“The 2012 presidential election will be remembered as a very important one. The new health law’s coverage expansion will begin in earnest in 2014, and the regulations governing the health system are already being drafted by HHS and will continue to take shape under the next president. Medicare expenditures are expected to increase dramatically as the baby boomers continue to retire in large numbers, thus making structural reform of the program designed to restrain cost growth even more urgent than it is now. Conservatives need to get behind a presidential candidate who can win this election, because the train is about to leave the station. Changing course after 2016 or 2020 will be far more difficult than many people seem to understand.”—Ross Douthat on Rick Santorum - By Reihan Salam - The Agenda - National Review Online
“What Chad is doing on Grindr—sending out face pics, chatting about his homosex preferences—is the Grindr-era equivalent of making out with a random dude on the dance floor of a campus gay bar. What Marcelo did was the Grindr-era equivalent of ducking behind a post. And now Marcelo has a right—no, a responsibility—to tap Chad on the shoulder and, without any sense of malice or triumph, say, “Welcome out, Chad.””—Savage Love
“Defenders of the massive New Deal-Great Society entitlements are inclined to see hypocrisy or thick-headedness in those who oppose in principle programmes on which they in fact depend. A more generous way to understand this phenomenon is to acknowledge that the New Deal-Great Society social insurance institutions have proved successful in engendering economic dependence and, thereby, self-reinforcing political support, but they have failed to engender a corresponding shift in America’s culture of self-reliance. This has left many Americans feeling divided against themselves. Instead of giving in to the ideal of in-it-together mutual dependence, millions have instead become almost manically vehement in their profession of the ideals of independence and self-responsibility.”—Will Wilkinson, Taking Welfare and Hating It
“By providing means for small savers to protect themselves from inflation when intervention is called for, we can stop the very wealthy from using middle-class retirees as human shields, and thereby create political space to adopt expansionary policy.”—Starter Savings Accounts
“Or is it all those people (I believe they call themselves consultants) who get paid far too much money just to find ways of saving it? It might be a combination of all three, but I suspect that a consultant has convinced too many companies that it’s best to have as few moving parts as possible and therefore the future will be all about unsatisfying pokes and swipes at lifeless stretches of glass.”—Touching the void - FT.com
“The law—the world’s largest-scale attempt to bring philosophy into the public sphere—thus represents an experiment in democracy. Among teachers at least, many share Ribeiro’s hope that philosophy will provide a path to greater civic participation and equality. Can it do even more? Can it teach students to question and challenge the foundations of society itself?”—Boston Review — Carlos Fraenkel: Citizen Philosophers
When I read this, what I really see is “markets are not very useful.” That’s what Intrade is. So I’m baffled.
The suggestion that pundits might be as accurate as prediction markets is not only empirically false, but is a mere analogue to saying that bureaucrats can coordinate economic activity as well as markets can.
It’s not that any one indicator (punditry, polls, animal spirits) is better than others, it’s that markets can allow people to trade on ALL of that information + other information that would normally just get dumped into model error. That’s the beauty of the market price as a mechanism for information aggregation.