"Incentivizing Quality Education: UNC System Proposes New Funding Strategy"

What they don't seem to understand is what will happen to the definition of "quality". Wanna bet it gets grossly distorted from what is contemplated in the "new funding strategy"?

The new appropriations formula will be multiplying the change in performance-weighted student credit hours by the appropriation per credit hour (which is based on national data). Performance‐weighted student credit hours will be calculated for the institutions based on the individual goals for each institution as approved by the BOG. 


"I Was Wrong. So, So Wrong."

A single-payer advocate totally changes her mind.

I made that argument so many times, over and over. “The lack of some kind of public health insurance option is crippling the economy! Stifling innovation! Keeping entrepreneurs out of the marketplace! We could revitalize the economy from top to bottom in one year if we fixed this!” was my favorite hobby horse, to the point that even friends who agreed with me asked me to STFU about it, more than once.

I . . . was wrong.

I was so, so, so, wrong.


The baby formula problem is an application of Newmark's Third Law

"When you see puzzling behavior in a market or a hard-to-explain institution, ask first: is a government regulation or bureaucracy involved?"

See "How Government Made the Baby-Formula Shortage Worse," "The U.S. Baby Formula Shortage Is the FDA's Fault," and "Rock‐​a‐​Bye Trade Restrictions on Baby Formula". (Note that there is little overlap in the explanations offered by these three pieces.)

And for a spirited critique of the administration's plan to deal with the shortage see "The White House Plan on Baby Formula Is Classic Biden".


"Robbing Peter to Pay Paul? The Redistribution of Wealth Caused by Rent Control"

Yet another government policy touted as helping the poor that apparently . . . doesn't.

We use the price effects caused by the passage of rent control in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2021, to study the transfer of wealth across income groups. First, we find that rent control caused property values to fall by 6-7%, for an aggregate loss of $1.6 billion. Both owner-occupied and rental properties lost value, but the losses were larger for rental properties, and in neighborhoods with a higher concentration of rentals. Second, leveraging administrative parcel-level data, we find that the tenants who gained the most from rent control had higher incomes and were more likely to be white, while the owners who lost the most had lower incomes and were more likely to be minorities. For properties with high-income owners and low-income tenants, the transfer of wealth was close to zero. Thus, to the extent that rent control is intended to transfer wealth from high-income to low-income households, the realized impact of the law was the opposite of its intention.


Two pieces arguing that Americans should be more optimistic

Kevin D. Williamson, "America’s Unwarranted Pessimism".

We Americans suffer from a pronounced bias toward pessimism, a very strange intellectual defect for a people as inexplicably blessed as we are. We love our disaster porn. It wasn’t that long ago that all the best people assured us that we were at “peak oil” and that the United States would never be able to compete with energy superpowers such as Saudi Arabia. That view found a large and committed constituency — a constituency it still enjoys, even after the facts have discredited the prediction. 

Bret Stephens, "Can We Still Be Optimistic About America?" (NY Times, possibly gated.)

Even without the daily reminders of Carter-era inflation, this feels like another era of Carter-style malaise, complete with an unpopular president who tends to inspire more sympathy than he does confidence.

So why am I still an optimist when it comes to America? Because while we are bent, our adversaries are brittle. As we find ways to bend, they can only remain static or shatter.


"Lawyers: From Mainstays of the Republic to Progressive Rent-Seekers"

One of my late dad's favorite solutions to the Ills that Beset Us was to demand that fewer lawyers serve in Congress and that Congressfolks have a broader span of occupational backgrounds. (And also, with a very few possible  exceptions, to insist that any law Congress passes apply to Congress as well.)

Related: "The Lawyers’ War on Law".