Failing to see the big picture

Yahoo! Finance writer Rick Newman writes about the Trump Carrier deal:

Overall, roughly 1,000 Indianans will end up keeping jobs they otherwise would have lost.

And the front-page image similar claims:

smartphone-saves-1000-jobs

Of course, this analysis, if you can call it that, fails to consider that some or many jobs might be lost. There are, after all, tax incentives to pay for this. That means that spending must be cut or taxes must be raised. Either of those eventualities may lead to jobs being lost. Likely, if some jobs are lost as a result, at least some of those will be in Indiana, so Rick’s claim, slightly more nuanced than the claim of the headline image, is likely incorrect, too.

-JD Cross

 

This is government

From the Washington Post:

White House officials are determined to move ahead, reasoning that having more rules in place will force the new administration to choose which ones are worth the time and effort of reversal.

The policy being something like: if we make a huge mess then they will have to spend all their time cleaning it up and therefore won’t be able to do anything.

This is as good as it gets.

When “no” is the answer, perhaps it’s time for something new. (I’m not talking about Trump versus Obama, Democrats versus Republicans. No, I’m talking about the entire system. Democrat versus Republican is irrelevant; the system is broken and needs help.)

Data and Crap

Barry Ritholtz has a good article in Bloomberg about retail spending over the Black Friday weekend.

In short: “data” that is derived from surveys is typically (always?) crap. Other data (such as data derived from actual spending) is probably better. Even if other data is better than crap, however, it still might be crap.

Just because you can measure something – whether through a survey or by looking at receipts or whatever – doesn’t mean that what you obtain is useful. Having a number, and possibly also having a model into which to inject that number, is not necessarily useful.

And a side note, if you find yourself saying something like, “yeah, but it’s all we’ve got,” well, that’s a crappy argument. I, for one, would rather have nothing in my hand than crap. Something is not always better than nothing.

-JD Cross

 

Ball Power!

Buckyballs are back!

Check out the website for details. buckyforever.com

This is a big victory for sanity and freedom.

-JD Cross

 

The Party of No

To those horrified at the thought that any, some, or all of the things that Donald Trump has said he will do as President should come to pass, here is a question: would you be happy if nothing changed from now until the next election? No laws passed, no laws repealed, no laws modified, no judges picked, etc. Absolute gridlock.

If you answered yes, then here’s a followup question: During President Obama’s term, did you complain about Congressional obstructionists?

On a related note, the filibuster made the front page of the nytimes.com (as of 11:55am Pacific).

filibuster.png

-JD Cross

 

What do we tell our children?

You tell them:

A despicable person won the Presidency. And the only reason this matters is because government is too big, too powerful, has too much control over people’s lives; it matters because the Presidency is a position – of controlling other people’s lives – that too many people place too much respect in; it matters because the system worked exactly the way the system is supposed to work.

When the system does what it does and produces this result…it’s a bad system. We need a new system.

The great thing about this narrative? It’s right regardless of which candidate won yesterday.

-JD Cross

 

Impotent Government

There are people who have long advocated and will continue to advocate for small, limited, even impotent government; a government that is so limited in its scope, reach, and power over the lives of individuals that the events of a singular election would not cause any person to flinch let alone convulse and become ill.

Perhaps the events of Nov 8, 2016, will encourage more people to do so.

-JD Cross

 

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