite for fiscal cliff brinksmanship. Once the Tea Party either relents to Boehner's leadership or they somehow find a way to cough up the 800 - 1600 b in revenue that any sane person knows we need, then the cuts will be layed out. The sticking point has always been on getting the maximalist Republicans to compromise sensibly; they still feel they retain some sort of absolute right to dictate terms. You will find Obama very open to compromise once these extreme anti-revenue positions have been broken.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You cut your own grass, Bag? My, you truly are a self-made man.

Honestly though, paying someone to do it would help the economy. So would remodeling your house. HGTV seems to be quite the thing these days, so you could televise the renovations, thereby also helping the economy. Just make sure you go with something less gaudy than what that bum David Siegel went with. I guess money can do a lot things, but not buy someone a sense of taste. I suppose that's what prep school is for.

Anyway, paying to get someone "back on their feet" sounds interesting, but I'm not sure how feasible that is in this economy, either. Highly skilled job training, perhaps? The state of Connecticut seems to have a good job-seeking program. But unless people are willing to hire, it won't go anywhere.

Maybe just create an innovative new tax disincentive against revenues that sit on the sidelines as unused capital rather than in going to hire. I'm sure there are a bunch of breaks that people get for hiring certain "categories" of workers, but a hugely punitive, almost confiscatory tax against capital that could easily go into either hiring or expanding the business seems all the more appropriate in the aftermath of an election where the most unprecedentedly successful complained of feeling the most aggrieved.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, if that's Obama's negotiating strategy then he's a terrible negotiator.

His public intransigence does nothing but make it harder for Boehner to get members of the House to compromise. Geithner's absurd statement last week completely killed the momentum that had been building among Republicans to agree to revenue increases.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chip, help me with the math on this. There's got to be a tax you can devise that favors employing over stashing the cash under the mattress. How could this be done, in economically wonky terms, of course.

But also a translation into English would be appreciated. ;-)

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Really? Including Jim DeMint's departure from that body?

It sounds like you're dealing more with perception. Democrats have had it with being told to be obsequiously quiet to the Republican domination and self-importance machine. For twenty years discussions of revenue have been taboo. Enough with it. It was this mindset that helped lead to the catastrophic financial crisis and to continue coddling it is just slow national suicide. The patient must be made aware of his addiction to patronage.

buwaya said...

Creating disincentives to holding capital under these circumstances has been tried. The world is full of "natural experiments" from which useful lessons can be drawn. The result of such a policy would be to force capital flight. It would start, in our case, by persuading foreigners to shun US assets.
You could counter by asking for measures to prevent capital flight. This sort of thing has also been tried, extensively.
In the end there is no substitute for a positive business climate.
BTW, Obama's rhetoric helps depress the business climate.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

BTW, Obama's rhetoric helps depress the business climate.

I'd rather have a realistic business "climate" than one that is so irrationally exuberant as to invent CDOs and mortgage-backed securities to sustain its false, air-filled "momentum".

That's why it's important to distinguish between a real, socially useful accomplishment and the false pride of a person who just wants to "feel" successful.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, Those were just suggestion you never would have considered.

BTW, I don't cut my own grass. I pay someone to. I take it out of my extra milkshake. Do you really think I would risk scuffing up my top hat and tails doing manual labor?

"An August 2003 final technical report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project by the Consortium on Chicago School Research said that while "student achievement improved across Annenberg Challenge schools as it did across the Chicago Public School system as a whole, results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence."

Barack Obama:

"Civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland; lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School; member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation and the Woods Fund of Chicago; winner, Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1993; former president of the Harvard Law Review (1990–1991); former executive director of the Developing Communities Project (June 1985–May 1988); current President of the United States" ~ Wikipedia

bagoh20 said...

Also, if I had the Althouse looks and charm, I could get my grass cut for free. Feminist equality my ass.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I have no idea what the purpose of the 2:10 comment is.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Or at least, the extended quotes contained within it.

bagoh20 said...

Straight from Wikipedia. I know you don't understand. Just a set of facts that should make you see how crazy it is to think Barack Obama knows how to create jobs, solve problems, or use capital. He's the Lindsay Lohan of the intelligentsia.

Aaron said...

"He'll show the cuts,"

His budgets have all been voted down, 98-0. 2009 was his last budget and that was done by Bush, but Obama signed it.

In one of his years he actually was laughed at so hard that he sent in a do-over budget that also didn't get passed.

You would be wise to to not assume Obama will do any such cutting, except possibly the fiscal cliff because he can blame someone else for that.

Which is why I am excited about the fiscal cliff actually.

I think the GOP needs to rethink things...Obama does not make decisions, so you need reverse psychology jujitsu to get him to do the right thing.

Aaron said...

"That's why it's important to distinguish between a real, socially useful accomplishment and the false pride of a person who just wants to "feel" successful."

How do many government jobs, liek diversity officers, or endless amounts of vice-deans, or AA hires fit into this mode of thinking?

p.s. A lot of the financial stuff you mention was due to extremely low interest rates and everyone chasing yield. Too much liquidity chasing too little opportunities. Greenspan screwed up the Talyor Rule. That is not exactly a failure of capitalism because a government body made an error is setting interest rates.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, I think the #1 problem is the debt. I can't prove it, but my hunch is that uncertainty over who winds up w/o a seat when the music stops is the principal barrier to business expansion. So I wouldn't necessarily propose tax cuts right now, even tho new research seems to offer pretty good evidence that small businesses do in fact increase their hiring in response to lower income taxes. I would definitely endorse Romney's idea of imposing a cap on total deductions.

I would also favor taxing capital gains as regular income, coupled w/ eliminating the corporate income tax. I think that would stimulate investment pretty significantly, especially via foreign direct investment.

But I think that a lot of our employment problems are caused by regulation rather than the tax code. I'd like to see the Repubs come up w/ a list of the worst regulations and demand reform or repeal of those in exchange for revenue expansion.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You keep on courting disaster and irresponsibility, Aaron. I guess today's GOP is like the financial version of the cowboy riding the nuclear missile in Dr. Strangelove. They just can't get enough of that.

Bag, sorry to let you down in the mind-reading department. But it's good to know that you find civic leadership, a staple of civilization since the Greeks invented it, is something you think you're too good for. Maybe the problem isn't that Obama lacks the business "expertise" that such failed presidents as Hoover and Bush touted. Maybe the problem is that you've never run for office. Put your ideas to a vote, see how well they fare. Heck, even try running for town dog-catcher. Or if that office is too taxing of your time, I'm sure there's a part-time county job you could get. Given how much you complain about things in California, think about how much good you could do. If you cared.

But you either don't care or haven't found the talent (despite the other talents you're "privileged" enough to have) for persuading others of effective public policy. Try it sometime, though. You keep bashing how easy it is - let's see you run for office and win an election.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Some good ideas there, Chip. But the problem with tax changes is that they're just that. They indicate a change for the sake of new momentum in which no one rate is ever good enough. It has to keep going down until... well, no one ever says what that point is. What if economic activity isn't "sufficient" under zero taxes? You'd have to come up with one hell of an argument for what to do then.

And Republicans always like to tell us which regulations they find the most "burdensome". Well, they don't tell us what the regulations are, just that the EPA mandated them. I guess describing how horrible the trade-off of clean water, air and soil would be in terms of the burden on the business would be a rather embarrassing case to make - for that business. Much easier to get a powerful think tank to bash an agency than to say that "This tiny little rule for keeping our air, water and soil clean cost a little bit of MONEY!!!! Waaahhh!!!"

Rusty said...

The result of all the lefty deep thinking.


California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget.


So you raise taxes 30% and revenues fall. Who knew.

like watching the five year old girls soccer team trying to score a goal.

Lem said...

In the book he calls this "Hammurabi's Code", a 3,800-year-old Babylonian law that stipulated that if a building collapses and kills someone, the builder should be put to death. Whereas, for bankers, "there is no downside". The bonus system means that "they're paid billions in compensation". And if their bets lose, it's the taxpayers who pay.

That is one of the things that still puzzles me...

What is a guy like Timothy Geithner (among the top of whos who in the financial collapse) doing as Treasury Secretary?

I dont get it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So you raise taxes 30% and revenues fall. Who knew.

Not George H. W. Bush or Clinton. The former raised top marginal rates 30% (from 30% to nearly 40%) and the economy roared!

ken in sc said...

If I remember correctly, Hammurabi's code provided that if a building fell and killed someones son, the builder's son was killed. Not exactly an idea I would support.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, we've probably advanced a bit since Hammurabi, Ken - even if it's not certain that our banking system has. Hammurabi was progressive for its time, however - so it stands to reason that a way to advance the banking system would be to make the banker pay for the bad bets that currently only affect their clients.

Lem's on to the right idea.

wyo sis said...

"you can count on Obama to cut more inefficiencies from spending than the Republicans ever would or could."

Where do you get the confidence in Obama to state this with a straight face? Has he ever, or has anyone in his administration ever, or has anyone in the Democrat congress ever shown any indication that they would or could do this?

Rusty said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
So you raise taxes 30% and revenues fall. Who knew.

Not George H. W. Bush or Clinton. The former raised top marginal rates 30% (from 30% to nearly 40%) and the economy roared!


One of these things is not like the other. See if you can spot the difference.

Will King said...

"No. You see it as a vehicle for treating talents (including the talent of choosing rich parents to be born to) as privileges." - Ritmo

So Ritmo, your saying that that the talant to choose rich parents is a priviledge. Lets run with that. That also means that a person is a person from the gitgo, they are choosing after all, and that the backing of abortion is really a backing of murdering millions of helpless people.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Where do you get the confidence in Obama to state this with a straight face? Has he ever, or has anyone in his administration ever, or has anyone in the Democrat congress ever shown any indication that they would or could do this?

They did exactly that. It's what Paul Ryan complained about during the campaign. Google "Paul Ryan Medicare 700 billion" if you'd like to get up to speed on it.

wyo sis said...

Good one Ritmo. I almost thought you were serious.

Kirk Parker said...

buwaya,

"Silicon valley is turning into just a bedroom community for the owners. They are richer, but they employ fewer people locally. Most of the actual employment run out of there, the guys who do the heavy lifting, is outsourced to other states or abroad. "

THIS! Billions and billions of dollars leaving the CA economy...

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