Archive for the 'Economics' Category

I’m going to ask about that price increase again.

I design kitchens using a premium European brand of cabinetry. I work for the U.S. arm of a European firm. We are going to have a price increase the first of January. We are having a price increase in the face of the Euro being at a low compared to last year, and this little bit of news:

Freight prices are at record lows not just due to weak demand, but overcapacity in shipping supply.

Source: Flexport

Just a bit from the post:

It costs $300 to move a 40-foot container from Rotterdam to Shanghai, which is barely enough to cover the cost of fuel, handling, and Suez Canal fees. Here’s some more context. Let’s say that you want to travel for a year; it’s cheaper to put your personal belongings in a shipping container as it sails around the world than to keep it at a local mini-storage facility.

There is a very interesting chart over there too.

I’ve already asked once about the justification for the price increase. And like the good little soldier that I am, I will enthusiastically enforce the price increase. But… The economics of the situation tell me we should be getting a price decrease for the coming year…

America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution

Ordinary people have also gone a long way toward losing equal treatment under law. The America described in civics books, in which no one could be convicted or fined except by a jury of his peers for having violated laws passed by elected representatives, started disappearing when the New Deal inaugurated today’s administrative state — in which bureaucrats make, enforce, and adjudicate nearly all the rules. Today’s legal-administrative texts are incomprehensibly detailed and freighted with provisions crafted exquisitely to affect equal individuals unequally. The bureaucrats do not enforce the rules themselves so much as whatever “agency policy” they choose to draw from them in any given case. If you protest any “agency policy” you will be informed that it was formulated with input from “the public.” But not from the likes of you.

From:Angelo Codevilla. Again.

This really is the way the government is run these days. I am probably being quite stupid complaining on a blog, as there really is no anonymity.

These are the good old days…

At least when it comes to beer!

Take a look at this:



The chart is from Mark Perry.

I do love the beer choices available these days.

The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

This is an important follow on to the Codevilla piece below. Again, many of you have read this. For some it is just another spot on the internet where you can find it. Please pass it along.

Gonzalo Lira: The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy. A sample:

However, three months later, out of the blue, they got a letter from their bank, Wells Fargo: It said that, after further review, Brian and Ilsa had in fact not qualified for HAMP. Therefore, their mortgage would go back to the old rate. Not only that, they now owed the difference for the three months when they had paid the lowered mortgage—and to add insult to injury, they were assessed a “penalty for non-payment”.

Really go read the whole thing. And all of the addenda.

I’ve saved the posts here in a small effort to make certain this story stays alive.

This might be my new favorite blog…

Rod and Rifles.

A sample:

Bikini and Rod

I’ve known this to be true for a long time…

Boobage Pressure


Philip and Kate

The Clinton Foundation Scandal

While the obvious bribery of the former Secretary of State will be her undoing as a presidential candidate, this really is the bigger scandal: The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a money laundering operation.

Take a look at this graphic:


The Ace and I were talking about just this sort of thing last night. I had received an e-mail solicitation from a company I’ve done business with in the past to contribute toward earthquake relief in Nepal. I would never funnel my charitable contributions through a third party, I would send my money directly to the charity of my choice. Look at that chart to see why.

Kling’s Three Laws

A good post:

1. Sometimes it’s this way, and sometimes it’s that way.

2. The data are insufficient.

3. The methodology is flawed.

As I’ve aged, I’ve come to embrace this sort of thinking about all the arguments I was so certain of 20 years ago. It is too bad that those that make policy have not learned any humility in their approach to problem solving.

Chris McCandless Starved to Death

I was reminded of the troubled Chris McCandless over at Sailer’s place, where he has a post about the writer John Krakauer.

This post by a guy named Samuel Thayer, makes solid points about McCandless starving to death:

I like to measure my food in calorie-days—the number of days of my full caloric requirement that the food represents. I calculated Chris’s calorie requirement as 3,300 per day based on his age, gender, a body weight of 145 pounds, and heavy physical activity, using guidelines from Grodner et al. (1996). This estimate is rough, and the true figure would depend on many unknowable variables. Still, my point is easily demonstrated: McCandless didn’t have nearly enough food. He began his journey on April 28 with a ten pound bag of rice—which constituted less than five calorie-days. By May 9, he had only killed one grouse and had written “4th day famine” in his journal. The rice was already long gone.


The squirrels that McCandless was eating (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) typically weigh five to nine ounces (Whitaker, 1996). Using seven ounces as an average, and realizing that after subtracting the skin, tail, head, bones, feet, and entrails, the edible flesh would constitute about 40 percent of that weight, or 2.8 ounces of meat per squirrel. This means that he would have needed to eat about twenty-five squirrels per day to meet his caloric requirement. If he carefully removed and ate the liver, kidneys, kidney fat, heart, lungs, and brain of each squirrel, he would have about doubled the calories that he received from each animal. Since he probably did this to some extent, I estimate that he needed roughly sixteen squirrels to equal a calorie-day.

Go read the whole post, it is fascinating. Thayer says McCandless, if he was eating just wild berries alone, would have to eat something on the order of thirteen pounds of blueberries to meet his daily caloric needs. I can’t even begin to imagine eating that much fruit in one day.