Posts filed under “Philosophy”

Biggest Threat to Human Progress is Relentless Stupidity

 

 

“Wealth – any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one’s wife’s sister’s husband.”
–H.L. Mencken

 

On Fridays, I like to wax eloquent and philosophical — about investing, analysis and asset management. Often, there are lessons from other disciplines that are applicable to our own. Sometimes I point out an especially insightful work. But most of the time, I like to highlight misguided, faulty or just plain dumb analysis.

The latter is our subject today: a dishonest and disingenuous argument that is technically correct, but cynical and misleading. It only takes a bit of thinking to realize the absurdity of the claim.

Writing in the Washington Times during last month’s holiday week was this column from Richard Rahn of Cato Institute with the headline, “Common folk live better now than royalty did in earlier times. ”

The entire enterprise is a fatuous and politically inspired attempt to minimize the issue of income inequality, because after all, the poor today live better than kings did centuries ago! There, all problems solved, Here’s Rahn:

“The average low-income American, who makes $25,000 per year, lives in a home that has air conditioning, a color TV and a dishwasher, owns an automobile, and eats more calories than he should from an immense variety of food . . . Louis XIV lived in constant fear of dying from smallpox and many other diseases that are now cured quickly by antibiotics. His palace at Versailles had 700 rooms but no bathrooms (hence he rarely bathed), and no central heating or air conditioning.”

Let’s set about fisking this intellectual detritus:

Continues here

 

 

 

Category: Economy, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls, Technology

What Should Be Done In the Wake of the French Terror Attack?

“The Proper Response to Today’s Tragic Events Should Be for EVERY Publication On The Planet To Print Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad”   We at Washington’s Blog have done as much as anyone to dispel the myth that all Muslims are terrorists. (Here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). And we’ve written as much as anyone on the dangers of…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

60 Minutes: Inside the Vatican

Scott Pelley profiles Pope Francis, a pontiff who is surprising the world by spurning tradition; and, Morley Safer gets a rare look inside the Vatican Library.   Source: CBS  

Category: Philosophy, Television

The Lessons of Mr. Market, Philosopher in Chief

Once again, the markets prove that nobody knows nuthin’. Following a bit of oil-driven turmoil the past few weeks, financial markets took off on Wednesday and Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had the biggest daily back-to-back gains since March 2009. Underinvested fund managers, short-sellers and even long-only, fully invested money managers worried that…Read More

Category: Markets, Philosophy

The Risk That Will Bite You Next Is NOT The One That Bit You Last

Cassandra Does Tokyo is an Investment Banker now relocated to Japan ~~~ The Risk That Will Bite You Next Is NOT The One That Bit You Last Traumatic and painful events burnish their effect upon our brains. This happens profoundly in childhood, as well as in relationships, and most definitely as readers will know,  in…Read More

Category: Investing, Philosophy

Zombie Ideas? Blame the Billionaires…

  “We are in the business of making mistakes. The only difference between the winners and the losers is that the winners make small mistakes, while the losers make big mistakes.” -Ned Davis   I began my career in finance on a trading desk. You learn some things very early on in that sort of…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Philosophy, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

The Instagram Generation

“The ‘Instagram Generation’ now experiences the present as an anticipated memory”
-Professor Daniel Kahnema, Psychologist and Nobel Prize winner

 

 

Category: Philosophy, Technology, Video

On False Belief Systems . . .

I stumbled on this gem earlier today: “Earlier this year, the Dow had dropped over 5,000 points in 6 months. One of the collective fallacies our culture operates under is the delusion that the market is some kind of astute forecasting machine. It is not — it represents the collective wisdom of 10 million panicked…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology

The Rule of Law is Vastly Under-Priced

Cassandra Does Tokyo is a former hedge fund manager and ex NY Trader, who is now living abroad.  This was originally published on September 23, 2014 ~~~ When people prattle-on about tax, it is mostly made from ground-level, with a focus on tax rates. When my most rabid libertarian friends weigh in on the subject,…Read More

Category: Legal, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

Time Is Finite: The Life of a Typical American in Weeks

Source: Know More via Wait But Why

Category: Data Analysis, Digital Media, Philosophy