Links 11/10/09

Dear readers, your humble blogger is sick! Sorry for the skimpy links.

Murdoch could block Google searches entirely Guardian

Barclays’ Remarkable Bargain Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

The Periodic Table of Bloggers Slope of Hope (hat tip Jim Bianco)

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking Washington Examiner (hat tip DoctoRx)

Flood initiative shows cross-border risk Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Hosanna!! Cassandra. Funny.

Antidote du jour:


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  1. ndk

    Reposting my comments re: Murdoch here where they’re relevant, I applaud this move and I hope it works.

    I’m one of those luddites who believes people and organizations should be compensated for their efforts. Yes, even conservatives. This encourages them to produce more and better things in the future, and enjoy a higher standard of living as a result.

    The Web in general and Google in particular have been savaging the information economy for years. Google Book Search is but the most egregious example. The professional journals and their overlord publishers are getting reamed and are on the brink of giving up.

    I don’t want to see the quality of information converge towards Wikipedia. I do want to see all employees and employers who do meaningful work rewarded, and rewarded fairly. I think society is better for it, unless and until we have a suitable replacement.

    Lessig recently gave another presentation on the evolution of copyright and how it applies to the academe. He’s very influential in this community, and this community is a huge purchaser of digital content, so you may find this relevant.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      While I agree with your sentiments, the intractable part of the problem is buried within your comment, precisely at the point you use the word “fairly.”

      One of the many things I like about The Road to Serfdom is that Hayek elucidates how broad markets give the market participants context with which to determine whether deals are “fair” or not. Without such context, in let’s say a non-market economy, it is much more difficult to have a rational argument about fair value.

      Unfortunately, there is no real, broad, state-of-nature free market in intellectual goods without government intervention, without the thorough crafting of intellectual property rights (length, breadth, and exceptions) by the State. It is much more difficult to judge “fairness” here, and I fear the whole attempt may be more expensive than the benefits. As I always like to remind people, your quest for fairness is going to be expensive, whether you like it or not; so be sure you really need it before you go searching for it.

  2. IF

    Thanks for fixing. The Pfizer story is quite something. Hope the supreme court members will read it.

    And, Gesundheit!, of course.

  3. fresno dan

    Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

    “Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.”

    Hmmm…maybe there were endangered weeds? Or just make it a weed sanctuary?

    I was looking at google maps, and my hometown of Fresno, Ca. Years ago Fresno decided, despite being not that big, and the fact that nobody went downtown, that it needed a freeway (indeed a whole slew) connecting the north part to downtown (to quickly cover the vast distance of…O, say 7 miles at most). How many homes destroyed? Thousands???. Anyway, on Google you can see the traffic on that freeway, and it is less than the amount of traffic on a main street in Rockville, MD at 4 am.

    Not to draw too many hypotheticals, but the whole idea of “development” or “investment” is too often just boosterism, with a heavy dose of self interest and a startling naive idea that any “improvement” will pay off, and in fact will make things better – instead of worse.

  4. jbmoore

    Dear Yves,

    Sorry that you are ill. With all the stress you’ve been under with the book deadline, it’s no wonder that your immune system missed one invader and now you have to rest some in order to recover. Hope you have a speedy recovery and that it’s a very minor illness.

    All the best,

  5. David

    Hi – I am trying to get in touch with Richard Smith, seen often on this blog. Can anybody advise a contact? My email dwigan at Tks much. d

  6. dearieme

    “With all the stress you’ve been under with the book deadline, it’s no wonder that your immune system missed one invader”: see, it’s all your fault, Yves. I shall assume, on the contrary, that it isn’t. Get well soon.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    About today’s featured animal, does he have some squid blood in him?

    He looks like he got his snout from his squid father.

  8. larry

    I hope that websites start charging; I’ll get my life back since the web will no longer be a candy story.

  9. gordon

    I see that Dean Baker has done some back of an envelope calculations to update the 2007 CEPR report on the economic impact of military spending. His piece (dated 10 Nov.) is here:

    The 2007 report was a modelling study done by an outfit called Global Insight, contracted by CEPR.

    An extract from Baker’s recent piece:

    “Global Insight’s model projected that after 20 years the economy would be about 0.6 percentage points smaller as a result of the additional defense spending. Slower growth would imply a loss of almost 700,000 jobs compared to a situation in which defense spending had not been increased. Construction and manufacturing were especially big job losers in the projections, losing 210,000 and 90,000 jobs, respectively.

    “The scenario we asked Global Insight to model turned out to have vastly underestimated the increase in defense spending associated with current policy. In the most recent quarter, defense spending was equal to 5.6 percent of GDP. By comparison, before the September 11th attacks, the Congressional Budget Office projected that defense spending in 2009 would be equal to just 2.4 percent of GDP. Our post-September 11th build-up was equal to 3.2 percentage points of GDP compared to the pre-attack baseline. This means that the Global Insight projections of job loss are far too low.

    “The impact of higher spending will not be directly proportionate in these economic models. In fact, it should be somewhat more than proportionate, but if we just multiple the Global Insight projections by 3, we would see that the long-term impact of our increased defense spending will be a reduction in GDP of 1.8 percentage points. This would correspond to roughly $250 billion in the current economy, or about $800 in lost output for every person in the country.

    “The projected job loss from this increase in defense spending would be close to 2 million…”.

    The 2007 report can be found here:

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