1. CEO pay for performance: This graph shows why it's a sham. →

    I think it’s debatable if stock price is the best way to judge CEO performance, let alone the only way, but this is a response to a really odd claim from Businessweek that attempts to link the two.

  2. William Deresiewicz, Ivy League: The persistent, misguided belief that universities can transform students into better, less-entitled people. →

    n truth, Deresiewicz doesn’t actually have a problem with out-of-touch, entitled students. He merely prefers that they learn to think in the right ways. Spending vast sums of money to purchase an education that will secure you a position at a hedge fund is bad. Spending vast sums of money on, as Deresiewicz puts it, “building a self,” is noble. The fact that pursuing a self-building education might be worthwhile doesn’t change the fact that such an education is as much of a luxury good as a yacht. In fairness, though, Deresiewicz would prefer it if more elite students opted to purchase intellect and insight at a discount. Avoiding the Ivies and going to a public school, he says, is how to prevent yourself from being an out-of-touch, entitled little shit.

    I laughed too hard at this.

  3. Sweden school choice: The country’s disastrous experiment with Milton Friedman and vouchers. →

    Advocates for choice-based solutions should take a look at what’s happened to schools in Sweden, where parents and educators would be thrilled to trade their country’s steep drop in PISA scores over the past 10 years for America’s middling but consistent results. What’s caused the recent crisis in Swedish education? Researchers and policy analysts are increasingly pointing the finger at many of the choice-oriented reforms that are being championed as the way forward for American schools. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that adding more accountability and discipline to American schools would be a bad thing, it does hint at the many headaches that can come from trying to do so by aggressively introducing marketlike competition to education.

    The argument from the right will be that it wasn’t free market enough. That if there had been less government it would have worked.

    Clearly, this reform didn’t work in Sweden. Maybe there was some basic flaw in the implementation. Maybe its just a flawed idea.

  4. Taxation of carried interest: The loophole for hedge fund managers could end tomorrow. →

    the income of a hedge fund manager is taxed at only 20 percent, which is the highest long-range capital gains rate—even though the hedge fund manager is deriving income that’s as directly earned as the wages of a steelworker.

    This loophole will never close. No tax bill that closes it will ever leave the house.

  5. The paranoid libertarian and his enemy, the angry liberal. →

    A paranoid libertarian is someone who distrusts the government to an unreasonable extent. Sunstein believes that many people who oppose gun control, health care reform, and progressive taxation fit the description. For example, a paranoid libertarian might not object to modest gun licensing requirements or background checks in principle but opposes these policies because he believes that the government will deny licenses to people who deserve them, or that a licensing rule will accustom people to gun control, paving the way to confiscation of all handguns. Sunstein argues that these beliefs are unreasonable, and because they often reflect an exaggerated sense of victimization, “paranoid” (rather than merely “unreasonable”) is the right term for them.

    Interesting article. I don’t really buy the argument but it is a pretty good read.

  6. Basic Economics Has a Liberal Bias →

    People to the left of econ 101 will typically invoke the phrase “political economy” to explain why, for example, econ 101 underrates labor unions. Conversely those to the right of econ 101 will instead invoke the phrase “public choice” to explain why, for example, econ 101 overrates utility regulation. But in both cases the critics are saying the same thing, namely that the moderately liberal policies advocated by introduction to economics textbooks are ignoring certain realities of institutional design, practical politics, power dynamics, etc.

    That is 100% spot on. I just do not see how it fits in with his title. Maybe I am missing something but it reads like Yglesias is making the mistake of confusing economics with a morality play.

  7. Dennis Rodman arrives in North Korea for strange basketball themed visit. →

    Adding to what is already, objectively, a pretty ludicrous situation, Rodman’s trip is being sponsored by the online bookmaker Paddy Power. Executives from the company told the New York Times they struck up the relationship with Rodman after hiring him to help recruit bets on whether a black Pope would succeed Pope Benedict when he stepped down in February.

    I’m glad Dennis Rodman is representing American and the interests of the American people, said no one ever.

  8. Obamacare part-timism: A myth debunked. →

    My strong suspicion is that if the ACA has an impact on the labor force (which it probably will) it will be through a different mechanism. Right now “in order to qualify for health benefits” is a very good reason to work full-time, even if you’d rather have more free time and less money at your current wage level. The Affordable Care Act will make this benefit qualification rationale less compelling,


    The changes to part time employment in the past few years has almost nothing to do with Obamacare and everything to do with improved scheduling and time management systems in retail, hospitality and fast food sectors.

  9. State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

    State tax climate: Tax Foundation shows taxes don’t matter

  10. Janet Yellen on macroprudential regulation →

    Yglesias does a good job summarizing a kind of dry speech.  I don’t think anyone should be worried about her being unqualified.