Three Year Old Economist

January 14, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring

Europe, home of Leonardo and Michelangelo, uses stick figures for coin artToday is a Monday, and my three year old daughter told me, “I don’t like the days when I have to go to school and you and Mommy have to go to work.” Yeah, me neither, sister! Socratically, I inquired, “If we don’t go to work, where will we get the money to buy things?” She responded, “From your purse or cartera.” “And when my wallet is empty?” I pushed on… “From the store,” she answered, unphased.
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The Spanish Christmas Bonus and the 14 Month Payroll in Spain

December 28, 2012 By: erik Category: Politics, Spain

Fourteen Thousand EurosOne of the unique cultural practices in Spain is the summer and winter double paycheck. Every July or August and December, Spanish employees receive twice their normal salary for the month. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s actually negotiated that way, so when you take a salaried job in Spain, you agree to receive your annual salary in 14 payments, one per month, and then an extra one each summer and winter. As far as I know, this is the standard practice across most industries.
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The Economy and Elections

October 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics, USA

How Humans VoteA few years ago, I came to the realization that modern two-party democracies are like pendulums. Just as gravity will pull a pendulum down towards the center, building up enough momentum to push it to the other extreme, so human voters’ innate human ability to find something to be upset about will pull their votes away from one party and build up enough momentum until the other party has a majority. Rinse and repeat.
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Economic Populism

March 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Media, Politics, Stuff I Found, USA, Videos

rachel-maddowOne of my most profound epiphanies about politics occurred almost five years ago, when this blog was in its infancy. I realized that, merely by definition of the two political parties’ values, the only way for the Conservative party to gain power is to make a lot of noise and reduce voter turnout. This is because the vast majority of people are, by definition, going to support more socialist wealth-distributing economic policies. This is an absolute political truth that has always been true and will forever continue to be true. The way the Republican party in the US circumvents this is to side with Religion and the issues like abortion and gay marriage that fall out of strong Biblical religious conviction. These issues, of course, fall along the Authoritarian-Libertarian political spectrum, which is orthogonal to the Conservative-Liberal economic political spectrum. (more…)