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Thanks for protecting us, govt.

One of the many controversial conclusions in Freakonomics is that for young children (not infants), car seats do no better than seatbelts at reducing death and major injury (nothing said about minor injury) in car acccidents. Read more »

The Voice of Hedonism

In response to Micha's first Ben Shapiro post, I couldn't help but give my inner hedonist voice: Read more »

Sunday Lightness: Anarchists Anonymous

Tired of being an anarchist? Want to learn how to interfere with other people's lives? I've cribbed a guide from AA to help you recover from following the non-coercion principle, and get with the brave new Nanny State world. Their classic program begins with "1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.", but ours is a little different...

Anarchists Anonymous: A 12 Step Program
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Anyone feel like doing a financial Monte Carlo simulation?

Had an email argument at work on the subject of whether to buy a house with cash if you can. I argued that it was stupid to do so when you could get a mortgage and put the money in the stock market earning a higher return. They said that was risky. I say BS, because your investment is liquid, and you are not highly leveraged (each years payment is a small portion of the whole fund). Read more »

Stock Price Volatility

The analysts pegged Google's one month at-the-money implied volatility at around 45 percent, the highest in their universe of large technology stocks.

Implied volatility is a statistical measure related to how much a stock is expected to move up or down on an annualized basis calculated by current option prices.

The 4th of July is for burning things, right?

US flag burningIt's gonna be awful tempting to burn a few American flags this year, while I still can. You can get them so cheap...and they burn so good!

On the other hand, maybe it will be more fun once its illegal - hell, most things are. Read more »

Stably starting down the slippery slope

Julian Sanchez has an interesting analysis of Kelo and Raich in Reason (via The Agitator). He basically argues that the doctrine of stare decisis (that court cases are based on previous cases) can lead, via a slippery slope, to results quite different from the original and more obvious intention. Read more »

Poor Economic Intuition, Example #5325

Yet another example of "folk economics", ie poor and consistent economic intuition. My employer, Google, is growing quickly, which causes occasional infrastructural problems. The latest of these is a parking crunch, and I'm one of the worst-hit by it because I get into work towards the late end. My nice 10 minute commute has turned into 30+ minutes of commuting, looking around for parking, finally finding a spot that might or might not actually be ours, and then the long walk to my building. Read more »

Local Prosperity OR Foreign Carnage = Good Leader

Reviewing non-Levitt Freakonomics, Alex Tabarrok writes: Read more »

More on Kelo

Thought Of The Day

bc budSaying that the steady increase in drug seizures means we're succeeding in stopping drug use is like saying the steady increase in tax receipts means we're succeeding in stopping economic growth. Read more »

Stock gains are not income!

EconLog and Marginal Revolution consider the question of whether capital gains count as savings. Arnold Kling says this is equivalent to asking whether capital gains count as income. Well, it seems to me that there is a clear and simple argument that for stocks, capital gains are not income. Read more »

The Market for Lemonade

Jack of Spades(I was just reminded of this story by oscarmc). Read more »

What happens when the police go on strike?

What really happens when the police go on strike? Is it so bad? From The Blank Slate, by Steven Pinker, comes a data point (via iainuki) Read more »