Friday, October 31, 2014

Wrap Up for October '14

Depending on the neighborhood one lives in, Halloween may still be a major event. It practically rivaled Christmas for some of us when I was young: plenty of houses had candy and most kids in the neighborhood were out to find it. So I've always been sentimental about trick or treaters on the hunt. The youngest ones ones still check out this neighborhood - generally with parents close nearby - and there'll be a north wind to cool off some of the "stuffier" costumes. To all my readers, a Happy Halloween.

As for getting "spooked": at least my laptop - which I'd only had for 13 months - didn't decide to turn into a zombie today! Yesterday - however - meant a trip to town to see if anything could be done (nope), and fortunately I had already looked into the Chromebook option. So far so good. Not only is Chromebook much easier on the budget, I had already gotten to the point where Google search, gmail, the Chrome browser and the Blogger format were primary online tools. All of which are basic components in these laptops, and the Google docs app is "waiting", once post ramblings become better organized. I'm just glad that the whole package is simple for a low techie, because tech issues borrow too many of my (limited) brain cells as it is and I want them back.

Jobs jobs jobs. I'll look on the bright side. At least it's only one in four!
Another look at the metro bright side:

Early this month, Scott Sumner went for "the big ask" (i.e. the NGDP futures market), and I came across an interesting article about the "art of asking" at the same time. Some readers might want to save it for future reference:

This isn't the kind of local planning that is particularly constructive...AEI highlights some of the "wrong" ways to do local public corporations.

AEI also brought journalist Scott Beyer to my attention, earlier in the month. Beyer has an interesting take on car subsidies for lower income levels, which otherwise cannot afford cars and don't do well with city transportation offerings which take long commuting hours. This makes sense for some workers who need access to cities which have little interest in creating higher densities.

Beyer provided his own Charlottesville VA as an example. I had already noticed the transportation problem in Charlottesville, when I checked it out as a potential place for living and working, last year. Charlottesville is just one example, why many who decide to be "car free" seek to live as close to city centers as possible. Of course such centers are desirable marketplaces for all income levels. Which is why new communities with coordinated production and services centers could be wildly popular, if done right.

Ben Southwood speculates whether improvements in human capital were responsible for greater longevity. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Longevity and the rise of the West

Different population trends for U.S. and Japan:

One wonders why bankruptcy filings are still so high in some of these states...

Earlier in the month I linked to this article in a post but it is worth noting again here. Also noteworthy is the sandwich non compete clause:

Atlanta Fed has a new data tool for labor force participation

Good leadership link: 4 Biggest Myths About Being a Leader

Dani Rodrik looks at growth prospects in Africa the U.S. slowly drifts into political circumstance that few actually want:

Did contractionary monetary policy increase inequality in the U.S.?

Some of the research about the effectiveness of QE:

While it would be a bit odd to be met at the door by this robot, I would welcome help for finding small items few retail clerks have the time to keep track of!

Everything Deirdre McCloskey

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