October 23, 2004

And I Thought It Was The Heavy Food

Edward Prescott, co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics, asks:

Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?

Here's a startling fact: Based on labor market statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Americans aged 15-64, on a per-person basis, work 50% more than the French. Comparisons between Americans and Germans or Italians are similar. What's going on here? What can possibly account for these large differences in labor supply?

The answer? Marginal tax rates. It's a fascinating economic analysis. Read the article (and then go back to work!).

Posted by Avocare at 12:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

Mr. Saigon

My friend and colleague Jeff Grimshaw has just completed a trip to Vietnam, working to help local orphanages—including the one from which he received his stunning daughter Anna several years ago.

What he saw and experienced is moving … and online via a Flickr photostream he's created. Click the pic and check it out.

Posted by Avocare at 04:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

Did Somebody Step On A Duck?

Esquire has a nice, and free, “What I've Learned” from the late (and great) Rodney Dangerfield. He didn't have an easy life, and in the face of it his humor was remarkable. Among the gems is this account of how a legend was born:

I started over again with an image: “Nothing goes right.” Then when The Godfather came out, all I heard was, “Show respect. With me, you show respect.” So I changed the image to “I don't get no respect.” I tried it out in Greenwich Village. I remember the first joke I told: “Even as a kid, I'd play hide and seek and the other kids wouldn't even look for me.” The people laughed. After the show, they started saying to me, “Me, too—I don't get no respect.” I figured, let's try it again.
Posted by Avocare at 12:28 PM | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

Freakish Debunkment

The truth about Ozzy's bat, Rod's stomach, Mama's ham sandwich, and more …

Posted by Avocare at 05:07 PM | TrackBack

Oil May Float, But It Sinks Airlines

From WSJ online:

Greenspan warned that a further increase in crude-oil prices could risk “more serious negative consequences” for the economy. U.S. retail sales surged 1.5% in September but consumer sentiment soured in October. Producer prices rose 0.1%.

Keep an eye on oil (current spot prices here) … if the rise continues you can expect two “serious negative consequences”—US Airways will be out of business, and Delta will declare bankruptcy.

Posted by Avocare at 03:09 PM | TrackBack

Send Me Mail And Tell Me Why Your Opponent Sucks ... Please

Living in a “swing state,” our house is being spammed with a heavy, daily dose of political direct mail. Most of them are from the Dems (which is actually a bit of a surprise to me, given that I thought Karl Rove had made direct mail the province of Republicans), and most of them are ridiculously simple-minded and insulting.

But again, it's like advertisers say: If you hate or don't get an ad, it wasn't meant for you.

Regardless, I figured: when you have a surplus, share the love. So I'll be sharing the main messages from the pieces we get, and you can indulge in the same swing-state reading we're getting in PA.

Today's lot:

  • JOBS SHIPPED OVERSEAS … the Right Choice? From the Dems. Notice the clever double entendre of the word “right?” Ooooh …
  • Congressman Jim Gerlach Hopes You Won't Check Out His Record … Because If You Do, You Will See His Priorities Are All Wrong Also from the Dems, this time in support of their local US House candidate, Lois Murphy.

What are Lois' priorities? Glad you asked. From the mailing:

  • “Stop wasteful spending practices in Iraq” … an interesting rhetorical combination of government largess and the war, there.
  • “No more government contracts to companies that set up sham 'headquarters' in Bermuda” … oh, thank God. For a moment there I thought the critical “sham headquarters in Bermuda” issue would be bumped by something myopic … like violent crime.
  • “Create jobs in America” … always a good priority, and a nice dovetail with the refusal to create headquarter staffing jobs in Bermuda.
  • “Lower the cost of healthcare” … well, now there's a priority.

Welcome to our world …

Posted by Avocare at 02:42 PM | TrackBack

Don't Talk To Me

Spending as much time on airplanes as I do, I particularly enjoyed this MSNBC article on how to avoid talkative seatmates (via FARK).

I'm a big fan of the Headphone Strategy myself … although I thought this was interesting (if a bit strange):

Robert Salmon of Chevy Chase sends a different kind of message. Whenever he flies on Southwest Airlines, Salmon dons on a surgical mask in the boarding area. It’s not that he has a breathing disorder or an infectious disease. Since Southwest has an open-seating policy, Salmon uses the mask to discourage people from sitting next to him. And if someone does wind up beside him, he said the mask pretty much ensures the traveler won’t start chatting away.

“It’s very effective. I don’t have to make any excuses about why I don’t want to talk, people just stay away,” said Salmon, a housing constructor.

Hey … I'm sure it works (if you don't mind living a lie) …

Posted by Avocare at 02:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 09, 2004

Jib Jab, V 2.0

It's good to be in D.C.!.

Posted by Avocare at 08:43 AM | TrackBack

Keep Or Kill?

I'm struggling with whether I should keep Avocare online … my posting is so infrequent, and I'm so involved in other stuff.

Keep? Kill? Kill? Keep?


Posted by Avocare at 08:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack