Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday Links, Twitter Summary

Summary of items sent out through my Twitter account in the last few days.

1. Sign of Economic Recovery: Almost all U.S. states are reporting growth in withheld income taxes in February.

2.  Coal's share of total U.S. electricity generation fell below 40% in November and December for first time since 1978.  

3. Sperm Discovered Doing Basic Calculus in their quest to find the egg.

4.  Pat Robertson backs legalizing marijuana.

5.  Colleges Graduate Nearly Three Women for Every Two Men, should they consider affirmative action for men? 

6. U.S. household winter natural gas heating expenditures expected to be the lowest since the winter of 2002-03. 

7. India is NOT a Superpower (and may never be) concludes new London School of Economics study. 

8.  North Dakota's Boomtown Strippers in Williston wish the media never found them.

9.  Race-based admissions are entrenched and aren’t going away – even if the Supreme Court rules that they should end, concludes Shikha Dalmia.

10. UAW workers in Michigan were making $140,000 per year in today's dollars, owned vacation homes and thought that was "middle-class." 

17 Comments:

At 3/09/2012 9:55 PM, Blogger Krishnan said...

As to why India will not become a super power, one reason given is "over consumption of resources"

What kind of stupid analysis is that? OVER CONSUMPTION?

That alone, causes me to ignore this analysis - however sensible the other reasons may be (and yes, may be true)

OVER CONSUMPTION? A typical leftist/crazy view for sure ...

ALL I could think was WTF?

 
At 3/09/2012 10:25 PM, Blogger kmg said...

OVER CONSUMPTION? A typical leftist/crazy view for sure ...

I agree. Isn't the US economy based on increasing consumer consumption?

 
At 3/09/2012 10:36 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"Overconsumption of resources" can mean deforestation, desertification, depletion, etc.

For example, China has little arable land:

Arable Land Shortage and the Case for Agriculture and Farmland Investing
February 28, 2012

"Acute shortages of reserve farmland and water resources are now the main restraints for the country to ensure its food security, Zhang Ping, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Thursday while making a report to the top legislature.

The Chinese government estimates they need to maintain 120 million hectares for crop production until 2020 in order to be self-sufficient in grain production.

Bank of America estimates that China’s arable land has already fallen below the 120 million hectare threshold and could decrease to 117 million hectares by 2015.

According to a report from the US Grains Council, China will import some 1.7 million tons of corn this year, 5.8 million tons next year and as much as 15 million tons in 2014-2015."

 
At 3/09/2012 10:46 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

China's economy takes five steps forward and four steps backward, while India's economy, on a slower pace, takes three steps forward and two steps backward.

 
At 3/09/2012 11:00 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Of course, the U.S. economy after taking many steps forward and few steps backward from 1982-07 has been running in place (or spinning its wheels), at best, for almost four years.

 
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At 3/10/2012 6:39 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

is "over consumption" another way of saying "over population"?

or perhaps to put into perspective - in the US, we have a highly productive farming system where each farmer feeds ...I forget how many but I seem to recall a hundred or so.

Does India have enough available land that with a similar level of productivity, they could feed their population or do they have just too many people for the amount of land they have?

or is the phrase "over consumption" referring to things other than food and/or, in addition to food?

you could say that .. any country that uses more resources than it has within it's borders is "over consuming" but that would not make much sense if the country itself was productive enough to import whatever it did not have enough of.

 
At 3/10/2012 6:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

the coal story is interesting. conventional wisdom has been for years that coal is about 50% of our electricity supply.

this probably indicates that some of the older more polluting plants are coming off line and/or being replaced with nat gas plants.

one could say that replacing older plants that require more man-power with newer more automated plants is "job killing", eh? - because the plants themselves need less workers and so far - the price of electricity has not shown a whole lot of decrease.

 
At 3/10/2012 8:49 AM, OpenID moneyjihad said...

Crops and trees are renewable resources. They'll grow back. Sometimes I wonder if the Left understands basic biology/geography/etc.

 
At 3/10/2012 9:58 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

2. Coal's share of total U.S. electricity generation fell below 40% in November and December for first time since 1978.

This shows just how badly the real economy is doing and how much political meddling is going on. Over the long term coal is the best source of electricity that we have today. Using more expensive sources does not help capital formation.

(Those that point to shale gas should be aware that shale producers are chewing through capital and producing their product at a loss. When you look at the total picture the use of shale gas is a negative for the overall economy, no matter how much hype is given to the contrary position.)

As to why India will not become a super power, one reason given is "over consumption of resources"

What kind of stupid analysis is that? OVER CONSUMPTION?


It is not analysis. It is a stupid narrative.

 
At 3/10/2012 10:00 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Does India have enough available land that with a similar level of productivity, they could feed their population or do they have just too many people for the amount of land they have?

A rising standard of living means lower population growth and more prosperity. A more productive India does not have to grow all of its own food if it is capable of buying the extra that it needs from abroad.

 
At 3/10/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

China's "growth-at-any-cost" policy didn't raise living standards much for the Chinese masses, over the past few decades.

Of course, many communist bureaucrats, who controlled the economy, benefited tremendously.

Their economic policies were viewed as successful by displaying the gains and downplaying the losses.

Improvements in living standards of China's masses resulted from:

1. Starting from a very low level.
2. Through very hard work.

However, the real gains were small.

 
At 3/10/2012 10:57 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

The real interesting stat is that electricity usage went down and I expect it to go down for decades, as there are a lot of gains to be had through better power usage by devices. For a leading edge example, many people are switching from desktop computers that are rated at 35-90W to tablets and smartphones at 3-5W, an order of magnitude difference. Great to see even a hard-core Christian like Pat Robertson come around on marijuana: what does that say about the holdouts who sometimes chime in on this blog, that even Pat Robertson can read the evidence better than you? ;) As for India, of course it isn't a superpower, but that's a strawman. The question is who will take the superpower mantle from the US, and that's much more likely to be India than anyone else. And finally, here's an error from the last link, no head's up to the author, Mark?

"Perry draws his conclusions from statistics he often pours over as an economist."

While I'll give the writer props for even trying to use that phrase, guess it goes to show that these papers can't pay for much copy editing these days- I even saw a spate of mistakes in the WSJ a year ago, though they've since tightened up- a good signal of their impending demise.

 
At 3/10/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"no head's up to the author, Mark?"
Sprewell,

Did you mean heads up?

I thought the UAW link was a nice exchange between Mark and my former trim operator, Norwood. Both have excellent viewpoints that reflect the realities a 21st unionized workforce must face. I often use the “spoiled” remark myself.

I found the article especially interesting because I gave up a scholarship out of high school to got to UM-Ann Arbor to be a CPA. I hired in working between a guy with a law degree on one side of me and a school teacher on the other side of me who quit work in the shop. You can’t assume shop workers are all uneducated. The area I just retired from had 6 of 10 hourly workers with a bachelor degree or higher, which was a higher educational attainment than many of our supervisors had.

 
At 3/10/2012 5:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I thought the UAW link was a nice exchange between Mark and my former trim operator, Norwood. Both have excellent viewpoints that reflect the realities a 21st unionized workforce must face. I often use the “spoiled” remark myself."

Was Norwood a trim operator in the sense of "I'm goin' downtown to get some trim"? If so, It's good he has finally found a legal line of work. :)

Norwood is quite the master of hyperbole, isn't he.

It doesn't seem so much like a "nice exchange" as a response to the Shafron article when someone asked: "Hey Norwood! What do you think of this?"

 
At 3/10/2012 6:44 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

Norwood and I made truck fenders for 1976-1977 Chevy and GMC pickup trucks. Drawing and trimming were the first two operations of the process.

Norwood? Hyperbole? Maybe just a bit :) But I found out when the UAW is in charge of the retiree health care costs, they tighten the purse strings up with co-pays and deductibles. Between that and the new lower tier wages and benefits for new hires that was recently negotiated, I think the UAW is showing some forward thinking now.

It will be interesting to see how Ford and the UAW handle Mulally's millions. Wagner's windfall caused huge problems for GM in 2007 and 2003. The top can end up on the bottom really quick.

 
At 3/11/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

In the print edition of the Flint Journal today, they did correct that typo to read "....statistics he PORES over...."

 

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