Tag: Dubious statistics

China Uses DNA to Track Its People, With the Help of American (Yale) Expertise

Yves here. This story on the role that a Yale scientist played in China getting access to DNA tracking technology is an example of how critically placed individuals can do considerable harm, or less often (sadly) good. This post goes a bit into the weeds but those of you who have worked in large organizations […]

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Wall Street Journal Story Confirms That CalPERS Plans to Overpay Grossly in Its New Private Equity Scheme

We had hoped to leave CalPERS alone for a bit, but a new Wall Street Journal confirms a post we published earlier this month. We discussed how the fees for its private equity scheme that CalPERS presented to the board as if it were a great deal are in fact so high as to amount […]

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Striking Teachers in Denver Shut Down Performance Bonuses – Here’s How That Will Impact Education

Yves here. While in theory, measuring and paying for performance is desirable, once you get outside areas like sales, it is very difficult to measure performance (trust me, there are academic papers which explicitly say that 100 years+ of experience with performance review systems shows them to have failed). By Nathan Favero, Assistant Professor of […]

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Wolf Richter: My Fancy-Schmancy “Fed Hawk-o-Meter” Ticks Down, Still Red-Lines. In Passing, Fed Plants Seed for Removing “Patient”

Yves here. It is disheartening to see the degree to which the Fed has embraced mission creep and then has proven not to be very good at it. It was bad enough that Paul Volcker weakened the Fed’s commitment to full employment by taking the position that any inflation is too much inflation, and using […]

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Climate Damages: Uncertain but Ominous, or $51 per Ton of Carbon?

By Frank Ackerman, principal economist at Synapse Energy Economics in Cambridge, Mass., and one of the founders of Dollars & Sense, which publishes Triple Crisis. Originally published at Triple Crisis Second in a series on climate change policy. See Part 1 here According to scientists, climate damages are deeply uncertain, but could be ominously large […]

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How the Peak Oil Story Could Be “Close,” But Not Quite Right

Yves here. Gail Tverberg hasn’t been posting her carefully argued pieces on energy, particularly “peak oil,” and environmental issues as often as she once did, so I was glad to see this piece. By Gail Tverberg, an actuary interested in finite world issues – oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Originally […]

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Vital Economic Data Was Likely Lost During the Shutdown – Here’s Why It Matters to All Americans

By Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics, Rochester Institute of Technology. Originally published at The Conversation The shutdown may be over – for now – but its consequences will linger on. One of those concerns is the dizzying amount of economic data the federal government collects on everything from the state of […]

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Experts Declare Physician Burnout ‘a Public Health Crisis’ – and Health IT a Significant Pathogen

Yves here. Replying on the work of the health care and IT experts writing at Health Care Renewal, we have been writing about how electronic health care records are a danger to sound medical practice. Among other things, they are designed for billing, not diagnosis or treatment, force doctors to waste time dealing with pages […]

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What Truck Drivers Say about “Driver Shortage” & Pay Increases

Yves here. Of course, one then wonders how many of the other worker shortage stories are exaggerated. And remember that profits have been at record levels as a percentage of GDP, so the idea that most companies can’t pay more is spurious. By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and […]

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Why the Green New Deal Is the Stuff of Fantasyland

Yves here. I’ve been disappointed by the cheerleading over the Green New Deal. Its claim is that if we mobilize enough resources, we can convert to a renewable-energy-based economy and arrest the rise in greenhouse gases soon enough to prevent the worst global warming outcomes. That might have worked if we had started 20 years […]

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$15 Minimum Wage: Job Killer or Path Out of Poverty?

This Real News Network segment sets forth the most common arguments against increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, or alternatively, a living wage level, and shows why they don’t hold up to scrutiny. A decent minimum wage is even more important when the supposedly robust US economy is increasingly creating McJobs. JAISAL NOOR: […]

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Richard Murphy: Davos Wants a Better Measure of Failure

Yves here. Unfortunately, the Davos man is still very much with us. And now they want us to think that they care. Gah. By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. He is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy […]

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Piketty’s World Inequality Review: A Critical Analysis

Yves here. It’s surprising to see Piketty and even more so, one of this co-authors, Gabriel Zucman, make such strong claims for tax data as a way to measure income inequality. The rich and super rich engage in tax avoidance and evasion, to the degree that Zucman has estimated that 6% of the world’s wealth […]

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Christmas Hucksterism: The Last Mile of the Supply Chain is Safer Than You Think

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Last week, I ran a video on “package thieves,” in which YouTube personality, “ex-NASA brain,” and putatively high net-worth individual Mark Rober created a “glitter bomb revenge package,” which harmlessly exploded when a thief apparently stole a package from his porch. Here’s the video, which naturally went viral (“If you […]

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Michael Hudson: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception

Originally published at Michael Hudson’s website This is Guns and Butter, October 8, 2018. The aim of classical economics was to tax unearned income, not wages and profits. The tax burden was to fall on the landlord class first and foremost, then on monopolists and bankers. The result was to be a circular flow in […]

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The UK’s Reform of Limited Partnership Law: Dead on Arrival (II)

British company structures which hide the identity of those behind them were branded a disgrace by the whistleblower who brought to light an alleged 200 billion euro (178 billion pounds) money laundering scandal involving Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO). “The role of the United Kingdom is an absolute disgrace. Limited liability partnerships and Scottish [limited] partnerships have […]

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The UK’s Reform of Limited Partnership Law: Dead on Arrival (I)

“Scottish Limited Partnerships are used by thousands of legitimate British businesses – from pension schemes to owning farm land in Scotland – to invest more than £30 billion in the UK a year. We have seen mounting evidence that in their current form they are vulnerable to abuse. Last year it emerged more than 100 […]

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Do Climate Policies ‘Kill jobs’? An Economist on Why They Don’t Cause Massive Unemployment

Yves here. I don’t mean to sound churlish, but this article considers the sort of orthodox “green growth” policies that are inadequate do address the magnitude of changes we need to make merely to reduce how fast and catastrophic climate-change and population-induced damage to the biosphere occurs. From Why “Green Growth” Is an Illusion: Our […]

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