Jan 10, 2010

Climatologists are Super Smart! [LINK]

From an article, by Robert Frank in the New York Times, on the response of the great economist Ronald Coase to the problem of carbon dioxide abatement:

Climate scientists agree that the cheapest way to combat global warming is to curb carbon dioxide emissions. And economists agree that the cheapest way to do that is by changing emitters’ incentives, either by taxing emissions or requiring emission permits.

At least this odd sequence of statements doesn't suggest economists agree that the cheapest way to combat global warming is to curb carbon dioxide emissions. Nowhere in the article is there any sign that Coase himself was asked this more fundamental question.

Frank finds it "puzzling" that conservatives and libertarians who have made Coase their "patron saint" world object to either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade proposals, which are based on Coase's pioneering work. But one can simultaneously believe that these proposals offer the best way to reduce CO2, but that reducing CO2 is not the most efficient way to address global warming.

Jan 8, 2010

Abolish Sociology [LINK]

From an introductory sociology exam, found in a public room in a college in the eastern United States:

Question: How does the United States "steal" the resources of other (third world) [sic] countries?

Answer: We steal through exploitation. Our multinationals are aware that indigenous people in developing nations have been coaxed off their plots and forced into slums. Because it is lucrative, our multinationals offer them extremely low wage labor [sic] that cannot be turned down.

Question: Why is the U.S. on shaky moral ground when it comes to preventing illegal immigration?

Answer: Some say that it is wrong of the United States to prevent illegal immigration because the same people we are denying entry to, [sic] we have exploited for the purpose of keeping the American wheel spinning.

Question: Why is it necessary to examine the theory of cumulative advantage when it comes to affirmative action?

Answer: Because it is unfair to discredit the many members of minority groups that have [sic] been offered more life chances through the program.

Question: What is the interactionist approach to gender?

Answer: The majority of multi-gender encounters are male-dominated. for [sic] example, while involved in conversation, the male is much more likely to interrupt. Most likely because the male believes the female's expressed thoughts are inferior to his own.

Question: Please briefly explain the matrix of domination.

Answer: the [sic] belief that domination has more than one dimension. For example, Males [sic] are dominant over females, whites over blacks, and affluent over impoverished.

(via Critical Mass)

Jan 7, 2010

Opacity, not Openness [LINK]

To be fair, if you believed Obama's campaign promise to open up congressional health-care sausage-making to C-SPAN, you should have your head examined.

Here's the sort of dissembling that led to led to Cafferty's uncharacteristic anti-Democratic rant: