Monday, June 19, 2017

Hate crimes Against Muslims

Hate crime against Muslims increased 60% last year

Hate crime against Muslims increased from 99 incidents to 159 incidents.

There are over 1,000,000 Muslims in Canada

So from .001 to .0016

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bryan Caplan's discrimination Syllabus

Bryan Caplan's labor economics and discrimination syllabus is a very clear summary of why the subject is more complicated than many feminists and lefties make it. Maybe academic feminists are familiar with thinking statistically about gender differences, but feminists on the ground too quickly infer discrimination from inequality.

"Women only make X cents for every dollar a man makes for the same job!" Yeah, okay, end of story then. Because in a world without discrimination women and men would make exactly the same amount in every occupation?

95% of every ideology is intellectually stupid, including feminism. Sometimes it seems like the 5% all talk to each other and have very sophisticated debates, but intellectual growth in both groups stays flat because everyone else isn't exposed to truly smart ideas, they're stuck at dumb emotional moral outrage.

And that's what I like about Bryan Caplan's syllabus. It's a tour of how to think statistically about labor markets and discrimination, because despite what popular culture says, statistical laws do not stop at people.

Key points I take away from the syllabus:
Statistical discrimination does not reduce mean group income. It just narrows the distribution. People who exceed their group stereotype's performance level are under-paid; people who fall short of their group stereotype's performance level are over-paid.
Very important.

I also take away the terminology of statistical vs preference based discrimination. This is a distinction everyone should make.

I also like his question: "If you really wanted to stop discrimination, which would make more sense to ban: IQ tests or face-to-face interviews?" Hmm, I wonder.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Solar Power Wasting Labor

I usually turn to Econlog for Bryan Caplan posts, but once in a while I like a post from the others.

So try this one: Solar Power: Lots of Jobs per KWH is bad, not good.
To start, despite a huge workforce of almost 400,000 solar workers (about 20 percent of electric power payrolls in 2016), that sector produced an insignificant share, less than 1 percent, of the electric power generated in the United States last year
Of course, the definition of economic progress is to create more with less. Employing a lot of people is easy, pay some to dig holes and others to fill them in. Ultimately it's a good thing to create just as much with fewer people. Those people are then able to go do other things, and now 2 things are getting done instead of 1!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Policy Debates Should Never Appear Once Sided

We live in an unfair universe. Like all primates, humans have strong negative reactions to perceived unfairness; thus we find this fact stressful. There are two popular methods of dealing with the resulting cognitive dissonance. First, one may change one's view of the facts—deny that the unfair events took place, or edit the history to make it appear fair. Second, one may change one's morality—deny that the events are unfair.

Policy debates should never appear one-aided

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Economists on Trump's Tax Plan

The tax reform plan proposed by President Trump this week would likely pay for itself through higher economic growth.
The amount of agreement is massive:

But what about the small percent of economists who said they agreed? I thought this was funny: under the section where the economists make comment it states, "panelist meant to strongly disagree"

There's a lot that economists agree on, including free trade and terminating agricultural subsidies. Economists agree, just probably not with you.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Once Phones are out of the Picture

A photographer removed cell phones from pictures and it is supposed to show how addicted and anti-social phones are making us.

Why does it show that? I have no idea. If you take the object away from pictures of people using the object it looks weird. We could also try taking food away from people eating or books away from people reading.

So there is the world made up of atoms and the world made up of bits, and for some reason there is this myth that the world made up of bits isn't the "real world". Maybe that myth is what this photographical social commentary is about - the phone isn't real and so when you take them out of the picture you're looking at how things really are. The problem is the world of bits is contained in the world of atoms, so it's no less real than you or I.

Or maybe we're supposed to think that these people are just permanently consumed with their phones and ignoring the other, more direct social activities. That too is a myth. The pictures were chosen for their being in the midst of direct social activities. Most of the time that people are lying in bed together or with a bunch of friends, they're not on their phones. People are not permanently on their phones. Their daily lives are filled with persistent checks of their phone. If you go out to dinner with someone who spends the whole time on their phone, the normal thing to expect is that something really serious is going on at the other end of the phone.

What people do on their phones is usually social in nature, but we might compare that to books. Do we scold someone who is reading all the time? After all, reading is a genuinely anti-social activity. Nobody cares because books our culture has made out books to be holy and phones to be evil.