Sunday, March 02, 2008

Economics and Social Policy - XLV

Welcome to the March 2, 2008 edition of Economics and Social Policy. It’s only a week late!

John Crenshaw presents The Biggest Scam Your Bank Gets Away With Everyday posted at Truthful Lending dot Com.

The moral of the banking story is don’t overdraw your checking account. But it’s hardly a shock that the bank would structure processing in order to generate the most fees.

Christine presents The European Exchange Rate and travel in Berlin, Germany posted at Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France.

It’s not really an exchange rate piece, but offers some hints on saving money while vacationing in Berlin.

Not to make fun of anyone’s blog titles or anything, but “Me, My Kid and Life: An American Single Mom Living in France” sounds like a Women’s Studies Department Committee re-write of “An American in Paris

Jose DeJesus MD presents Doctors Get Bonuses for Raising the Bar and More Doctors Consider Opting Out of Medicare and Private Networks posted at Physician Entrepreneur.

Congress will almost certainly waive the reduction in Medicare reimbursement. There is a strong incentive, however, to start / perpetuate the healthcare ‘crisis’, especially in an election year already favoring the Democrats.

The potential downside is that they get caught doing something egregious leading to NHS-style results.

Jason Gill presents Economics and Oikos: Christian Reflections on Polygamy posted at The Catholic Atheist

Interesting. I’d certainly suggest that the Christian view on monogamy is more creedal than conventional. And it’s certainly true that polygamy tends to benefit high status men and lower status women. I’d also suspect that high status women are somewhat disadvantaged as well.

Leon Gettler presents The R-word: how hard a landing? posted at Sox First.

Recessions are only known in retrospect, and that professional economists often miss the direction of GDP change in their forecasts. That said, there are certainly enough leading indicators to make one worry, and I’d say recession is likely.

Contributing factors, external to the obvious economic ones are Venezuela’s saber-rattling (interesting that they’ve officially sided with the terrorists of FARC), as well as the anti-trade, anti-business & market rhetoric blasting at maximum volume by both Clinton and Obama.

Charles H. Green presents Trust Is the New Leadership In A Flat World and Decaying Social Trust and Moral Indignation posted at Trust Matters.

Interesting pieces. As a side note, I’m sick of the whole “world is flat” thing. Give Friedman credit – it’s an interesting concept, even if the model is starting to unravel a bit. Unfortunately, the book is way too long for the material.

Ha! I got the quiz right!.

One of the central principles behind the market society is trust. Unfortunately, like the Protestant work ethic and saving, it doesn’t carry a whole lot of meaning in a society where bad consequences are always someone else’s fault.

David Gross presents The Picket Line — 15 February 2008 posted at The Picket Line.

A comparison of prices at the supermarket, small corner market, and co-op. I’m not sure that I’d sign up for the proposition that organic is either better for you or the environment. That said, there are big quality advantages to the local farmer’s markets, but the best deals and quality are necessarily seasonal.

al leong presents Agrarianism and the Popular Education Culture posted at Daily Oil Blog. .

Continuing the food & farming emphasis, an article on the New Agrarians. Very, very few like farming, but most of us like the idea of being gentlemen farmers… Tweed jackets, pipes, manor houses, dogs, horses, pheasant hunting… while some other poor schmuck does all of the work.

Louise Manning presents The mandate for leadership posted at The Human Imprint.

Great leaders – born or made? Anyone can improve their leadership skills, but that doesn’t make them a leader.

Tim Newlin presents How Much is a Billion Dollars posted at timtim.

I’m drawn to the old Minnie the Moocher line -- ‘had a million dollars in nickels an dimes, she counted them all a million times”.

Raymond presents Qualifying For An Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Check and Looking Forward To Receiving and Not Spending My Economic Stimulus Rebate Check posted at Money Blue Book.

Send me the money! I’ll probably wind up frittering it away in the bank.
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Hairy Swede presents A Swedish American in Sweden: The Swedish Model Gone Awry and The Swedish Economy Booms and Babies Emerge posted at A Swedish American in Sweden.

Unfortunately, lazy students are to be found everywhere – not just in Sweden.

Vihar Sheth presents Target Ups The Ante While Macy's Blows posted at Vihar Sheth.

Yup, the traditional department store business is a real mess. As a concept, you have to either be very price aggressive, e.g., Wal-Mart, or really upscale. Target is trying to position itself as just a hair better than Wal-Mart, but cheaper than the “big name” chains like Macy’s.

Can’t say that I remember the last time I bought anything in a ‘real’ department store like Macy’s.

Wenchypoo presents Comparing Working vs. Staying Home posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket.

There’s a lot to be said for frugality, and Wendy’s sayin’ it.

Warren Wong presents How To Expand Your Business Through Quality And Word Of Mouth posted at Personal Development for INTJs.

Quality products are necessary but not sufficient for a successful business. Granted, you won’t get very far without quality, but you won’t get very far without good marketing, accounting, and management.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Economics and Social Policy using our carnival submission form. Past posts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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