Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Age Healing and Prayer Therapy

Apparently the new health care bill it 'would prohibit discrimination against "religious and spiritual healthcare."'
This means that New Age healing, crystal therapy, and Christian Science 'prayer therapy' would be paid for under the new Democrat health plan.

hat tip: LA Times

Spending is the Problem.

"Do shocks to government spending raise or lower consumption and real wages? Standard VAR identification approaches show a rise in these variables, whereas the Ramey-Shapiro narrative identification approach finds a fall. I show that a key difference in the approaches is the timing. Both professional forecasts and the narrative approach shocks Granger-cause the VAR shocks, implying that the VAR shocks are missing the timing of the news. Simulations from a standard neoclassical model in which government spending is anticipated by several quarters demonstrate that VARs estimated with faulty timing can produce a rise in consumption even when it decreases in the model. Motivated by the importance of measuring anticipations, I construct two new variables that measure anticipations. The first is based on narrative evidence that is much richer than the Ramey-Shapiro military dates and covers 1939 to 2008. The second is from the Survey of Professional Forecasters, and covers the period 1969 to 2008. All news measures suggest that most components of consumption fall after a positive shock to government spending. The implied government spending multipliers range from 0.6 to 1.1. " (emphasis mine)

This means that at best government spending is more or less a net wash, and at worst it causes actual damage to the economy. I've said it before, elsewhere, government spending crowds out individual spending.

Hat tip: Kids Prefer Cheese

Here is the actual paper.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crime, Certainty, Immediacy

In terms of crime deterrent from a state point of view, this is brilliant.
I have been saying, to friends and family, for a long time that immediacy and certainty matter a lot more than the severity of the punishment. From a non-state view, this sugests that violent crime would go down if more people were willing to use force to protect their fellow man.

Also, from this we can conclude that if people fought back against muggers, rapists, thieves, etc, we would see a lot less of that sort of crime.