Category Archives: Culture Matters

Culture Matters

Venezuela’s Currency Manipulations Are Destroying Their Economy

Pretty. Worthless. From the WSJ: Currency Chaos in Venezuela Portends Write-Downs The Gentleman Economist once visited Venezuela, enjoying Caracas, Merida, Angel Falls, a quiet Andean village and a jungle adventure involving riverside hammocks and three days in handmade dugout canoes. Being an … Continue reading

Posted in Corruption, Crony Capitalism, Currency, Economics, Inflation, Markets That Won't Clear, Money, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Cheers For A Housing Market Recovery, Maybe

Price reduced? Good news for one third of Americans, but not for Peter Dreier From the NYT: What Housing Recovery? In the New York Times Opinion Pages Peter Dreier (Professor of Politics, Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College) bemoans that not … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse Selection, Economics, Geography, Housing, Inflation, Markets That Won't Clear, Money, Moral Hazard, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does The U.S. Really Need A Department Of HUD?

I’m not sure this should be a federal issue From the NYT: San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro Is Said to Be HUD Pick in Cabinet Reshuffling It appears Julián Castro, an up-and-coming Democratic politician, may be the next choice to lead … Continue reading

Posted in Crony Capitalism, Economics, Housing, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New York City’s Rent-Regulated Tenants Excluded From Amenities

And if you’re a landlord, vice versa From the NYT: What’s Next, a Bouncer? Let’s see Rent Control for what it really is: a forced subsidy from landlords to tenants, a gift from politicians to renters in return for their votes … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Housing, Markets That Won't Clear, Officious Intermeddler, Rent Control, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bryan College Biology Professors Must Sign Contract Refuting Evolution

Above the scientific method, too From the NYT: Christian College Faces Uproar After Bolstering Its View on Evolution Want to be a biology professor at Bryan College? First you have to sign a contract stating: “The origin of man was by … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Matters, Intentional Ignorance, We're Waiting For You, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin, You’re Not Helping

“Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists” This is probably a popular video on Al Jazeera One way to describe the conflict between Islam and the West is through the lens of Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (Wikipedia, original Foreign … Continue reading

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San Francisco Rent Control Tenant Buyout Offers Now Approaching 100 Months Rent

We’d love to take your $50,000, but we can’t afford it From the S.F. Gate: S.F. landlords offer tenants tempting offers to move out This is what San Francisco rent control has become. 24 years ago, the Reyes family moved into … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse Possession, Economics, Housing, Markets That Won't Clear, Rent Control, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uber Starts To Play That Stupid Surcharge Game

What’s next, charging for a carry-on bag? From the S.F. Gate: UberX to charge $1 fee for passenger safety (More on Uber here) Uber has just jumped the shark. Today they announced a new $1 add-on fee for “Passenger Safety”, claiming … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Pricing, Taxis, You're Not Helping | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lyft and Uber: A Tale of Two Cultures

Gentlemen, start your smartphone apps Today included a two-stop ride-sharing journey with a woman who drives for both Lyft and Uber. An observant amateur anthropologist, she clued me in to more on the differences between between these two competitors. First, … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Matters, Economics, Monopoly, Monopsony, Network Effect, Taxis, The Future, Winner-Take-All Market | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

College Admission As A Positional Good

Is that a drawbridge they could could pull up once they’re inside? (Thor Swift for The New York Times) From the NYT: Best, Brightest and Rejected: Elite Colleges Turn Away Up to 95% The U.S. college admissions racket spun itself up … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Matters, Economics, Education, Positional Good, The One Percent, Veblen Good | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment