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July 20, 2015

"Don’t Wait Until 70 To Retire. Here’s Why."

Interesting piece that originally appeared on the Forbes site but was yanked. Unlike dozens of experts who advise waiting until 70 to collect Social Security--free money!--this piece suggests there's a good reason not to wait

And here's another piece that makes a similar point: "Would You Take 77 Cents For Every Dollar Social Security Owes You?"

Related: that nifty "spousal benefit"? That might not last, either:

"Our impression is that it was not specifically intended that this opportunity would be provided," Stephen Goss, the Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, told Kestenbaum. . . . 

President Obama's current budget proposal calls for eliminating aggressive Social Security strategies that benefit the wealthy, such as this one. Ultimately, "It will take an act of Congress to close the hole that it has created," says Kestenbaum.

"2016 Election: Americans Vote With Their Feet Daily, And The Winner? Texas"

Texas is clobbering California. Of course, Professor Krugman believes it's the weather:

His response to the far superior economic performance of Texas and Florida over California and New York, for example, was to argue that the migration is due to air conditioning. Most of the audience howled at that one, but he wasn't joking. Apparently people are moving from San Diego to Houston for the weather.

Related: "Oil Shock May Slow Texas, But Its Miracle Is Beyond Crude".

"Interest rate forecasters are shockingly wrong almost all of the time"

I can't say I'm "shocked": macroeconomics is hard.

July 14, 2015

"The Socialist Revival?"

Sam Peltzman considers which way we'll go.

(TL;DR: he doesn't know, but he draws hope from an indication of increasing tax evasion.)

"Public Safety Was the Last Thing on Their Minds"

"So why have traffic courts become hanging courts?"

As I frequently do here at the Door, I invite you to guess.

July 13, 2015

"Does “I, Pencil” Need a Pro-Government Update?"

George Leef answers--energetically, concisely, and beautifully--"No!"

One of their ideas is that government should adopt policies that will “nudge” people to do what they “really want to do,” but can’t sufficiently discipline themselves to do. They extol the book Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, which purports to show how government can “encourage” people to act in preferable ways, without dictating behavior to them.

But why can’t we rely entirely on voluntary efforts by concerned individuals and organizations to do that encouraging? Churches, for example, have been encouraging people to behave better for millennia; Alcoholics Anonymous has been helping people recover from alcohol abuse since 1935; parents have been “nudging” children to make wiser decisions since time immemorial. Why look to government policy?

"Female Managers Do Not Reduce the Gender Wage Gap, [UC Berkeley B-School] Study Finds

So it's not just The Man keeping women down? Apparently not:

Working women are “leaning in” and supporting more females in leadership roles, but a new study finds that having a female manager doesn’t necessarily equate to higher salaries for female employees. In fact, women can sometimes take an earnings hit relative to their male colleagues when they go to work for a female manager.

"Capitol Hill Update: Long-Term Fiscal Outlook Remains Bleak"

The bad news coming remains the same. You've been warned.

Related: "Social Security Is the Titanic Headed For the Iceberg" and "America's Coming Transfer of Wealth".

July 08, 2015

"Inside the Johns Hopkins finance class that's 'guaranteed' to get you a job on Wall Street"

And it's an undergraduate class.

Chu's classmates are other undergraduates (during a discussion of the Russian-ruble crisis of 1998, a student points out she was 4 years old). They look like other 20-somethings in a Friday-afternoon seminar, with their heads in hand and droopy-eyed faces buried in laptops. You wouldn't know they're even paying attention, but when the professor tosses out an unexpected question — about an intricate math equation or the name of a Nobel laureate — they snap back answers in seconds.

Professor Steve Hanke, who's been at Hopkins for 45 years, created the course two decades ago. It's evolved but has always focused on "producing the top people in the country."

"A Grecian Formula for Courting Disaster"

From yesterday's Wall Street Journal by two distinguished economists. Quite useful perspective on the claim advanced by some on the Left about the poor, poor Greeks unfairly menaced by the big, bad Germans.

The people of Greece have voted decisively that they don’t want further government spending reductions or additional cuts to the social-welfare state. That is all well and good. But now Greeks must also decide on a way to pay for what they do want. Greece cannot demand to be treated like a Egypt-type client state but also demand to be a card-carrying member of the euro. 

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