Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
There's no question in my mind that he'll be confirmed; I'd be long on a contract that paid for every vote for confirmation over 60.
In the meantime, please enjoy a profile of a very special woman in my life. My aunt was the one who didn't live in New England, who treated me with UCLA (NOT USC) gear as a kid, who let me stay at her house when I first moved to southern California and didn't have my dorm room secured yet so she potentially was stuck with nine boxes of my junk, and remains my LA home-away-from-home. She is probably my most liberal friend (in a family with dots all over the political spectrum) who takes a joke as well as she emails one. It is inspirational what she is doing at 78 years old; I hope I can keep up the family tradition of long lives and long careers. Or, to borrow a styling from Larry Miller, REMEMBER: IF YOU WALK OUT OF BED THIS MORNING AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR THINKING "I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I'M 75 AND still WORKING???", YOU'VE WON THE GAME AND THANK GOD FOR GREAT GENES.
P.S. And I'll be walking out of bed and into a 6am studio for the KNSI Morning Show tomorrow, at least that's it for this week.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
One explanation was offered by journalist Michael Barone at an American Experiment forum in 1998, when he argued that �politics more often splits Americans on cultural than on economic lines.� As a prime example, he pointed to abortion. Moral issues of this sort, he went on to say, �engage and mobilize people and keep them fighting.� This, in turn, �has led to a politics in which people defend their niches fiercely against people whom they know little. . . . In the process, we get fierce attacks on politicians. People feel justified because they believe the moral stakes are high.�You folks write things to each other you could never say to one's face. I've met at least two of the vitriolic commenters, and they are not the people you think they are from the comments. Yet they persist in this behavior. Why? Is it just the impersonality of the web, or is it because we just have decided to have a meaner politics in this decade?
You may post only once in comments, and your only comment may be "I have been a turrible knucklehead." All other comments will be deleted.
Friday, November 13, 2009
- I'm off radio this weekend to take a long-planned trip with my brother. His birthday is Sunday and he's a big Steelers fan, so I'm meeting up with him in Pittsburgh with tickets for Sunday's game versus the Bengals, with first place in the AFC North at stake. Eat your heart out, Morrissey! Questions are on transportation and food. We don't want to rent a car in case we imbibe a little more than usual at the game. ("in case??" -- ed.) How do we get there, what do we eat and where should we enjoy the evening's Patriots-Colts tilt?*
- Is it time to get off Blogger? I still have to use the Classic version, widget-less, because this blog is so damn old. I keep wanting to tweak the sidebar and start pushing content from the radio show there; I also want a feed of just economics posts that can go to the KYCR page. There's no money for this to buy a fancy solution, pretty much DIY. So what to do?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Pepper, our cat of the last nine years, age unknown because he was a stray that insisted on coming into our lives (he was a senior when he got here, we're quite sure), left this world for better last night. He has suffered kidney failure for the last year. Got off our bed, went to a corner of the house, laid down and didn't get up.
Thanks for stopping in, boy.
Pepper is on the left in this picture. Sparkler and, of course, Buttercup remain with us.
Friday, September 18, 2009
On Table 2, we'd be at 25th, with 416 average daily page views for August. Seems about right.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmastime around here is always a little hectic. �Academia impinges for those of us on the semester system, with finals coming the week before; my grades are due Friday, but thankfully I got through grading Tuesday afternoon. �That meant Christmas Eve shopping, which found me out by the mall at 9am wondering if I had outsmarted the crowds or if the last day of holiday shopping would disappoint the shopkeepers.
Janet mentioned the snow and cold; it was -4 when we got back to the car after church last night. �Another bit of hecticness -- Mrs. S is not a regular pianist anywhere, so she was at a different church playing on Christmas Eve. �(She could have worked tomorrow morning too, but begged off.) �So Littlest and I sat among friends and some folks we don't often see, some with small kids. �You feel bad for them because they are sure their kids are ruining it for the rest of us. �Our pastor has small kids, so he seems not to mind the noise. �The one who had, um, 'diaper issues' might have put a small dent in the festivities, but it's a joyous time, and the candlelight during Silent Night is as much a highlight as dinner or gifts. �Indeed, the only thing I missed was finding time to sing The Messiah with a chorus this year. �(If you know of one next year with room for a baritone who can bat from either side of the four-part register, drop a line.) �
Our day today is simple -- we take a Jewish friend to breakfast (it's a tradition; we pray for a year a Chinese restaurant here has Christmas dim sum), then presents are opened, phone calls, and finally dinner with Mrs. S's family. �#1 is now engaged and already lost to his fiancee's family, alas, so that dinner happened earlier this week.
Posting from me will be kind of light next week. �I'll be in tomorrow as we release the new Quarterly Business Report. I fear we're going to harsh your post-Christmas buzz. �If you're up early doing the bargain-hunting here in St. Cloud, please tune in to KNSI 6-8am as I give Don Lyons a little time off. �Then I'm meeting up with my siblings and parents this weekend; the first week of January is, as always, the American Economic Association meetings. �(Yes, recruiting again, amazingly.) I'll be for the most part on the road the next ten days, with a luggage change in the middle on New Year's Eve (and another stint on Don's show.) �I'll check in as time and internet connections permit. �
Meanwhile, from Littlest (now a budding 5'6" hoopster in high school), Mrs. S from whatever church or chorale she's playing for -- I've no idea how she keeps it straight -- and our three pets -- Buttercup the dog, Pepper and our newest, Sparkler -- a Merry Christmas to you and your family. �We hope your candles are lit by the spirit of the season.
We'll let the pets do a star turn.
Friday, September 12, 2008
But who is that guy on their summary page of me? It's not me. I haven't had hair that wavy in thirty years.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
...The page proofs are dropped in the mailbox.
And then, we celebrate the end of a five-year project to get that book to a publisher, get writers, and get the thing done. �How? �Golf, a cigar, some Scotch. �Rinse and repeat. �
See you in the morning.
(And yes, we're doing NARN Saturday. �Most fun day of the week.)
From Janet: Congratulations!!!! Well done, King!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
(P.S. I'll have something to say about 9/11 while on the air tomorrow, probably close to 7am.)
Friday, August 08, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
BTW, other bloggers here and blogging include Chad, Kevin, AAA, Marty (new site) and of course Michael. If I hear others I'll put them here.
UPDATE: The Uptake has posted a video report.
Friday, May 02, 2008
An orderly just asked if I wanted water with ice. In any normal circumstance I would have said thanks but that I'd get it myself. Try to be very polite, but self-reliant. One lesson I learned this week is how to accept kindness with gratitude, without feelings of obligation or shame. Not sure I knew this before. I haven't given up individualism by any stretch, but our humanity needs an opportunity to express its care for other individuals, and to know that to give people that opportunity to do it, person-to-person, is part of what makes us feel our own.
I apologize to not linking back to posts from Michael, Gary, Leo, Ed, Andy and others. I cannot get through the BlogNetNews reader for Minnesota, not enough energy. But I deeply appreciate every one. I have never felt so supported.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
- Today, at 12:15, I am speaking at the U of M Law School, Room 25, on what makes nations rich and poor. Some ideas from the book, but mostly a walk through some random thoughts on how people look at development. Courtesy the Tocqueville Center.
- Tomorrow through Friday, the KNSI Morning Show, filling in for Don Lyons, 6-8am. 1450 AM on your dial if you're in St. Cloud or nearby, otherwise the show does stream (sometimes.)
Friday, February 29, 2008
OK, the last paper for the book has arrived, and I'm off to finish editing, followed by Littlest's last game of her grade school basketball career. Lileks does this all the time, so why can't I?
The quote, you ask? It was about nihilists. And until this guy changes the spelling of his URL, he's blackballed from the Northern Alliance. I type the wrong one every time.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Beginning on March 1, I will begin working for Michelle Malkin, a friend, mentor, and writer I have long admired. She has offered me a position as writer at Hot Air, and my blogging will appear exclusively there.
That means that I will close out Captain�s Quarters sometime in March. This saddens me, as it has become my ever-ready home and because of the terrific community it has generated. I hope that the CapQ community comes with me to Hot Air, and Hot Air will have open registration today for 12 hours in order to allow CapQ commenters to join me at my new digs.
Nobody who meets Ed ever dislikes the guy; nobody who reads his blog can doubt he's one of the hardest workers in blogging. The friendship between Malkin and Ed goes back a good ways and the move will make Hot Air one of the leading sites for political commentary on the internet for a long time. I know we've had some top blogs retired because of writer fatigue in the past, but has any been subject to a buyout before? (I assume his new compensation plan from Malkin includes a lifetime supply of Notre Dame football jerseys.)
Worth noting: In his 12/03 post accepting NA entrance (NARN was still four months away) Ed said:
I don't listen to a lot of talk radio because I find that a great deal of it is shrill and annoying, and even when people don't make a habit of screaming into a microphone, they still tend to get childish and demeaning.And Al Franken wasn't even on the air yet! Ed's keeping his archives up indefinitely.
I had to go back and look at the formation of the Alliance while thinking a few minutes about this. Originally considered to be Lileks, PowerLine and Fraters Libertas (now known as Act One, or the Opening Act, or Top Billing, or whatever in our radio lives), we added Mitch and myself in May 2003 before Ed. One guy now runs the blog of a newspaper, another group is giving away $25k for a book prize, and Ed is off to Hot Air.
I guess my life as Pete Best continues. Mitch, Chad and Brian? Your comments invited.
Friday, February 22, 2008
While his and my definition of slow might be different, notice that he DID use the word "slow". Slow could mean slow growth. As I said last night, the growth rate of jobs in Minnesota has to expand enough to absorb new workers. Tom Gillaspy, the state demographer, reminded the audience that this is the year the first of the Baby Boom generation turns 62. It's therefore not clear whether this will slow expansion of the labor force. This and 2009 represent also the last of the boomlet of students graduating high school. Nonetheless, it can easily turn out that Minnesota grows at a very sluggish rate rather than slumps (declining state GDP), and this would lower revenues somewhat below forecast as well as see a rise in unemployment. I don't think Stinson rules that possibility out, and after reading that I conclude his and my forecasts are closer together than I had previously thought. (I'm probably still a little more optimistic than Tom, but that's a pretty normal state of affairs.) We'll have to wait for the forecast on Thursday for more precise figures, but that's my read of what he was saying.
Some of the big factors that are causing the decline are in the housing industry and the credit market, Stinson said.
New housing starts have been the lowest since World War II and have declined 25 percent during the last year.
"We're not making a dent in the (housing) inventory," Stinson said. "We have an 11-month inventory, we would like to have a four-month inventory."
Senior loan officers also are tightening standards of all types of credit in the commercial and home markets, Stinson said.
The state's diversified economy hasn't allowed it to become recession-proof, he said.
"Minnesota is going to have another slow year," Stinson said.
While I would have liked to have stuck around more last night and then discussed the transportation transit tax bill today, I went to my secret life today. I am confessing to being a basketball junkie, particularly when it is Littlest at play. Her school plays in a tournament in New Ulm each February, and this is her last year in the school so our last tournament. I suppose I could have had someone drive her down but I would not miss this for the world. Watching 10-14 year olds from very small schools -- hers has less than thirty students for K-8 -- play co-ed is pretty neat. Watching your Littlest chug up and down the floor with a huge smile on her face, one that does not vary if her team is up 10 or down 20, and seeing it on all the other kids too, is a world I will miss escaping into as she heads to high school next year. She will try to continue playing for her next school -- she can score and she's a ferocious defender, though probably has to move from point guard now -- but I don't think HS will be the same. We were within two with two minutes to go but lost by six today and out of the championship. Momentary sadness, then the kids realized they were here for the rest of the day to play around and have another game tomorrow, and the usual frantic buzzing of tweens and teens resumed.
Janet is kind enough to sit in for me tomorrow on Final Word, and I will not hear the show as her next game -- the last they will play here -- is at 3:15 for a consolation prize. If they win there'll be a small trophy, but regardless there'll be pictures and memories. And for a weekend, not a care about the soft economy or your silly transit ripoff.
I've just been called to pizza.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Friday, October 19, 2007
Blogging is of course subject to the MB=MC rule, and undoubtedly the best economists are busy. But the benefits to them from blogging might be greater. Tyler Cowen pointed out earlier this year that blogging is a form of self-experimentation:
Blogging makes us more oriented toward an intellectual bottom line, more interested in the directly empirical, more tolerant of human differences, more analytical in the course of daily life, more interested in people who are interesting, and less patient with Continental philosophy.I'm sure that last point was humor, but the rest is certainly true. A drawback for me in some ways is that in writing my book now, I'm more direct, shorter, and less willing to let a part of my writing wander on a tangent. It's true also in teaching -- I get more done.
Am I more tolerant? I don't really know about that, but I think I can express my differences with others better than I did when I started this five-plus years ago. I find I read more, have more interesting conversations with others, and have met some great economists and non-economists through this blog. As Dani Rodrik found out, you have no idea who's reading until they either leave you a comment or, more often, tell you in person later on. (We think of them as separate worlds; at least in the world of MOB blogging, it's not. I know now dozens of Minnesota bloggers I'd've never met before, and some of them are friends in the real rather than online world.)
Because I read more now, I think research is improved too.
Now without a doubt, the Mankiws and Rodriks and Cowens of the world do not need blogs to be known; they are not really adding to their audiences. I am, because I teach at Flyover State. (Note: I say 'teach at', not 'am a professor at'; therein lies a huge difference in how we see our jobs.) I get the high-opportunity-cost thing -- as you've probably noticed, my output here is down because the book is already past deadline and not ready to ship yet (so why are you writing this? --ed.). But you cannot evaluate the costs in isolation.
Blogging of course isn't for everyone, and perhaps because some of the now-big names weren't here three years ago there will be a shake-out; many startups die, in restaurants and blogs. But you learn the benefits, and your blog evolves. Take a look at my archives and you'll see this is a far different place than when it started. I've even thought of a name change to reflect that, though the brand capital in Scholars is high enough to make that a problem I have to think about. Whatever we call it, it's both more costly and more rewarding for me now than when I started.
UPDATE: See this also by Bill Polley. I worry about the lemons problem only insofar as one thinks econoblogging is about spreading the word of what's on the cutting edge of economics research or the policy debates. I have never concerned myself with the former, and as to the latter, I'm not terribly convinced that the best policy analysis comes from the economists with the longest c.v.'s. Again, that might be about where I'm from and what I do, a personal bias. Your call, not mine, whether I'm a lemon. Arnold Kling most certainly is not.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Many blogs will cover levy campaigns and take sides, but doing so with a new blog is to me likely to be less effective than coverage on an existing blog. More of them, I suspect, are like this, created by the affected school teachers.