…is from page 81 of Charles Murray’s The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life:
All of the important evidence on topics such as global warming, income inequality, the effects of second hand smoke, or attempts to help disadvantaged children – topics you probably have opinions about – is quantitative and statistical. No one can have informed opinions about such topics without being able to appraise the evidence, which in turn requires a thorough understanding of probability and its calibration.
TheCafe’s quote of the day is so good i just had to re-post it in it’s entirety:
[It] is from page 101 of James Gwartney’s and Richard Stroup’s marvelous 1993 primer, What Everyone Should Know About Economics and Prosperity (original emphasis):
Similarly, the record of government planning in the United States is fraught with internal inconsistencies. The federal government both subsidizes tobacco growers and propagandizes against smoking. It pays some farmers not to produce grain products and, at the same time, subsidizes others with irrigation projects so they can grow more of the very same grain products. Government programs for dairy farmers keep the price of milk high, while its subsidies to the school lunch program make the expensive milk more affordable. Government regulations mandating stronger bumpers make automobiles safer, while the governments Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards make them lighter and more dangerous. Both increase the cost of automobiles.
Those who think that central planning will promote economic progress are naive. When business enterprises get more funds from governments and less from consumers, they will spend more time trying to satisfy politicians and less time satisfying customers. Predictably, this reallocation of resources will lead to economic regression rather than prosperity.
Anecdotes like these are seemingly infinite and they will make your head spin if you’re not careful.
I’m not sure what will become of this blog now that I’m posting again, but I struggled enough to be functionally articulate when I wrote everyday. In my current job, I seldom have occasion to write anything of substance.
I am posting here again on the assumptions that:
I won’t always have the job I do now.
It may at some point in the future be important that I can write well, or at least write.
Good writing takes practice.
With all that, here I shall practice. Often, I hope.
Postscript: Interesting to look through the backside of this blog after almost two years. Maintaining a blog worth reading not only requires good writing, but also good management. Probably more on that later.