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September 2003

September 30, 2003

Old story in a new form. Some people have not learned that markets are usually efficient and that therefore, true bargains are hard to find.

"The most obvious lesson to be learned from reading Kenneth’s e-mail is how tentative and embarrassed people feel when they challenge a seller’s legitimacy. Consumers looking to send $2,000 to a complete stranger they will never see in person are dramatically apologetic when questioning the seller’s credentials, an attitude easily manipulated by a con artist."

Joe Queenan offers a spirited defense of New York City. But since 1) it comes partly at the expense of Raleigh-Durham, where I live and 2) there was yesterday's post about the outrageous cost of living in NYC, his defense fails to persuade. He can have the Vermeers.

Sigh. A new way to criticize Microsoft's "monopoly."

The debate about tracking in the public schools goes on. And on and on and on. The Door says give parents more power to choose and let the market sort it out.

September 29, 2003

On September 17 I argued that Richard Hofstadter's famous piece, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" was newly relevant today, albeit applied to the extreme left wing rather than the right wing Hofstadter originally discussed.

Today, renowned (and new Bradley Award winner) columnist Charles Krauthammer ends his column as follows: "Kennedy's rant reflects the Democrats' blinding Bush-hatred, and marks its passage from partisanship to pathology."

Pathology. Newmark's Door: remember where you read it first!

(Also see Rich Lowry's hilarious recounting of "What Democrats Believe.")

Note to soon-to-be college graduates: be careful when assessing salary offers in New York City. The cost of living there is . . . really, really high.

Thomas Sowell has been on a white-hot rant about the public schools. It has three parts, all are great, but the third part is the best.

"The Coolest Car in L.A."

September 28, 2003

A very fine analysis of how California got into its current mess by Hal Varian. He states two economic lessons worth remembering:

1. "a deregulated wholesale market and a regulated retail market is a recipe for disaster."

2. "don't spend transitory income on permanent commitments."

Some French workers are unhappy about that wonderful, creative way to reduce unemployment, the 35-hour work week. "While the extra leisure time is appreciated, most employees resent the way wages have been held down to absorb higher costs."

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