8-6-16 Hodgepodge

Saturday, August 06, 2016

And This Is on Top of "Label Fatigue"...

Recently, John Stossel noted the following when he wrote about the ridiculous frequency at which we encounter labels on the items we buy these days:

"We do this to point out how the rules that legislatures and Congress make favor litigation," says Dorigo Jones. "We are the most litigious society on Earth. If the level of litigation in the United States was simply at the level of countries that we compete with for jobs in Asia and in Europe, we could save $589 billion a year." [bold added]
I think the simple reform (loser-pays-the-costs) that Stossel suggests could go a long way towards fixing this problem, and of making us pay more attention to labels. Were they not as numerous as blades of grass, they'd stand out as important again.

Weekend Reading

"You must do the bulk of the work if your kids are to grow into healthy and happy adults." -- Michael Hurd, in "10 Steps to Well-Adjusted Kids" at The Delaware Wave

"Just for fun, try this: Once a day, do something only for yourself." -- Michael Hurd, in "Driving Your Own Life" at The Delaware Coast Press

"The very theory of measuring the CPI as an indicator of inflation is flawed." -- Keith Weiner, in "Real vs. Nominal Interest Rates" at SNB & CHF

"[I]t is not the job of the economist to envision every business model in a free market." -- Keith Weiner, in "Should the Government Give Us Infrastructure?" at SNB & CHF

In Further Detail

As a parent, I appreciate the ten tips (linked above) psychologist Michael Hurd provides for child-rearing, one of which I excerpt below:
Constructive feedback: Incentives are often more powerful than punishments. But don't reward a child for doing the bare minimum, such as going to school or being minimally civil. Save the rewards for extraordinary actions such as acting on their own judgment rather than peer pressure. Positive feedback is crucial for building confidence!
As someone who rolls his eyes every time I hear someone who works with kids say, "Good job!" for things a given child should do as a matter of routine, I smiled a little when I read this. (I also think my daughter, at five, already sees right through this.) But hearing a voice of sanity is hardly the only (or even the main) reward here. I think all parents would do well to remind themselves of such advice from time to time, as I plan to do.

Maybe Cleanliness Isn't Next to Godliness

Along the lines of other recent findings regarding immunological development, the Harvard Health Blog notes a possible silver lining to two common habits among toddlers:
When they tested at 13 for allergies to common things such as dust, grass, cats, dogs and molds, they found that 38% of those who had an "oral habit" tested positive -- whereas 49% of those who didn't suck their thumbs or bite their nails tested positive. This "protection" was still there at 32.
I wouldn't actively encourage such habits, though. My daughter's thumb-sucking will probably bite us later on in the form of orthodontic bills. And, not that anyone is suggesting this, this is no magic bullet against allergies generally: She has one drug allergy that I know about.

-- CAV

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