Quantum Meruit

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Month: November, 2011

Economics Is Not a Science

Economists are always adding little caveats to their statements, like “rational consumer.” Well, what’s a rational consumer? Just like a “reasonable person,” a rational consumer doesn’t exist. A rational consumer always make the right choice for the right reasons. Human beings don’t.

Financial Times, “Nudge Thyself” by Stephen Cave.

One of the reasons that we don’t make very good decisions is that we’re constantly deluding ourselves. Even people who insist that they do not delude themselves, but everyone else does, is guilty of a delusion. David McRaney chronicles the many cognitive fallacies that get us through our day in his blog You Are Not So Smart. These fallacies don’t mean that we’re intellectually weak; it just means that we’re human.


Victory for Unions

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s plan to strip union members of most of their collective bargaining rights didn’t just fail. It failed spectacularly. Issue 2, a referendum to continue or repeal the anti-union bill signed by Kasich in March, died with over 60% of voters telling it to take a hike.

Issue 2 was a big deal not just for Ohio, but for the rest of the country. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s successful bid last year to cut off collective bargaining power appeared to be the beginning of a trend. If they can destroy unions in liberal Wisconsin, thought Republican legislators and governors, then we can do it anywhere!

Unfortunately, Issue 2’s failure appears to speak less to pro-union sentiment in general than it does to pro-police and pro-firefighter sentiment. As The Washington Post observed, even Walker’s Wisconsin bill made exceptions for police and firefighters. It’s disheartening to think that if Ohio’s bill were only about, say, teachers and non-emergency public officials, it might have succeeded. Because, after all, who needs teachers?

‘False, anonymous, incorrect accusations’

So false that you settled out of court. So anonymous that she told us her name (it’s Karen Kraushaar, by the way). It’s just awful that the “Democrat [sic] machine” is reporting on things that verifiably happened in the past. What is this, some kind of inquiry into the reputation of a person who wants to be the leader of the free world?!

(Via The New York Times.)

Update: It’s actually Rick Perry who’s behind this.