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Economist Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution interviews Stanford economist Raj Chetty and borrows a number of his questions from my appreciative 2015 critique in Taki's Magazine, "Moneyball for Real Estate," of the flaws in Chetty's methodology in his huge and much publicized study of how income mobility over the generations varies by county across the... Read More
I had only been vaguely aware of the Elizabeth Holmes saga until recently. My impression from all the magazine covers had been that the celebrated Silicon Valley startup foundrix had invented some revolutionary disruptive new method for testing blood and made the Forbes 400 off her invention. Back in 2014, this high tech startup's board... Read More
Almost 7 billion people live in countries poorer than U.S., 6 billion in countries poorer than Puerto Rico
Out of the 187 countries represented by spheres, highlighted countries from bottom left to top right include: Pakistan is the pink sphere, Nigeria black, India indigo, Indonesia dark red, China mint green, Brazil blue, Mexico brown, Poland purple, UK yellow, Germany green, and USA red-white-and-blue red. It's hard for Westerners to grasp how many people... Read More
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With the federal government working up a new housing ploy, I figured it's timely to dredge up the 2008 short story I published in The American Conservative:   Unreal Estate Memorial Day Weekend, 2005 “So, this guy joins a monastery where he’s not allowed to talk.” Travis, your brother-in-law, is telling a joke. He’s told... Read More
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Charles Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal: Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’ A lot of the apparent income effect on standardized tests is owed to parental IQ—a fact that needs addressing. By CHARLES MURRAY March 24, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET ... The results are always the same: The richer the parents,... Read More
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A friend writes: A few notes on the implications of China displacing the United States as the world's number one country over the course of the 21st Century: 1. The Chinese business cycle will become the world's business cycle (replacing the U.S.). It will be a huge shock the first time a recession hits the... Read More
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I've long been fascinated by the Affordable Housing racket. Josh Barro writes in the NYT: So that's a discount of about $75,000 per year or so, presumably for many years. After all, how anxious would you be to move if you were getting $75,000 per year, tax-free, each year for staying in your luxury apartment?... Read More
The econosphere has been abuzz for several years with NYU professor Paul Romer's plan to bring the benefit of Good Institutions to Central America by building "charter cities" in the banana republic of Honduras. (Here's Romer's 2011 TED talk.) As economist Daron Acemoglu has explained, the only thing that differentiates a rich country from a... Read More
Asks Don Boudreau in the WSJ.My impression was that Friedman was a public admirer of Keynes. (Here's a brief video of Friedman saying nice things about Keynes.) John Maynard Keynes was, obviously, a genius. Bertrand Russell, who didn't like Keynes, said of him:None of this means that Keynes was necessarily right in his macroeconomics or that Keynes' self-proclaimed followers... Read More
Ron Unz has a big article in The American Conservative on a perennially interesting and important subject:Kenny claimed that such IQ t
Political scientist Elinor Ostrom has died. In 2009, she became the first woman winner in the four decades of the Economics quasi-Nobel Prize. She worked on the question of the various ways people arrange to avoid "the tragedy of the commons" of over-exploitation of common resources, such as fisheries.Jared Diamond notes that there are three... Read More
One century ago today, May 15, 1911, the Supreme Court upheld the federal government's lawsuit under the heretofore unused 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act against the Standard Oil near-monopoly in refining. The company founded in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller was broken up into 34 companies, including ones that eventually became Exxon and Mobil.Of course, today... Read More
Here's a long article by Benjamin Wallace-Wells on Paul Krugman's personality, such as it is. Economists have been called "worldly philosophers," but a lot of them come across as being awfully out of touch. For example, this article uses Krugman's long relationship with Larry Summers to help explain Krugman. By contrast to Krugman, when it... Read More
Paul Krugman still can't grasp why years of stupid investments cause inevitable recessions.Krugman denounces Arnold Kling's quasi-Austrian explanation of why busts occur. The reigning Nobel laureate proceeds to triumphantly zing Kling with what he thinks is a killer question:Yes, that's what Dr. Krugman wrote: Why doesn't a housing boom cause the same kind of unemployment... Read More
Much of the progress in improved efficiency in the last 50 years has come from reducing inventory. Holding inventory is expensive. You can't earn interest or dividends on goods you own. Plus, you have to pay to store it, keep track of it, find it, etc.The Just-in-Time manufacturing process made famous by Toyota focuses on... Read More
My first suggestion is that rather than hand out a new Nobel Prize in Economics this year, they instead take away one they gave to some economist in the past who now looks like a prime nitwit.If that's too radical, how about giving the Nobel to an economist who was actually, like, right? How about... Read More
Politicians control developers, so developers control politicians.My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
From Bloomberg News:It was the 26 toilets that triggered alarm among residents of Greenwich, Connecticut. "Who needs that many toilets?'' asked Charles Lee, who lives across the street from where Russian millionaire Valery Kogan proposes building a 54,000-square-foot (5,000-square- meter) mansion with that much plumbing.Kogan, chairman of East Line Group, which operates Moscow's Domodedovo International... Read More
I'm reminded of the spring of 1980 when the economy nosedived (nosedove?), but then suddenly pulled out of it into modest prosperity. It didn't save Jimmy Carter in November, and we ended up getting hammered by a major recession in 1981-1982 that painfully wrung the inflation of the 1970s out of the economy.My published articles... Read More
Barack Obama spent the mid-1980s trying to politically mobilize the black poor in Chicago, giving him, presumably, lots of first-hand insight into their problems. Yet, the 163 pages he devoted to his community organizer years in his 1995 autobiography, published at the height of the debate over welfare, are strikingly lacking in insight.For example, he... Read More
Eamonn Fingleton has a new book coming out entitled In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony.That reminded me that about a dozen years ago, I saw Walt Disney's 1934 Silly Symphony musical cartoon short "The Grasshopper and the Ants." Even though Disney came up with a happy... Read More
At this moment, it seems like the most important question is: How can we tell whether the financial markets are merely in an irrational panic from which they can be bailed out; or have we arrived at a rational reckoning where bailouts are just money down the rathole?Have economists developed some sure fire models for... Read More
Economists devote strikingly little attention to immigration, so they tend to be suckers for the occasional study that comes along supporting their prejudices. For example, recent papers by Ottaviano and Peri claiming that lots of immigrants in California made the natives better off got lots of play.George Borjas of Harvard couldn't replicate their findings, however,... Read More
The median price of homes sold in the San Fernando Valley (northern Los Angeles) dropped from $655,000 last June to $500,000 in January. Now, lots of people think that's the worst tragedy ever, but to my mind, half-a-mil is still way too high for the typical SFV house, which is about 35-55 years old, 1600... Read More
In my VDARE.com review of the Chilton Williamson-edited book Immigration and the American Future from Chronicles Press, I started off with a detour:Economist Bryan Caplan has been getting a lot of good press for his recent book The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
"End of the Housing Bubble: Minorities Hurt Most" reports the New York Times for the umpteenth time: It's the Original Sin Theory of Race: any time, any where blacks or Hispanics mess up, white people have to be the original cause. Obviously, income is hardly the only factor in creditworthiness: expenditures relative to income and... Read More
The NYT prints a handy chart of the ten towns in America with the lowest ratio of subprime mortgages to total mortgages, and it ends up being rich San Francisco and nine classic college towns, such as Ithaca, NY, home to Cornell.Besides the obvious (college professors are smarter than average), there's the construction boom on... Read More
There is always a lot of arguing back and forth over income inequality, but expenditure inequality is little discussed, even though it's just the flip side of the standard of living inequality coin. The recent housing bubble created much inequality of lifestyle, much of it almost random in occurrence. Consider two couples who live side... Read More
Robert J. Samuelson writes about Gregory Clark's "A Farewell to Alms" in the Washington Post. (My 2 part review of the book is here and here.)Personally, I'm fairly optimistic about Third World poverty, in the absolute sense if not the relative sense. For example, telephones are hugely useful for getting things done, and the good... Read More
Leaving aside all the usual moral issues for the moment, as a taxpayer, I want to complain about this 21st Century innovation of using ex-U.S. military servicemen as highly paid mercenaries alongside much lower paid servicemen.The government has forfeited its monopsonistic (i.e. sole employer) buying power over government-funded jobs killing people and breaking things, so... Read More
Back in August, I pointed out that subprime crisis was in part the result of years of government efforts to prevent "discrimination" against minorities in the mortgage market. Now, the NYT reports -- unwittingly, of course -- that the current supbrime mortgage crisis is in part an outgrowth of the long government war on redlining:Study... Read More
From the Washington Post:So, that's why it's so cheap to live in California!My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer
Last week, VDARE.com ran the first portion of my review of Gregory Clark's "Brief Economic History of the World," in which I considered Clark's initial topic: why did the Industrial Revolution start in England. Today, I consider the second, and more important subject of his book: why has the Industrial Revolution spread to some countries... Read More
Here's my new VDARE.com book review. The second part will run next Sunday night. By Steve Sailer An ambitious and provocative new book by University of California at Davis economic historian Gregory Clark, A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, attempts to explain two huge questions: In the process, Clark offers... Read More
A. When the media starts its annual round of credulous stories about how crops are going to rot in the fields because of not enough cheap illegal alien labor so we need a bigger Guest Peasant program to alleviate the looming shortage/crisis.I took a comprehensive look at this genre of annual news story exactly one... Read More
It dawns on Matthew Yglesias that if border enforcement succeeded in driving up wages for the unskilled, some jobs wouldn't be economical to do anymore. But, he doesn't go far enough:An early scene in "The Man Who Would Be King" takes place in the office of an English colonial administrator in India. To stay cool,... Read More
Now that the long predicted dubious mortgage crash has finally arrived, I keep remembering that going back to the early 1990s, the government has been twisting the arms of private lenders to get them to lend more mortgage money to minorities than the private firms believed was justified by colorblind principles of creditworthiness.This history seems... Read More
Arnold Kling notes an article from the Milken Review, where Giovanni Peri writes: U.S.-born workers are climbing the educational ladder, acquiring interactive/analytic skills and progressively leaving the manual jobs that would put them in competition with immigrants. If the trend continues as expected, the day is not far off when virtually all manual labor will... Read More
Tyler Cowen blogs: IQ and the Wealth of NationsHow many more times will someone suggest this book in the comments section of this blog? I like this book and I think it offers a real contribution. Nonetheless I feel no need to suggest it in the comments sections of other peoples' blogs.I do not treat... Read More
Here's another excerpt from my review in the Washington Times of economist John R. Lott's Dr. Lott is an even more fecund generator of plausible explanations than is Dr. [Stephen D.] Levitt [author of the bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything]. For instance, he suggests in Freedomnomics:- The big mark-up... Read More
I don't see a link yet, but Tuesday is supposed to be the day my book review comes out in the Washington Times. The last time I reviewed an economics book for a daily newspaper, my review of Tim Harford's The Undercover Economist appeared in the New York Post on December 25, 2005, so the... Read More
An excerpt from my new VDARE.com column "The Axis of Amnesty’s Ideology of Cheap Labor:" Senator Kennedy is echoing, oddly enough, the fatalistic conventional wisdom of Dickensian England—the doctrinaire assumption that cheap labor is essential, and that the inexorable grinding of the dismal laws of economic science determine wages as immutably as the orbit of... Read More
Christopher Hayes writes in the Nation: Mafia is probably a tad hyperbolic, but there is undoubtedly something of a code of omertà within the discipline. Just ask ... David Card. ... Card, a highly esteemed economist at the University of California, Berkeley, caught flak for his heresy not on trade but on the minimum wage.... Read More
sure affects a lot of economists. For example, Bryan Caplan greets Harvard economist George Borjas's new blog with this classic: Well, Bryan, I guess his problem from your point of view that is that, when it comes to immigration, Dr. Borjas has worked very hard to know what the hell's he's talking about. But who... Read More
George Mason U. economist Bryan Caplan, author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, asks on EconLog: I've often heard opponents of Latin American immigration complain that they're lowering our average IQ. ... Question: [If] this is the real concern, why not just advocate additional "compensatory" immigration from high-IQ countries... Read More
Free Content: The Washington Post publishes economist Paul H. Rubin's op-ed "Evolution, Immigration, and Trade" explaining why all us patriotic Neanderthals aren't as intellectually evolved as him and his fellow transnationalist economists: Our primitive ancestors lived in a world that was essentially static; there was little societal or technological change from one generation to the... Read More
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About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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