11. WANTED: Bumbo baby sitter
12. OFFER: Ferret cage
close enough in my book.
for those of you who are unaware: Freecycle. a place where you can get a bag of 2T (toddler) clothes for $0, and sort through what you might want to use and what ought to be thrown away (or Freecycled to another…)
good stuff. unfortunately treadmills and ellipticals rarely come available…
Yeah, virtually the day after I called him names on my blog, Paul Krugman wins the Nobel. Makes me look a little silly, doesn’t it? In my defense, he’s being recognized for seriously influential economics work that he did, like, 20 years ago — not for the humorless op-ed stuff he does now in the NYT.
Of course, I was completely unaware that he was a serious, influential economist until this award, and for that I am clearly exposed as an ignoramous. Or at least for going off half-cocked, picking a fight against someone clearly out of my league. Oh well.
Friedman, Gladwell — if you want me to pick on you next fall, maybe you too can be America’s Next Hot Economist.
A pleasant surprise from the Washington Post:
the idea that the United States, the world’s single largest energy consumer, can be independent of the $5 trillion-per-year energy business — the world’s single biggest industry — is ludicrous on its face. The push for energy independence is based on a series of false premises.
They identified five myths about energy independence:
- Energy independence will reduce or eliminate terrorism.
- A big push for alternative fuels will break our oil addiction.
- Energy independence will let America choke off the flow of money to nasty countries.
- Energy independence will mean reform in the Muslim world.
- Energy independence will mean a more secure U.S. energy supply.
And the said the same thing I always say:
Remember, the two largest suppliers of crude to the U.S. market are Canada and Mexico
Whole article here.
An even better example, written up in the Boulder Weekly (tip to Reason):
Richard’s son, Sean, found a great bargain on AirHeads (a taffy-like candy), at Costco.
“I offered to help him buy the product, if he would pay me back,” Richard said. “We sat down and did the math. He was getting 90 in a box that cost about $12 dollars. Based on what he was able to sell an AirHead for, he was getting a 900 percent profit — almost a tenfold markup. That seemed like a pretty good enterprise. He was clearing at least $150 a week in profit.”
Sean treated his mother to dinner and a movie [and] bought an iPod. He bought a fancy gaming keyboard with multiple interchangeable sets of keys, new shoes, a sweatshirt and a hoodie.
“In a devious sort of way, I was proud of him,” Richard said. “One the other hand, we had this sense that something was wrong with this picture. We kind of knew that the school didn’t want him doing this. We also worried that it would all become a bit too enticing. And then, when the customers are too old to want candy, what’s he going to sell? Drugs. That was our concern. We worried that he would be unable to resist the money, and would sell whatever the customer wanted.
I was saddened that the father made this connection — or as Reason put it:
Candy didn’t use to be a gateway drug. Now it is. Thanks, school board!
I dealt Coke (Classic, sometimes Diet) at summer camp; as a camp counselor I’d have cases under my bunk and under-cut the “Tuck shop” by a dime or a quarter. Counselors would get a day off each week that we could run into town and I could restock — the poor campers were stuck there for two weeks straight.
For the record, I never made anywhere near 900% profit. I like to think my campers liked me, but I have no doubt they would have ratted me out to the camp management if I tried to squeeze them.
What is AirHeads secret ingredient that makes kids NEED to have it? Crack?
so my Wife relays to me the following story (November 1st or 2nd):
You know how when you pull into our cul-du-sac you turn head-on to number [xx]? Well I turn the corner today, and there are the neighborhood kids with a sign in the driveway: “Candy 25 cents”. I stopped beside the driveway and asked them if they were really selling Hollowe’en candy, and they said yes, but “only the candy they didn’t like”. “THEY’RE TRYING TO SELL OUR OWN CANDY BACK TO US!!!!”
I’m glad the Wifey relayed the story to me over the phone, cuz I’m sure it took the sting off the laugh I gave when she was done. What did she expect? I was proud of these kids, trying to turn their Hallowe’en booty into cold-hard cash. I mean really, from an economic point of view, if people are willing to give you something for nothing (or virtually nothing, since costumes seem to be optional nowadays), why not try to sell the proceeds for a profit?
obviously, she didn’t buy anything. and given that we had about 125,000 calories worth of left-over candy at our house, I didn’t object. but come on — these kids had the right idea*
* the other thing the Wife was upset at was the idea that the kids were selling back candy “they didn’t want”. Butterfingers, I believe, were the main thing they were pushing. They were not trying to return the KitKats or Peanut Butter Cups that we liked, or she might have bought them back. Again, I saw this as an example of the free-market at work…
the other day, when I admitted that I didn’t understand exactly what this whole sub-prime lending situation was, someone convinced me that the loans were being made at lower than the prime rate (sub-“prime rate”). that sounded absurd to me — how could a bank loan at less than the incredibly low interest rates that were available to prime borrowers? convinced is a strong word — I objected, and they persisted, so I stopped arguing with them (A HA! I shouldn’t have caved — may that be the last time I ever do THAT!)
anyways, as Wikipedia sayeth:
The term “subprime” refers to the credit status of the borrower (being less than ideal), not the interest rate on the loan itself.
alas, I didn’t have Wikipedia available when I was having that discussion. am I the only guy that wishes I had the Internet available in my peripheral vision at all times, just like the Terminator and his heads-up display? that should be available soon enough, I imagine.
more on why we shouldn’t bail out the subprime debacle by the chief economist at the Waffle House (??!?)…