Foot Officially Put Down

I’ve been looking at having a new heart valve installed. One of the drawbacks of having a team of doctors on my case is that I don’t always know what any medical decision is going to be until it’s actually implemented.

The procedure to install the heart valve has been scheduled for August 14. Or not. One oncologist wanted to move it into September. But the other oncologist is fine with leaving it where the cardiologist scheduled it.

I’m happy with August 14 as the date for a new heart valve. It’s exactly opposite Valentine’s Day, so it strikes me as an auspicious date for repairing a broken heart. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So my instructions to the nurse who called about scheduling is, leave it on the August 14 date, unless someone comes up with a compelling reason to change it.

Now all I have to do is survive it.

The climate change crowds record of failed projections of doom

I and I:

… But some remember those frenzied forecasts. Following is but a small taste of a smorgasbord of baloney: Al Gore once declared that “unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases” were taken within the next decade, “the world will reach a point of no return,” eventually suffering “a true planetary emergency.” That was 13 years ago.

Source: The climate change crowds record of failed projections of doom

I think the tabloid psychics actually have a better track record in their predictions.

University of Pennsylvania Study Finds Racism has Decreased Under Trump

“used 13 waves of panel surveys to gather data”

Source: University of Pennsylvania Study Finds Racism has Decreased Under Trump

Abstract

In his campaign and first few years in office, Donald Trump consistently defied contemporary norms by using explicit, negative rhetoric targeting ethnic/racial minorities. Did this rhetoric lead white Americans to express more prejudiced views of African Americans or Hispanics, whether through the normalization of prejudice or other mechanisms? We assess that question using a 13-wave panel conducted with a population-based sample of Americans between 2008 and 2018. We find that via most measures, white Americans’ expressed anti-Black and anti-Hispanic prejudice declined after the 2016 campaign and election, and we can rule out even small increases in the expression of prejudice. These results suggest the limits of racially charged rhetoric’s capacity to heighten prejudice among white Americans overall. They also indicate that prejudice can behave like an issue attitude: rather than being a fixed predisposition, prejudice can respond thermostatically to changing presidential rhetoric and policy positions.

The Rise of Trump, the Fall of Prejudice? Tracking White Americans’ Racial Attitudes 2008-2018 via a Panel Survey

Mueller’s Testimony Bombed

(John Hinderaker) Don’t take my word for it, that’s what the Democrats say. For example, David Axelrod: This is very, very painful. — David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 24, 2019 Also, Chuck Todd (“On optics, this was a disaster.”) and Larry Tribe: Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster.

Source: Mueller’s Testimony Bombed

WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHUCK TODD: Todd calls Mueller hearing an optics disaster for Democrats. “The sen…

WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHUCK TODD: Todd calls Mueller hearing an optics disaster for Democrats. “The sentiment echoed remarks earlier by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who called the hearing ‘a disaster for the Democrats’ and ‘for the reputation of Robert Mueller’ during a discussion on the network that was retweeted by President Trump.” Related: Ken Starr: Mueller has done a ‘grave disservice to our country.’ UPDATE: Robert Mueller Was Not Interested in Serving as the Democrats’ Performing Monkey, and It Showed. “If lawmakers want to impeach Trump they’re going to have to deal with the politics of it all and not use the Justice Department as a shield.”

Source: WHEN YOU’VE LOST CHUCK TODD: Todd calls Mueller hearing an optics disaster for Democrats. “The sen…

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: The Shaky Standing of Mueller’s Footnotes. “Most of the citations are mat…

REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: The Shaky Standing of Mueller’s Footnotes. “Most of the citations are matter-of-fact support for claims made in the main text. But a close reading reveals that many of the footnotes raise more questions than they answer, especially regarding Mueller’s methods and intent.

Source: REALCLEARINVESTIGATIONS: The Shaky Standing of Mueller’s Footnotes. “Most of the citations are mat…

Pegging Minimum Wage to Inflation Will Not Help Minimum-Wage Workers

Whenever minimum wage is discussed, inevitably there is some conversation about “if the minimum wage was pegged to inflation, it would be X by now!” ( see, for example ) . Politicians and policy experts often then make recommendations to peg minimum wage to some measure of inflation.

Source: Pegging Minimum Wage to Inflation Will Not Help Minimum-Wage Workers

However, the Law of Demand tells us why this is a poor idea, even moreso than a simple (ie, not-pegged) minimum wage.

The Law of Demand has two parts to it:

1) All else held equal, as the relative price of a good rises, quantity demanded of the good will eventually fall.

2) The longer the relative price of a good remains high, the more elastic demand becomes.

The first part, or the First Law of Demand, tells us that the initial setting of the minimum wage (assuming it is above the equilibrium price), will cause fewer workers to be employed (or some other cut be made depending on the choices firms face).

The second part, or the Second Law of Demand, tells us that if minimum wage were pegged to inflation, employers would look for more and more ways to reduce their labor costs; in technical terms, they will find more and more substitutes for labor (eg, automation). What this indicates is the negative effects of a minimum wage hike will likely be enhanced if the minimum wage were pegged to inflation. Indeed, one of the main reasons minimum wage has so little documented negative effects presently is partly because the real minimum wage is below the prevailing market wage. Pegging minimum wage to inflation would reduce that happy effect.

The Law of Demand is pretty immutable. Minimum wage is no exception to it. You make workers more expensive to hire, people will look for alternatives.