Saturday, August 22, 2015

Skeptical about Economic Models? Don't Trust Climate Models Either, Then.

This is a repost of an entry at Ecconoseur, a blog that Rick Evans, Jason DeBacker and I run, but which has been in active for some time.

I read an interesting article at The Market Mogul today entitled, "The Problem with Economic Models," by Aarondeep Hothi.  I reproduce the essay below.

The Problem with Economic Models
Aarondeep Hothi

Economic models are everywhere. They're used both implicitly and explicitly by politicians, economists, journalists and even the general public. These models somehow manage to wrap entire concepts in beautifully presented mathematics and graphs before presenting clear, concise conclusions. They provide a framework for digesting things such as how wages are determined, the effects of a living wage, how countries can grow after exhausting the gains from capital accumulation, the effects of certain policy decisions and many, many more key economic concepts. What could possibly go wrong when applying them to the real world?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two Snake River Waterfalls

From its headwaters near Yellowstone National Park to its confluence with the Columbia River at Kennewick, Washington the Snake River runs a little over 1000 miles.  Most of that is in the state of Idaho.
Shoshone Falls

Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon is a national monument run by the U.S. Park Service.  It is located in central Idaho.  The visitor's center is near Arco, Idaho.

Looking East from Inferno Cone

Hell's Half Acre

Hells Half Acre is a lava field in southeast Idaho near the town of Blackfoot.  Interstate 15 passes through the southeast corner of the field for a few miles and there is a rest stop about a mile from the southern entrance.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cahokia Mounds

I visited Cahokia Mounds today.  It is a very interesting site, and has a great museum or, as they call it, interpretive center.  Cahokia was the historically largest urban center in North America north of Mexico until the mid 1700's when Philadelphia surpassed it.  At its height more than 20,000 people lived in the six square miles centered around the complex of mounds there.
View of Downtown St. Louis from the top of Monks Mound
The largest structure there is Monks Mound, which rises more that 100 feet above the surrounding countryside and was ultimately a multi-level terraced temple complex.  Again, the largest one north of Mexico.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

iPhone Photos between Salt Lake City and St. Louis.

I flew from Salt Lake to St. Louis today and it was great weather for taking photos out the window!  Check it out!  Taken with my iPhone 6; in airplane mode, of course.
Wasatch Front from the North

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New York 2015

At the end of June I took a trip with Yeongmi and Joan to New York City for the Eastern Economics Association Meetings.  The meetings went well.  I gave a paper and one of my students from BYU presented another. Both on economic inequality, BTW.

But here is the travel report!

Taiwan 2014, Part 3

On June 25th through the 27th, we left Taipei and headed down the east coast of the island to Taroko Gorge.  This was a spectacular trip with some very stunning scenery.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Taiwan 2014, Part 2

The remainder of the report on Taiwan.  For the first half, see this post.

Friday - Sunday, June 20 - 22

 June 20th - 22nd was the Asia Meetings of the Econometric Society.  Since we were staying at an apartment in Ximending and the conference was at Academia Sincia, this involved a ride on the subway and then a cab ride to campus.  The conference was very good and I enjoyed the sessions.  I presented my paper on the last day, of course.

While I was busy advancing the frontiers of knowledge, Yeongmi and Joan were busy seeing the sights.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rambling About Inequality

In case you really want to see me ramble, here is a podcast from BYU's David M. Kennedy Center from February 11th.  I am discussing Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Actually, I use this more as a jumping off point to talk about a couple of projects I've been working on which you can download below.

A Discussion of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Photos from Ancestral Puebloan Ruins

Here are my favorite photos from Mesa Verde National Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument from last week.

Mesa Verde National Park

Politicians are the Worst Kind of Hypocrits

I don't normally get overtly political, but this kind of hypocrisy (which happens routinely across the political spectrum, by the way) just demands a response.

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK/DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - "Hillary Clinton, under pressure from the left wing of her Democratic Party to aggressively campaign against income inequality, voiced concern about the hefty paychecks of some corporate executives in an email to supporters.

Striking a populist note, Clinton, who announced on Sunday she was running for president in 2016, said American families were still facing financial hardship at a time 'when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes.' "

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Like Uber... A Lot!

I've been reading a lot about Uber over the past long while, but living in Orem, Utah, have been unable to really try it out.

This past week on a 4-day business trip to Washington, DC I've used it a couple if times myself and numerous times with a group.  I really like it and here are a few reasons why:

Venetian Landscape Paintings

I spent a few hours yesterday (April 4, 2015) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.  Most of that time was spent looking at early Italian painting and paintings by the Dutch masters in the west wing of the main floor.
The Fortress of Königstein

I fell in love with several landscape/architecture paintings by Venetian masters.  Mostly from this gallery

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tetonic Symmetry

Lonely hill
A bird of prey swoops
Eerie darkening skies loom
Dry grasses ripple in the pale sun
A herd of deer gathers at the meadow's edge
The reds, oranges and yellows of Fall are long fled
Stands of bare white aspen mingle with blue spruce and Douglas fir
Restless waves build on the midnight water of the lake
Far away granite peaks point to the heavens
A cold stream grey and wet rushes by
Small creatures huddle for warmth
Autumn is dying
Chill winds blow

Mary's Dog - A Poem

Mary got herself a dog, the cutest little pup
It played and tugged at her heartstrings and then the dog grew up

Mary left her dog at home when she went off to work
The dog chewed up her brand new shoes just like a total jerk

Mary took her dog with her when she went for a walk
I spied a cat, it broke the leash and chased it 'round the block

Mary traveled out of town and left her dog with Dad
And when the doggy misbehaved the old man got quite mad

Mary went to bed one night, her dog outside the door
At dawn the dog was in the bed and she was on the floor

Mary gave her dog a treat to teach it to behave
The treat was gone in no time flat into its mouthy cave

Mary let her dog outside when it began to bark
When she found spots burned in her lawn, she took it to the park

Mary's dog had "accidents" outside the hallway door
Mary got the carpet changed after she fixed the floor

Mary's dog got old and frail and finally met its end
Without her dog the world seems less, her heart may never mend