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February 2007

February 28, 2007

Would Liberals like this Dutch tax policy?

From time to time certain people--I won't mention names or political persusasions--use Europe as an exemplar of good public policy. "We should ban the death penalty like the Europeans do." "We should have much more generous welfare policies, like the Europeans do."

And so on.

I've been meaning to keep a list entitled, "Do You Really Approve of All of Europe's Policies?" This brief description of Dutch tax policy would be near the top of the list. (The link to the original ABC news story seems to be broken.)

This site cautions about the representativeness of its data but based on it what reports, North Carolinians are paying one of the highest average credit-card APRs in the country. And Michigan residents seem to be paying, by far, the lowest rate.

C-Net runs an article with a tone of semi-panic, "Limited choices for Windows XP holdouts". The thesis is that if you don't want Vista on your PC, you soon will have "limited" choice.

My prediction: if there are a significant number of users who don't want Vista, there will be a thriving market in XP boxes on places like EBay.

February 27, 2007

Sowell on SF golf courses

Thanks to Thomas Sowell you can read about the it-would-be-sad-if-it-weren't-funny story of San Francisco's six municipal golf courses. Which are losing money. But which can't, of course, be shut down.

Liberals and government at their finest.

Another reason why markets are beautiful

Why the free market is beautiful: a good idea, a lot of moxie, and a little luck, and you can make some money (at least for a while). Have a look at "10 Unconventional But Successful Online Homebusiness Ideas".

This sounds like very good news, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

Yet crime reports, victimization surveys and public health measures consistently reveal something else: large declines in the percentages of young women reporting violence against them, especially sexual attacks, and of young men committing rape and other violent offenses

February 26, 2007

The always-interesting--really!--Joel Spolsky lists his "Seven Steps to Remarkable Customer Service".

When customers have a problem and you fix it, they’re actually going to be even more satisfied than if they never had a problem in the first place.

It has to do with expectations. Most people’s experience with tech support and customer service comes from airlines, telephone companies, cable companies, and ISPs, all of whom provide generally awful customer service. It’s so bad you don’t even bother calling any more, do you? So when someone calls Fog Creek, and immediately gets through to a human, with no voice mail or phone menus, and that person turns out to be nice and friendly and actually solves their problem, they’re apt to think even more highly of us than someone who never had the opportunity to interact with us and just assumes that we’re average.

Three cheers for the Las Vegas Review Journal

Very nice to see that at least one newspaper editorial board has learned a little economics.

In a few more months it will be the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Wow.

The famous Bob Weir recalls that "it wasn't all that great". But then it was a long time ago and "Stuff gets mixed up".

How proud they must be at Princeton to hear one of their famous eating clubs described as ". . . a vice den that would make Tony Montana weep."

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