02 December 2016

The Scariest Sentence You'll Ever Read

Today, states containing just 17 percent of the American population, a historic low, can theoretically elect a Senate majority
-- Emily Badger/2016

Thought For The Day - 2 December 2016

Unemployment rate: 4.6% vs. 4.9% consensus, 4.9% previous.
178,000 additional jobs.

IOW:

"Yo, Donald!! You'd best not fuck up an economy that's working just fine in order to make rich folks richer and poor folks sicker and poorer. You do dat, and I'll whoop your fat ass to Selma and back."

love,
Barack

24 November 2016

Thought For The Day - 24 November 2016 (it's a Turkey) [update]

Well, it is Thanksgiving (at least, in the USofA), so there should be something to be thankful for. One would think so? Here's some musings on The Donald's announced appointments.

Atty. General, Jeff Sessions: will bring white supremacy to a head, by actually implementing voter suppression, as he did while Alabama AG.

HUD, Ben Carson: will implement a voucher-only housing support program, which will enable slum lords across this great land to be even richer; mortality and morbidity of residents will soar as maintenance of buildings will be optional under the now Rand based HUD, thus eliminating the less desirables (not to say, deplorables) from the population. One might call it the Carson Plague.

Education, Betsy DeVos: the Scamway of teaching will be the way of the future. The Bible thumping, snake handling, incestuous states will be encouraged to teach "traditional subjects" such as the earth is 6,000 years old, people froliced with dinosaurs, and the Bible is the only history book in use. Science will be deemed anti-American, and only white wives with at least three children will be certified as teachers.

UN, Nikki Haley: since she speaks in tongues, will be able to communicate with all members of the body without need of simultaneous translation.

Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus: cat's paw for Bannon (see below).

Chief Counsel, Steve Bannon: the really nice, smart guy that The Donald greatly admires. His white supremacist Breitbart doesn't really represent The Donald's view of the country. Will be in charge of building, staffing, and filling the rural re-education camps for all urbanites with IQ above 100, documented Democratic voting, multi-cultural thought patterns, and lacking family Bible handed down at least four generations.

Be thankful for a real, great America of the future.

[update 1:38 pm EST]
Just tuned into the Vikings/Lions game, and saw this ad. Cook has sent a shot across The Donald's bow. I'd bet on Tiny Tim.

21 November 2016

Thought For the Day - 21 November 2016

Those following Mr. Market have seen the argument about whether twitter's worth its share price, who might buy it, and how soon it goes the way of My Space. It occurs to me that The Donald's use of twitter as his propaganda vehicle will be its salvation. Technology to the rescue. I guess.

Red River Valley

As chronicled here for some time, well, once more. The divide here in the USofA has been urban/rural from the time of the Constitution's construction. It's only in the last few decades, from when Nixon instituted the Southern Strategy, the divide became Red State, Blue State. But that just confuses the issue. As mentioned here before, there are few, if any, homogeneous Red states; even Red states have Blue cities.

Here's a lengthy piece, with many on-point quotes, that describes the situation.
In 1920, for the first time, the Census Bureau counted more people living in urbanized America than in the countryside. This hasn't been a rural nation ever since.
and this
The Electoral College is just one example of how an increasingly urban country has inherited the political structures of a rural past. Today, states containing just 17 percent of the American population, a historic low, can theoretically elect a Senate majority.

Not to mention that the Red state whiners consistently are net moochers on the Federal purse:

Red states are twice as dependent on the Damn Gummint than the Blue States. Of course.

The only near term solution is the 270 state compact. I suspect that a Roberts' court will declare it unconstitutional, since it evades one interpretation of the state/Senate sovereignty clause. Hopefully, we get to find out.

A Grove of Olive Branches

Andy Grove, of Intel fame, is famous for "Only the Paranoid Survive", both epithet and book. While a reasonable adage in the micro world of corporations and sectors (not that corporates engage in oligopoly as a matter of course, of course), it's a bad foundation for heads of state. With Putin and his puppet The Donald leading the Western world in thin skinned whininess, we're in for a spiral into totalitarianism. The Donald tweets (will he still be spending his Presidential overnights all thumbs?) angrily about a fourth wall speech at "Hamilton". And now we find today a poll (oversampled against him, of course :):) ) demonstrating our collective revulsion of him.

Oh, and no, Ford didn't not move to Mexico because The Donald interceded. Ford never was going to move that plant to Mexico. The good thing about tweets, from The Donald's point of view, is that they're difficult to fact-check in real time. And how would you get the truth to The Donald's fawners? You see the problem? A congenital liar has the advantage.

17 November 2016

Pareto Failure

Quants, whether finance, bio, or econ consider themselves amoral in their approach. Just crunch the numbers.

After Adam Smith, Wilfredo Pareto is likely the "quant" most likely familiar to those interested in econ. Well, more theory than stat, but still. He defined a sort of optimal equilbrium, in the macro sense. In sum, the optimal allocation has been reached when further shifting of resources amongst participants yields lower overall "satisfaction".

The failure of Pareto is illustrated by a classic example: if one has a group of three individuals and a pie of resources where two of the three have taken half of the pie each, then Pareto optimal has been reached. The rationale is that any part of the pie going to the third individual means the two (either alone or tandem) must relinquish some resource. It's not surprising that Mussolini liked Pareto: he provided a sort of "scientific" excuse for autocracy.

Whether he's heard of or read Pareto, Trump is taking the Mussolini tack. That didn't deter him from selling a bill of goods to the poorly educated white (formerly blue collar middle) class. And they bought it by the bushel. We already know, although they will most likely ignore the reality (esp. if they get their news through Facebook!) or consider The Donald's tweets truth, that The Donald has thrown them under the bus. He was recorded telling his rich steakhouse billionaire buddies that they're going to get that wonderful tax break.

Will they believe their own ears, or just the continuing dog whistles from Trump Tower?