Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GDP By Country


Trying to compare GDP per capita by country and then include other likely drivers is difficult. On the one hand you have countries like Liechtenstein and Luxembourg near the top of the list who are not relying on natural resources to drive their economy. Then there are the various Arab states and Norway who are benefiting from oil.

My thoughts are to expand this into a matrix and include each country's debt as % of GDP, % of GDP spent on military, total population, health care as % of GDP, primary industry, form of government, and corporate tax rate. Then I would like to run a multiple linear regression to see if there are any attributes that are statistically valid determinants of GDP. Let me know if there are any other attributes you believe should be included.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Repeating History


Did you watch the debates last night? If you did maybe you were trying to remember the George Santayana quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Ron Paul was one of the four who apparently learned from our Iraq mistake about bad intelligence and urges caution about dealing with Iran. Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich are either stupid or have ulterior motives like keeping the US war machine cranked up. I really would like to have a favorable opinion of Romney but he keeps giving me big reasons to take pause. But, attacking Iran at this point in time does not make me feel safer.

Over at the economic blog Angry Bear we find this little blurb and see a short writeup about the lunacy.  Last night Gingrich openly questioned how smart our Joints Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey is in regards to future military adventures. Only the politicians know. What could the Generals know?

Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul................


Sunday, February 19, 2012

When did our Politicians Stop Representing The Voters? Part I


Two interesting articles came to my attention. The first one by David Frum, former WSJ and Forbes writer, speechwriter in Bush II administration, and American Enterprise Institute (a Pub think-tank) policy writer. He wrote When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?

The second was by Jonathan Chait, currently a writer for New York Magazine, on liberal disappointment with Obama called When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? He writes that if liberals are always disappointed with the Dem president maybe it has something to do with unrealistic expectations.

This subject makes me feel a little crazy. If the GOP has lost touch with reality and by extension, the far-right side of the population and if we see far-left liberals as unreasonable which is fairly easy for most folks to understand and when we look at our dysfunctional congress that abdicates its responsibility to the executive branch, refuses to tackle the real problems with deficits, executive branch war making, corporate take-over of the election process, and fixing the banking laws put in place during the depression that were subsequently gutted and allowed another banking crisis in 2008, then it makes you wonder if the whole world has gone insane.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recession Coming?


In this interview of economist, Lacy Hunt by Kate Wellin, the current world economic status is reviewed with particular attention to the U.S. The primary focus is current government debt levels and what those mean to future prosperity. The interview also goes into economic theory and comparison of the U.S. situation with Europe which is actually buying Uncle Sam some time. But, time is running out and if the latest budget proposal from President Obama does not scare the bejeezers out of you,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Must the Rich be Lured into Investing?

Link to Brin's blog here......

David Brin is just making so much sense lately. He slices and dices supply-side economics and trickle-down economics to pieces. We all knew on one level they did not make sense. It was like someone telling you that eating cookies will make you thin because all that sugar is going to hype up your metabolism and then your body will burn it off. Yea right!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

American Gridlock Part 2 - Why The “Left” And The “Right” Are Both Wrong


In this part 2 article, Dr Brock goes further into the 2008 economic crisis that still grips the world today. He also attempts to craft win-win solutions that are not partisan politic driven. I have not read the book yet so my notes are based on the two teaser articles written so far.  Understanding game/bargaining theory and the noted background writing of Mordecai Kurz would help the interested person more fully comprehend what Dr Brock used to build his model.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Societal IQ and Leadership

This post is based on the musings in a Bruce Charlton post regarding IQ and leadership in different societies. First consider IQ scores by country.  Then look at a map of IQ score averages.

First Charlton supposes what is the probable level of IQ needed for leadership. His reasoning is logical.
Suppose that the threshold IQ for effective leadership is about 105 (roughly the top one third of the population of England, when IQ is normed at 100 average and with a standard deviation of 15). In other words, by IQ 105 I mean a level of general intelligence (as measurable by capacity for abstract and systematic thinking, ease of memorising, swiftness of calculation etc.) which is somewhat but not much above average for European natives. (This is roughly the IQ of an effective foreman, police or Army Sergeant, or a master craftsman - somebody with potentially high technical skills, good practical reason and tactical nous.) I am suggesting that IQ 105 is the threshold for 'intellectuals' in a global and historical context - for those who take leadership roles in social domains requiring cognitive expertise (most obviously priests, sorcerers, sacred kings, law makers and judges, in military societies those roles where 'generalship' is required and so on).
 So, if you think back now to the IQ map and look at Africa, parts of South, Central and Latin America you would start to think there is no way those countries have enough leaders to function. Yet, some of those countries seem to be getting along (Brazil with a 87) while others not-so-well (Haiti with a 67). Yes, that is a 20 point difference and probably correlates well with Charlton's next point.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl 2012: Everything You Need to Know About Watching It Online

Since I don't have cable I usually go out to a restaurant or bar to watch the Super Bowl. Hopefully, NBC's website will not crash or slow down to a crawl. Link to this post....
Super Bowl 2012: Everything You Need to Know About Watching It Online