Tag Archives: Cabbages

Cabbages: More Projects…

The life of a grad student is never easy. A few more projects this week…mainly Econometrics.

Cabbages: Almost done with Super Freakonomics

Almost done with Super Freakonomics – and while I recommend the book, I have to say it is not as good as the first book. It might have appealed to more of a shock crowd.

He explores the basic economic principles in all new interesting places: global climate change, prostitution, terrorism, and more.

The book is still worth reading, but the first book was hard to follow. Any recommendations for my next book to read?

Cabbages: Lunch with Scott Sumner

Just another good part of attending the Public Policy School here at Pepperdine.

Dr. Sumner is a Chicago trained Economist. His lecture looked at Market Efficiency and the Financial Crisis. He says the reason for the crisis was that not enough people believed in the efficient market hypothesis.

Over lunch, we mostly talked about the rise of China and the transition of governments over time.

I will offer one part of the conversation that we all found unique. Dr. Sumner offered what he believed to be the true reason for the rise of capitalism in the West rather than the East: the difference in languages. In the West, there are so many different languages, that each had to compete with each other – different alphabets as well as different dialogues. In China, while there are many different dialects, there is only one written language. Talk about a ripe environment for big government.

Cabbages: I Never Thought…

I would agree with Harry Reid, but of course, there is this video.

Hint: He wants to rid his state of the world’s oldest profession.

Oh, and why Economist’s predictions fail.

Cabbages: Obama Proposes a Budget

The new Obama budget proposal is out.

While this might seem confusing, read it this way: the deficit is going to keep on growing.  While I am not in favor of a balanced budget amendment, it is arguments like the one in front of us that push me in that direction.

The responsible thing to do is to look back on the deficit commission, and take seriously their proposals.

Cabbages: A Few Links for the Week

Rand Paul offers $500 billion in spending cuts.

Steven Landsburg writes about how freedom and prosperity have affected Egypt.

Cabbages: TSA Private Screeners

I had a friend report on this story, and I wanted to share some similar thoughts.

According to the story, all parties involved (varying government officials, the TSA itself, and different representatives) said that private screeners were either better than regular TSA screeners, and some said they were indifferent to the change.  So the math equation is: Private > (or equal to) the normal TSA screeners.  So, what did the government decide to do?  They are ending the private screeners experiment.

As Arnold Kling would say, have a nice day.

HT to Jeremy Watson

Cabbages: Presidents and the Economy

When it comes to the economy, who is in control?

It is obvious from all of the polls that fly around us, that we are pressured into thinking that the President has a big say in which direction the economy goes.

However, I would assert that while the President might affect the mood of the people, and therefore the economy, his influence is much inflated.

The real indicators of the economy are not fiscal plans (although those do affect the economic well-being of individual countries), but rather monetary policies. Here in America, the actions of the Federal Reserve Bank have more control over the state of the economy than the President (whether Obama or Bush or anyone else).

Taxes might be another issue, but taxes is just a matter of freedom, and hopefully law makers will come to realize that lower taxes and economic freedom should be the norm.

The Return of Cabbages – in the Classroom

First day of classes here in the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. Just one class on Monday – Applied Econometrics. We talked a good bit about student teacher ratio as a predictor of student test scores. However, Gary Becker and Richard Posner recently blogged on the subject, and those comments can be found here:
http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/beckerposner/
Of course, their solutions follow a free-market approach, mainly the idea that allowing for higher teacher salaries will do more to effect student scores than smaller classrooms. In fact, having more effective teachers, they say, even allows for LARGER class sizes – since the larger class sizes allow for higher pay, and the high teacher quality would more than offset the class size troubles.

This is an international issue that deserves more attention in the coming years.

Cabbages: Stats Review

Well, almost all of the grades are in – all but one: Stats. So I will give a quick review before I become biased.

Led by Prof. Hawken, Stats was a journey into the meaning of numbers. Not always the most interesting subject, the class certainly is at the top of my list of practical skills needed to work in the policy world. Prof. Hawken made the often difficult process of seeing the other side of the numbers almost simple … almost.

In this highly technical class, we were called to see what data actually says, and we crept a bit into how exactly that information should be presented in the policy arena.

I look forward to taking another class with Prof Hawken in the future.