Now, your Carnival of the Capitalists … (note: next week’s host is Venturpreneur). Send your posts to capitalists-at-elhide-dot-com.
Given that we’ve just survived April 15, and given that it felt to me like I’d been beaten about the head and shoulders, I thought we’d have a flurry of tax day posts. But only one person, Jeff Cornwall at The Entrepreneurial Mind, met my expectations wtih a post reminding us of how much time and expense goes into the tax industry.
Death and Taxes
If the only certainties in life are death and taxes, then our next subject naturally is retirement and Social Security. Michael Friedman at Fried Man contemplates the economic consequences of living to 120, and Arnold Kling discusses Social Security, saving, and risk sharing.
International Trade, Outsourcing, and Insourcing
… continue to be popular topics among economics writers. Admiral Quixote discusses the relationship between currency fluctuations and trade deficits, and Freedom’s Fidelity notes that his trade deficit with the grocery store seems to benefit both parties. Newmark’s Door observes onshoring/insourcing, and Interested Participant comments on a trade flow that may surprise you: Canadian garbage going to landfills in Michigan. Eeeeeeuw!
Domestic Policy, the Economy, and Old Warhorses
Economic recovery, jobs, corporate governance, and Wal-Mart …
The Big Picture gives us an overview of the choppy economic recovery. Curryblog sings a similar tune of caution, exhorting us not to pay too much attention to job growth data. Before you get too depressed, though, Frank Scavo tells us that IT job growth is looking promising. Don’t like this economist’s opinion? Ask another one!
Steve Verdon analyzes claims that moving to renewable energy would increase job creation.
Goobage tells us that John Kerry promises us three times the tax relief, three times the fun!
The Pro’s Edge points out that time for companies to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley is dwindling, and the finish line is not in sight for many of them.
Newmark’s Door discusses two opposing views of Wal-Mart. A good companion article to this is The Economist’s cover article this week, on Wal-Mart, its controversies, and its global business challenges in the “perennial gale of creative destruction”.
The RFID Weblog asks whether there really are RFID chips in $20 bills, and the implications for privacy of such a capability. d-42.com looks at smut-filtering DVD players and sees them as filling a niche in the market.
Protecting Members of the Guild
Fouroboros examines the incentives of big and small business in beef inspection. The bad guys are not who you think … or are they? Depends on how cynical you are, I guess.
Micha Gertner at Catallarchy wonders if we economists use mathematics as an entry barrier, protecting the members of the guild from competition.
Entrepreneurship, Management, and New Business Models
Recursive Progress looks at network hierarchy, arguing for webs of command over chains of command in complex environments.
BusinessPundit started a fascinating discussion on whether being an introvert is an impediment to entrepreneurship and successful management. Accidental Verbosity picks up on the thread and runs with it. Given that I think the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the best explanatory model of human behavior and interaction that exists, I think this is really interesting. One of the commenters notes that introvert/extrovert is where you get your energy, not shyness. But still, at the margin, does the fact that interaction and thinking out loud can be draining predispose extroverts to be better entrepreneurs or managers? Or do the introvert’s skills in self-reflection make for better decisions?
Photon Courier suggests that veterans returning from Iraq may make superb managers, and that businesses should consider hiring them.
Synergy Fest points out the value of studying failure.
Creativity, Adaptability, and Markets
Banana Oil talks about creativity adapting to market conditions in the context of the filmmaker Buster Keaton’s career.
In the end, electricity can learn three things from telecom. First, dis-integration costs are non-trivial and potentially quite large. Indeed, they may swamp the benefits you gain from competition. (I shudder to think of the costs of the current telecom OSS systems and their relative dis-use.) Second, public choice or rentseeking pressures and perils will be extremely high because all terms are up for grabs in the regulatory forum. Accordingly, there will be a great deal of investment in rentseeking, and this will be pure social loss. Third, error costs are high and reliance interests will quickly metastacize .
Finally, I’d like to welcome two newcomers: CornerSolution and Cafe Hayek, which features Russ Roberts and Don Boudreaux. As per the Idea Shop post, both Russ and Don are superb at communicating economic ideas clearly and in an engaging manner.