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What is the most likely use of nuclear weapons in the near future?by Anant Jain
J., a loyal MR reader, asked me for a post on “proliferation and separately nuclear exchange (war).” Let’s try the latter. Every now and then I ask myself what is the most likely use of nuclear weapons, putting aside dirty bombs from terrorists and the like. My first pick is a scenario where North Korea bombs a Japanese city, perhaps Hiroshima or Nagasaki.... ~ Tyler Cowen
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Why so many *direct* lies from the Trump administration?by Matthew Jones
That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is only part of the argument, this one you really do need to read the whole thing (and carefully):
Trump’s supporters are indeed correct to point out that previous administrations also told many lies, albeit of a different sort. Imagine, for instance, that mistruths come in different forms: higher-status mistruths and lower-status mistruths. The high-status mistruths are like those we associate with ambassadors and diplomats. The ambassador is reluctant to tell a refutable, flat-out lie of the sort that could cause embarrassment, but if all you ever heard were the proclamations of the ambassador, you wouldn’t have a good grasp of the realities of the situation. Ambassadors typically are speaking to more than one audience at once, a lot of context is required to glean the actual meaning, and if they are interpreted in a strictly literal man...
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NAFTA and other trade deals have not gutted American manufacturing — periodby Prabhav Jain
There were some interesting ideas presented in this article:
Most of the decline in the manufacturing employment share was inevitable
Germany is widely believed to have a first-rate manufacturing sector, yet it has seen the same pattern as the US
The relative decline in employment in manufacturing since World War II is the biggest structural change, or evolution, to hit the American economy over the past half-century.
The effects of NAFTA and China-WTO were softened by a tight US economy
Do you agree with DeLong's claims about the effects of the trade agreements on our economy?
"Try to calculate the share that those three “bad tr...
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Frances Kelsey Syndromeby Matthew Jones
What are your thoughts on DeVita's arguments around the FDA?
Occasionally I have been told that FDA reform is something that only a few libertarian economists support. But in fact, there is strong support for reform in much of the medical community. See, for example, the survey that Dan Klein and I did on off-label prescribing and FDA reform or the many surveys of physicians done by CEI...
In his book, The Death of Cancer, DeVita has a chapter on the FDA. The title of that chapter? Frances Kelsey Syndrome. He writes:
The thalidomide episode sent the message to those who worked at the FDA that the way to do right by people was to say no. Saying yes would prove perilous–not only to patients, but to the caree...
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Will Trump Appoint a Great FDA Commissioner?by Matthew Jones
As someone who has written about FDA reform for many years it’s gratifying that all of the people whose names have been floated for FDA Commissioner would be excellent, including Balaji Srinivasan, Jim O’Neill, Joseph Gulfo, and Scott Gottlieb. Each of these candidates understands two important facts about the FDA. First, that there is fundamental tradeoff–longer and larger clinical trials mean that the drugs that are approved are safer but at the price of increased drug lag and drug loss. Unsafe drugs create concrete deaths and palpable fear but drug lag and drug loss fill invisible graveyards. We need an FDA commissioner who sees the invisible graveyard. ~ Alex Tabarrok
What are your thoughts around the roles and responsibilities of a new FDA commissioner, especially as the world moves towards more tech-enabled health devices and personalized medicine?
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The culture that is San Franciscoby Keshav Dhandhania
San Francisco, population 865,000, has roughly the same number of dogs as children: 120,000. In many areas of the city, pet grooming shops seem more common than schools.
There is also this: San Francisco’s public school system has around 53,000 students, a sharp drop from 90,000 in 1970.
I reside in SF and while empirically this seems to be true, I'm not sure if the data holds up as revealed by this Medium response. On the other hand, some of the highest rent prices in the nation and small apartments makes it more likely that families would want to move to more suburban areas that are still close enough to the city, like Berkeley, Fremont, Palo Alto, Cupertino, etc.