Dangerous times and making effective decisions

The 49th Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences – commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for economics – has been awarded to Richard H Thaler for his contributions to behavioural economics. Sergey V. Popov explains why.

He was a key proponent of the idea that humans do not act entirely rationally. By applying insights from psychological research, he helped the world better understand people’s economic decision-making in particular.
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I hope this Nobel Prize award will attract the public’s attention and encourage many to acknowledge the irrationality of their decision-making. As well as seeing the value in regulating financial markets so they are not susceptible to irrational behaviour, by acknowledging this tendency, we can make better plans for our futures – ones that our “doer” sides are happy to follow.

Neena Satija, Kiah Collier, and Al Shaw: Everyone Knew Houston’s Reservoirs Would Flood — Except for the People Who Bought Homes Inside Them – “This is not dumb, bad planning,” he said. “This is very well-thought-out, bad planning.” It’s willful blindness of the sort the casino depends upon. For the casino, they bet the sucker will take the low odds in hopes of winning. The homeowner takes the odds in hopes of losing. The story here is about flood control planning and preparation that wasn’t expected to be used. The same story on a smaller scale occurred in Lemmon Valley, Nevada where the Reno City council denied development permits unless the developer built above the flood levels like the sewer plant did in the sixties.

“One option was, don’t allow any development there. And it was like, well, politically we probably can’t do that,” Dunbar remembered. “So I said, another option is, make all the developers elevate the homes above the design pool” — the land behind the dams the Army Corps knew it might have to flood. Dunbar said county officials told him “that may not be practical.”

In the end, over significant opposition from developers, the county agreed to put a one-sentence disclosure of possible “controlled inundation” for plots of land in neighborhoods inside Barker. But the sentence was buried in the plat documents, which are not typically shown to homebuyers.

Charles Hurt: The general schools doltish press corps –

But a quick run through the cable channels and all anybody was talking about were the tweets. The palace intrigue. Who called whom a “moron.”

Or, as Mr. Trump calls it, “Fake News.” Somebody should check their licenses.

But even that tweet about NBC has been taken to some suggesting a Congressional Inquiry …

Scott Whitlock: Chris Cuomo Flips Out Over ‘Emperor’ Trump, Gets Schooled on ObamaCare –

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo got in a heated dispute, Friday, with Congressman Jim Jordan over Donald Trump ending ObamaCare subsidies. After asking Jordan for his opinion, Cuomo demanded a more liberal answer: “Jim, why aren’t you saying the President is acting like an emperor? And his job is to execute laws that are passed, not write his own and Congress must hold him into account for doing so.”

This is rich coming from Cuomo as he previously slammed Trump for ending Obama’s DACA action even though it was “legally dubious.” Later in the segment, the Republican schooled Cuomo on ObamaCare: “Everything that the Democrats told us about this law has turned out to be false.”

F.H. Buckley: Behind Trump’s latest moves: A return to constitutional government –

From 2013 to 2017 we experienced a period of monarchical government under good King Obama and his executive diktats. Under Trump we’re seeing a return to constitutional government. Sometimes that means that things don’t happen, and don’t get passed. But if so, it’s as the Framers intended.

Andrew C. McCarthy: Trump Faithfully Executes Obamacare; Media, Democrats Go Nuts –

In report after sky-is-falling report, the journalism wing of the media-Democrat complex castigates the president over his decision to — as the New York Times put it — “scrap subsidies to health insurance companies that help pay out of pocket costs of low-income people.”
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It’s ironic. Notwithstanding the many outrageous, mendacious things the president says and tweets, the press is aghast that his “fake news” tropes against mainstream-media stalwarts resonate with much of the country. Well, if you want to know why, this latest Obamacare coverage is why. What Trump has actually done is end the illegal payoffs without which insurance companies have no rational choice but to jack up premiums or flee the Obamacare exchanges. The culprits here are the charlatans who gave us Obamacare. To portray Trump as the bad guy is not merely fake news. It’s an out-and-out lie.
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In essence, we are back to the question we asked a couple of weeks ago in connection with Trump’s then-anticipated decertification of Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal: It is not whether the president should take this action; it is why he failed to take it before now.
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The media-Democrat narrative that President Trump is imperiously flouting the rule of law has it backwards.
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Finally, the claim that Trump is “unraveling” the ACA would be laughable were it not so cynical. You can’t unravel something by honoring its terms.
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Republicans are afraid to deep-six Obamacare because they have never explained how bad it is. They do not want to be seen as shafting the people who benefit from it, even though it is at the expense of others who are badly harmed. Meanwhile, the public does not comprehend that Obamacare is unsustainable because the GOP, fearful of being framed for its failure, is actively complicit in (or at least passively resigned to) the shenanigans by which it is propped up.

The best way to make the case for repealing an atrocious law is to execute it faithfully. That appears to be President Trump’s new approach. If so, it has a lot more promise than empty GOP campaign prattle about “repeal and replace.”

Jim Dicks: Donald Trump’s True Nature –

If you scratch below the surface of a typical Trump supporter, you’ll see a roiling resentment. Many on the left see this as an indicator of “white rage,” of impotence or envy of a fading ruling group in an increasingly ethnically diverse culture of color.

These pejorative beliefs buttress the intolerant self-righteousness of the virtue-signaling left. But if you ask Trump supporters what’s driving their anger, you’ll get a different story.
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To put it in a nutshell – we’ve had enough.
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Once it is understood that Trump’s political positions are authentic and spring from the core beliefs of our country established at its founding, that he is the tip of the spear and his intentions are trustworthy, then one can sense the awesome power he wields.
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That’s the real view of Trump by his vast legions of supporters. In him we see a fighter, fighting our fight to break the backs of the colluding cabal bringing economic suffering to our great and unique country and to shut down the drug cartels bringing death, misery, and destruction across our borders. If, in this epic fight, he uses some rough language and throws some precise arrows of insults at the corrupt political class along the way, if he offends the Peggy Noonans of the world with his “coarseness” or “vulgarity”, then so be it!

He’s got our backs. We’ve got his.

L. Todd Wood: The Boy Scouts are waging a War on Boys –

The decision by the Boy Scouts of America to admit girls is vile. It represents nothing less than the destruction of an organization that has helped millions of boys throughout the last century. Lord Baden-Powell must be turning over in his grave. Leftists will stop at nothing to destroy the culture of America.

Valerie Richardson: Black Lives Matter, police-focused NFL protests overlook rising black-on-black homicides –

the dramatic increase in black homicide victims has raised questions over whether NFL players taking a knee in a statement against racially motivated police violence are missing the larger problem.

“If these wealthy football players really cared about saving black lives, they would support proactive policing and denounce criminality,” said Ms. Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter Books, 2017). “When the police back off of proactive policing in high-crime areas, black lives are lost.”
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While the NFL kneeling began as a protest against police brutality, those involved have increasingly expanded the point to encompass what San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid described as “systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades and decades.”

Rashad Robinson, senior campaign director at Color of Change, said President Trump’s recent suggestion that owners should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem represents a view within sports that “black people serve at the pleasure of white people.”
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“It’s the communities themselves — people who are being victimized, people who are being murdered, families who are losing loved ones, kids who are afraid to go to schools, business people who won’t open up a business because the neighborhood is too rough — that’s who’s suffering,” he said.

Not all neighborhoods are hit equally.

“It tends to be poor communities, communities of color,” Mr. Johnson said. “Communities that are already suffering from higher crime rates than their neighbors who need safe, effective, thorough law enforcement.”

There is a difference between “black people serve at the pleasure of white people” and ‘all business serve at the pleasure of their customers.’  The former is identity politics and grievance that lead to impoverishment in mind and body and the latter is the essence of western culture, capitalism, and Christianity where people serve each other for mutual gain, benefit, and growth. 

Coyote: UNC Avoids Athletic Sanctions By Arguing their African-American Studies Dept. Had Staggeringly Low Academic Standards –

UNC successfully argued that it was not giving its athletes special treatment in the African-American studies department — they had low standards for all students in that department.
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Just so we are clear exactly what we are talking about, UNC, which consumers about 12.5% of the entire North Carolina state budget, freely admits, in fact desperately argues, that it was offering courses like this

Ryan Saavedra: NFL Goes Left: Won’t Force Players To Stand For Anthem, Focuses On Social Justice – “Commissioner Goodell has a plan “to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.”

The National Football League announced on Friday that it wants to use its platform to raise awareness for social justice issues and that it does not plan to mandate that players stand for the U.S. national anthem.

So it’s no longer the NFL but rather the NSJL? A business loses its identity and then wonders why its customers act like they think they’ve been had?

Scott Johnson: The Ken Burns version, cont’d –

I think the documentary seeks to fix the record in falsity. To take only one example, as I say in my “Notes,” Burns and his colleagues were apparently unable to find a soldier to recall his service in anything other than shades of disillusion, disgust and shame. Much more remains to be done on this deeply dishonest work to prevent it from becoming the received history of the war.

Richard Fernandez: After the smash – “It’s becoming increasingly hard to believe the world can return to the status quo ante,”

After several ominous rumbles outside the tower the individual creaks have finally merged into a continuous roar. Brexit, the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the crumbling of the Iran deal, America quitting UNESCO, Trump dismantling Obamacare, consular withdrawal from Cuba, the pullout from the Paris accord — these have piled on so fast they’ve acquired the character of a single collective event. Now the fall of Hollywood has followed like the inevitable comedic boulder right on Wile E. Coyote’s head at the bottom of the gulch. Are we still in Kansas anymore?
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It is as if a demolition crew has cleared a site leaving only a vacant lot. Some ask “when are the builders due?” Others more ominously ask “when are the zombies due?”
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There will be danger — perhaps immense perils — associated with this paradigm shift. Yet the danger may have even been greater had the population not risked adapting. For one thing it might have been trapped in the Tower now fallen to dust. What is manifest is the gods have fallen, leaving many institutions rudderless. The Left spent decades replacing traditional myths and social sanctions with their own structures only to see these fall to ruin.

Dangerous times need rational decision making. The zombies are gathering.

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