Thursday, November 18, 2010

Focus on Pro Growth Policies

[Democrats and Republicans must meet in the middle to implement policies to deal with debt overhangs and structural rigidities. The economy needs political courage that transcends expediency in favor of long-term solutions on issues including housing reform, medium-term budget rules, pro-growth tax reforms, investments in physical and technological infrastructure, job retraining, greater support for education and scientific research, and better nets to protect the most vulnerable segments of society.]

If most of the jobs are not coming back, we need massive retraining leveraging the community college system and open learning systems, especially online delivery methods.

We need to raise the bar on math and science education starting from pre-K. Students should be spending 4hrs a day on math at least through 8 grade. Federal gov should mandate this, similar to the no child left behind mandate. Most school districts can implement this by asking teachers to use existing online curriculum, cutting back on areas such as social studies, increasing school time, supplementing face time with computer time, asking for the community for additional volunteers for k-5.

Within 10 yrs we can lay a decent foundation for the next generation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

U.S. Math Performance

Interesting report on Math performance by State!

Illinois, where I live is smack dab in the middle at 25!!!!

Our k-12 educational system focus on math from pre-k till at least 8th grade. They should be spending 4 hours a day on math, applied math and problem solving.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Proficiency of Black Students

This should be a no brainer for anyone who has had kids. Children begin the learning process in infancy and the groundwork for higher learning needs to be in place by 3 yrs.

[“There’s accumulating evidence that there are racial differences in what kids experience before the first day of kindergarten,” said Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. “They have to do with a lot of sociological and historical forces. In order to address those, we have to be able to have conversations that people are unwilling to have.”]

The sad fact is that Liberals want to throw more money at grade school and high school to improve the lot of black children. They need to shift the scarce resources to early childhood and address the root of the problem; kids having kids.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wonder if this research can explain the recent GOP rout of the Democrats in teh mid term elections.

[Logically, an unethical behavior performed yesterday should also be unethical if performed tomorrow. However, the present studies suggest that the timing of a transgression has a systematic effect on people’s beliefs about its moral acceptability. Because people’s emotional reactions tend to be more extreme for future events than for past events, and because such emotional reactions often guide moral intuitions, judgments of moral behavior may be more extreme in prospect than in retrospect.]

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Myth About George W Bush

The racism charge against Bush was vicious. Too bad most of those folks making that charge did not read up on his record. Here is an excerpt from a WaPo piece.

[While growing up in Texas and later serving as governor, Bush constantly befriended and worked with members of his state's Hispanic community and fought for the rights of immigrants. "Once children are in Texas," he said in 1995, "Texans know it is in our best interest and their interest to educate them, regardless of the nationality of their parents." In his gubernatorial reelection victory in 1998, Bush won 49 percent of the Hispanic vote and 27 percent of the black vote - a strong showing for a Republican in Texas. (It is unsurprising that, in his memoir, Bush reportedly describes the accusations of racism he experienced in the aftermath of Katrina as "the worst moment of my presidency.")]

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The China Boom

Wow, eye popping statistics about students from China.

[While China’s students have long filled American graduate schools, its undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. In 2008-9, more than 26,000 were studying in the United States, up from about 8,000 eight years earlier, according to the Institute of International Education.

The boom parallels China’s emergence as the world’s largest economy after the United States. China is home to a growing number of middle-class parents who have saved for years to get their only child into a top school, hoping for an advantage in a competitive job market made more so by a surge in college graduates. Since the 1990s, China has doubled its number of higher education institutions. More than 60 percent of high school graduates now attend a university, up from 20 percent in the 1980s. But this surge has left millions of diploma-wielding young people unable to find white-collar work in a country still heavily reliant on low-paying manufacturing.]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

When Will Christina Romer Resign and Face the Music

For a year and a half Prof Romer has been saying fiscal stimulus is best. Now she thinks we have reached the limits of government!

Given this situation, the obvious question is: What more can we do? Here, it is important to emphasize that the crucial source of demand has to be the private sector. Especially at a time of large long-run fiscal challenges, there are limits on the role the government can play.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Popular Press & Salt Water Econs Are Wrong about Eugene Fama & The Chicago School!

A very nice retrospective piece from one of the GREATS of financial economics!

[Vindicating Mandelbrot, my thesis (Fama 1965a) shows (in nauseating detail) that distributions of stock returns are fat-tailed: there are far more outliers than would be expected from normal distributions - a fact reconfirmed in subsequent market episodes, including the most recent. Given the accusations of ignorance on this score recently thrown our way in the popular media, it is worth emphasizing that academics in finance have been aware of the fat tails phenomenon in asset returns for about 50 years.]

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Obamanoics Hurting The Economy

The Obama admin's economic policies are hurting the chances of a true recovery. Here is a nice analysis from Clusterstock.

'Over the next several months, thousands of individuals will face the end of their federal unemployment benefits. The typical interpretation of this reads these people as becoming the hopelessly jobless. Expect to see a lot of specualtion about whether the unemployment numbers are concealing the actual number of jobless people. That speculation is half-right. What's really happening, however, is that resources locked out of the jobs market start to re-enter the market. As long as unemployment benefits continue to pay people not to learn new skills or accept lower wage jobs, the recovery will remain anemic. The misallocation of human capital will remain stuck in place.

Of course, if the economy is not recovering, the loss of unemployment benefits can be devastating. We need to create new jobs in new businesses to soak up those now entering the jobs market. This is a tough task, especially since as many as 400,000 workers could be re-entering the jobs market. But it's a two-way street: employers who know that they will not face a labor crunch can more easily expand operations as the workforce expands due to the end of unemployment benefits.'

Monday, February 15, 2010

More EMH Bashing - interesting points

A decent read about the issues with EMH. During the last three years EMH has taken a hit, similar to the hits it has taken during previous down turns. Yes there will be some interesting data points to make the EMH better but, I suspect the underlying principle will stay intact.

On the limited value of informational efficiency vs allocative efficiency:

[Prices may indeed contain "all relevant information" but this includes not just beliefs about earnings and discount rates, but also beliefs about "sentiment and emotion." These latter beliefs can change capriciously, and are notoriously difficult to track and predict. Prices therefore send messages that can be terribly garbled, and resource allocation decisions based on these prices can give rise to enormous (and avoidable) waste. Provided that major departures of prices from intrinsic values can be reliably identified, a case could be made for government intervention in affecting either the prices themselves, or at least the responses to the signals that they are sending]

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Lack of Political Will, Will Be The Source of The Obama Depression

Interesting prediction:

'This depression will be a classic deleveraging, or resolution of debt. Debt will either be paid back or defaulted on. Since a lot can't be paid back, a lot of it will have to be defaulted on, which will make a lot of money disappear, which will make many people a lot poorer.

President Obama will be faced with a basic choice. He can either make the situation worse by offering more bailouts and similar moves aimed at stopping the deleveraging process - that is, continue what he has been doing, only perhaps twice as much, which may crash the system more rapidly - or he can recognize the larger trends in The Long Emergency and begin marshalling our remaining collective resources to restructure the economy along less complex and more local lines.

Don't count on that.'