Friday, November 25, 2016

A funny joke

There's a funny joke you can play with the fortunes you get out of fortune cookies.  Just add, "... in bed" to the end.  "You will have good luck tonight" becomes, "You will have good luck tonight in bed" and so on.  The suffix changes the nature of the statement, typically to something amusing and occasionally to something outrageous.

You can play a similar game with passages talking about the America's constitution, democracy, and political economy.  Just add, "... with President Trump" to the end.

Here's an example from Acemoglu and Robinson's "Why Nations Fail:"
Secure property rights, the law, public services, and the freedom to contract and exchange all rely on the state, the institution with the coercive capacity to impose order, prevent theft and fraud, and enforce contracts between private parties.  To function well, society also needs other public services: roads and a transport network so that goods can be transported, a public infrastructure so that economic activity can flourish, and some type of basic regulation to prevent fraud and malfeasance.  Though many of these public services can be provided by markets and private citizens, the degree of coordination necessary to do so on a large scale often eludes all but a central authority.  The state is thus inexorably intertwined with economic institutions.
 It's a deep and complex thought on what society needs, and how government and private interests can provide it.  Now read it again but add "... with President Trump" to the end.  The statement becomes a sick parody of itself, a mockery of economics and politics.

I wonder how academics will keep a straight face while they work under Trump.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What Opponents of Measure 97 Accomplished

Public services in general and schools in particular were looking down the barrel of a gun because of PERS costs.  Measure 97 was a way to shield them.  It would have given time for the legislature to find a legally enforceable reform package, at the expense of someone other than our children.

But Measure 97 failed.  That didn't solve PERS either, the vote against M97 changed nothing about pension obligations or the politics around it.  We're no more likely to reform PERS than we were before the election, or if M97 had passed.

All opponents of Measure 97 did was put our kids are on the firing line

Nice going, dicks.

Why I no longer read editorials in the Oregonian

The 2016 election wasn't just a political choice, it was a moral one. 

Trump is a racist and a bigot.  His politics is to scapegoat: not to solve problems but to use them to incite hate against anyone he can mark as "Other."  Trump's political lineage flows through no American, foreign despots like Putin and Saddam Hussein are his heroes.  Trump is an affront to America's democracy and a threat to its citizens.

On that choice, the OEB had no opinion.  No opinion about a man who threatens fundamental freedoms like speech and press.  No opinion about whether women in the military should have to salute Donald Trump as their commander in chief.  No opinion on whether Trump's bigotry sbould be embraced or condemned.  No opinion on his religious tests or his threat to deport millions.  On the moral choice which is now the struggle of our times, the OEB was silent.

They are boot lickers.

I don't need to read their words to know what passes from their lips.