4-28-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Holleran on The Hunger Games

Assuming our baby sitter is merely fighting an allergy and isn't sick, my wife and I have a date night scheduled. Intrigued by the success of The Hunger Games, I wanted to know what a reliable critic had to say about it and was glad to see that Scott Holleran did a writeup at Capitalism Magazine:

The Hunger Games is not a movie about kids killing kids. It is a movie about kids being forced by the state to kill kids -- and what one child does about it -- which makes it a strong warning against the notion of being ruled by the state. Whether that's why moviegoers are seeing it, that's why The Hunger Games satisfies. Its timing is perfect.
If all goes well, we'll see it tonight.

Weekend Reading

"The best you can do [for the bereaved] is to provide stability and familiarity in their time of sorrow." -- Michael Hurd, in "Just Be There for Them" at DrHurd.com

"For all the endless banter in print, online and on TV about what to buy or sell, remarkably little attention is ever devoted to when to buy or sell -- or even more importantly -- how to do it." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Buy Stocks Like Tomatoes -- in Season" at SmartMoney

From the Vault

A year ago today, I took a look at a real-life "experiment" on the cultural and economic effects of government "benefits" being run at your expense. Quoting John Stossel regarding a statement by Barack Obama on government "neglect" of Amerindian tribes:
Ignored? Are you kidding me? They should be so lucky. The government has made most Indian tribes wards of the state. Government manages their land, provides their health care, and pays for housing and child care. Twenty different departments and agencies have special "native American" programs. The result? Indians have the highest poverty rate, nearly 25 percent, and the lowest life expectancy of any group in America. Sixty-six percent are born to single mothers.
Not only is this a cautionary tale that is being ignored, it is the same kind of "experiment" that states rights advocates insist will help Americans see the folly of economic controls. It's not that we lack data: It's that, when it isn't ignored altogether, its interpretation is skewed by people who want to excuse such aid on moral grounds.

Hard-Working vs. Smart-Working

I found amusing some of the metrics used by a Yahoo Finance piece ranking America's hardest-working towns. I'll list the criteria, along with my own stab at one possible alternative (or additional) cultural or political interpretation for each:
  • Average Hours Worked -- Tendency to Use Time Inefficiently
  • Willingness to Work During Personal Time -- Failure to Balance Responsibilities to Employers with Rest of Life
  • Number of Dual Income Homes -- High Cost/Low Standard of Living
  • Employment Rate -- See the article. Government make-work is a drag on the economy and may help mask an unemployment rate more indicative of real problems in the local economy.
I keep an antenna out for stories about economic opportunities and quality of life in unfamilar parts of the country because my wife's career will almost certainly require us to move more than once during the next few years. Usually, though, I find the data (when it is given) much more instructive than the debatable interpretations that go along with it.

-- CAV


jay said...

can i ask how the movie went?

Gus Van Horn said...

You can, but I can't give you the answer you want.

Our sitter was sick, so, no movie for us.

Date night consisted of us trying a Mexican restaurant. Luckily, the baby slept the whole time and the food was great!