Monday , July 6 2020
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Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Demographic trends under Trump

A new Brookings article by William Frey discusses US demographic trends in recent years. One fact that jumps out is that for the first time ever the white (non-Hispanic) population is declining. Indeed the decline over the past three years has been sharp enough to offset gains prior to 2017, leading to the first decade of negative white growth: (Note that many Hispanics identify as white, so this is a bit misleading.) While the white non-Hispanic population declines, the...

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The NBA’s reopening is a warning sign

There’s only one problem: An increasing number of players do not seem very interested in being guinea pigs in this experiment. At first the secessions were a trickle. Now they are picking up steam. Davis Bertrans, arguably the second-best active player on my home team the Washington Wizards, will not play because he doesn’t want to risk injury and endanger his prospects as a free agent next season. [TC: Bradley Beal has since announced his indecision  That’s an entirely reasonable excuse,...

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What I’ve been reading

Back in March, I read a set of essays by Javier Marias. He’s a big fan of Joseph Conrad, who also happens to be my favorite novelist. I first read Conrad’s novels and stories when I was young (in 1977) and always planned on rereading them when I retired. I’m not yet retired, but the coronavirus lockdown seemed like a good time. After the NBA shut down, I figured that Conrad would cheer me up. And he did. I like him just as much as in 1977, although in a bit different way....

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The Deleted Clause of the Declaration of Independence

When Thomas Jefferson included a passage attacking slavery in his draft of the Declaration of Independence it initiated the most intense debate among the delegates gathered at Philadelphia in the spring and early  summer of 1776.  Jefferson’s passage on slavery was the most important section removed from the final document.  It was replaced with a more ambiguous passage about King George’s incitement of “domestic insurrections among us.”  Decades later Jefferson blamed the removal of the...

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The merit of Mount Rushmore

I went there once, I think in 1988.  To me it was a nightmare, aesthetically and otherwise.  The art of the monument was “not even as good as fascism.”  (Various Soviet-era memorials are far superior as well.)  I am not into the whole cancelling thing, but I didn’t feel I needed to pay additional homage to a bunch of well-known presidents.  The surrounding food scene appeared quite mediocre, although probably that has improved.  Overall it was crowded, tacky, and unpleasant,...

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What should I ask Nicholas Bloom?

I will be doing a Conversation with him, so what should I ask?  Here is part of his official bio: Nicholas (Nick) Bloom is the William Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow of SIEPR, and the Co-Director of the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on management practices and uncertainty. He previously worked at the UK Treasury and McKinsey & Company. Is there anyone whose name...

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Friday assorted links

1. Profile of Nathan Tankus.  And Clockwork Orange review. 2. The growing influence of Sci-hub. 3. Somerville, Mass. recognizes polyamory (NYT). 4. France bans Dutch bike TV ad for creating ‘climate of fear’ about cars.  “The French advertising code prohibits the exploitation of fear and suffering in commercials.” 5. “…a novel song sung by white-throated sparrows is spreading across Canada at an unprecedented rate. What’s more, the new song appears to be...

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Combining life insurance and health insurance

Why not internalize the relevant externalities by bringing the two together?: We estimate the benefit of life-extending medical treatments to life insurance companies. Our main insight is that life insurance companies have a direct benefit from such treatments because they lower the insurer’s liabilities by pushing the death benefit further into the future and raising future premium income. We apply this insight to immunotherapy, treatments associated with durable gains in survival rates for...

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