Quotes & Links #6

1) independent.co.uk: British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows

A new survey for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London shows public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration.

No surprise there. The problem is to convince people or to educate them on the difference and what that would mean for public support for policies. I personally doubt that you can convince/educate the majority of people on these issues, because their defense mechanisms are too strong and data is too “weak”. Or even if you convince them of the “facts” then the inferred policies will still not be supported. But, in the end, does it even matter?

2) democracyjournal.org: The Inequality Puzzle

His argument is that capital or wealth grows at the rate of return to capital, a rate that normally exceeds the economic growth rate. Thus, economies will tend to have ever-increasing ratios of wealth to income, barring huge disturbances like wars and depressions. Since wealth is highly concentrated, it follows that inequality will tend to increase without bound until a policy change is introduced or some kind of catastrophe interferes with wealth accumulation.

I read the first 40 pages now and I’m rather annoyed with the many times Piketty repeats certain things. Not sure if I’ll read the whole thing, but the reviews are probably enough anyway.

3) noahpinion.com: Market priesthood

Well, I think academic econ has. But as for pop econ, there still seems to be a lot of it around. For example, Steve Levitt, one of the most popular pop economists in the world, recently had this to say about health care

4) nytimes.com: Where Are the Gay Chief Executives?

But one major realm of society lags behind: corporate America. There are very few openly gay chief executives at the nation’s 1,000 biggest companies.

I was not aware of that.

5) scienceblogs.de: Dies und Das – Thou shall not ask questions in a seminar
Kommentar #1 trifft den Nagel auf den Kopf.

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