5-28-16 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Editor's Note: I will be taking next week off from blogging. I will occasionally check for comments and email, but may be slow to respond. I plan to resume posting on June 6. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the holiday.

$4 Trillion: An Underestimate

The headline in the Fiscal Times reads, "The Crushing Cost of Regulation: $4 Trillion Since 1980." Believe it or not, that figure is an underestimate, because it leaves out the effects of numerous regulations, namely those in place in 1980:

[R]egulation strangles innovation and economic growth. A new study by George Mason University's Mercatus Center ... examines how regulatory costs build up over time. The study finds that if regulations had been frozen at 1980 levels, by 2012 the U.S. economy would have been about $4 trillion, or 25 percent, larger in inflation-adjusted terms than it actually was. [link dropped, bold added]
I left out the qualifier, "too much" since central planning of any sort is contrary to the proper purpose of government, and must be done away with. Rolling things back to 1980 would be an improvement, but it would not enough.

Weekend Reading

"If you expect your government to do unlikable things, then you'll dislike the candidates you elect to do those things." -- Michael Hurd, in "Least Favorable Candidates Win" at Newsmax

"If you underrate the value of 'being there,' then you're going to end up inadvertently hurting the people you thought you were helping by leaving them alone." -- Michael Hurd, in "Different Ways of Grieving " at The Delaware Wave

"Look at such people as you'd look at anyone else who's wrong, and therefore weak and vulnerable..." -- Michael Hurd, in "Watch Out for Good Slackers" at The Delaware Coast Press

Giving Credit Wins Goodwill

I don't agree with giving credit to someone whose work one genuinely thinks was irrelevant to a project, but I do think there is a take-home lesson here: Being reasonably generous with acknowledgments doesn't go unappreciated:
I have always felt miffed after reading a paper in which I felt I was not being given proper credit, and it is safe to conjecture that the same happens to everyone else. One day, I tried an experiment. After writing a rather long paper, I began to draft a thorough bibliography. On the spur of the moment, I decided to cite a few papers which had nothing whatsoever to do with the content of my paper, to see what might happen.

Somewhat to my surprise, I received letters from two of the authors whose papers I believed were irrelevant to my article. Both letters were written in an emotionally charged tone. Each of the authors warmly congratulated me for being the first to acknowledge their contribution to the field.
There are other things at the above link one might find useful when ascending the career ladder.

-- CAV

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