Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Assault of thoughts - 3/7/2012

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK

- Another victory for the second amendment in the mid-Atlantic region.

- Gene is being hard on himself over Ron Paul's performance in Virginia. The forthrightness is good, of course - his initial prediction specified that Paul wouldn't do better than 20-25% in any state. But I still think the logic was sound (I imagine Gene does too). First, I'm not sure it ever made sense to talk about any given state the way Gene did. These results have sampling distributions, after all. I would still maintain that Paul won't do better than 20-25% in a national Republican contest between him and one other conservative Republican. That was one thing that was appealing about the Virginia race as a test - it was just Paul and Romney. But people should also know something funny about Virginia - you don't have to be a Republican to vote in the Republican primary, independents and Democrats did turn out, and Paul got a lot of their vote - and a good chunk of this is going to be a protest/spoiler vote. That's not some kind of excuse - like I said, there are sampling distributions to these things and I'm perfectly willing to give Paul credit for his share here. I'm simply saying that among people who would not vote for Obama, his pull was probably smaller. Gene still has better intuition on these things than a lot of people who are predisposed to like Paul.

- Tyler Cowen points us to an interview with a ticket scalper. This reminds me of a question that we had for the intermediate micro midterm on ticket scalpers and consumer welfare when ticket prices were kept low. Most students got that the emergence of these markets was efficient - only a few suggested it was a bad thing. But my favorite answer said that "enterprising people" would start scalping tickets. It's one thing to understand the welfare implications of scalping. It's another thing to recognize scalpers as what they really are: entrepreneurs. That's what I call "thinking like an economist".

- Commenter Blue Aurora points me to this new paper on the econophysicists in the Journal of the History of Economic Thought.

- Karl Smith is won over by Paul Krugman. I'm still halfway between Smith's old position and Krugman's position on this question.

- Glasner responds to my post on Keynes and Hawtrey.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Mr. Obama wins the election, but in any case, the longer this takes for the Republican Party, the worse it's going to get for them.

    Good thoughts on John Maynard Keynes and Ralph G. Hawtrey by David Glasner...and speaking of Ralph G. Hawtrey, I need to get a copy of The Art of Central Banking.

    Thanks for spreading the word on the econophysicists...and my guest post will hopefully be done sooner than later!


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