Interesting stuff

  1. Listen: Land taxes are a good idea (I am wavering between land-only and land+improvements taxes, but both are easier/better than taxing income!)
  2. Watch: The big tech monopolies (Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple) need stronger regulation.
  3. Listen: Some wisdom on where markets are going and why many will still go down.
  4. Read: Undirected consumerism, supply chain snafus and confused retailers are creating messes of wasteful excess and shortage
  5. Watch: A nice guy’s guide to dealing with a bad cup of (paid) coffee.
  6. Read: People are already facing “unlivable heat” (wetbulb temperatures over 35C) in this Pakistani city. Surviving, yes, but not thriving.
  7. Read: Here’s a good update on the clusterfucked mismanagement of the Colorado River. I emailed its author these thoughts: Sadly, the REAL harm is not to farmers (who need to get behind cap and trade of scarce water), but the environment. The Colorado Delta is dead, and Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin is in trouble and/or dying… in both cases due to excess “take.” More ecosystems will collapse, and air conditioning will not replace them.
  8. This essay on the “internet middle class” of people who make a modest living through internet activities (writing, performing, selling stuff) stuck me as a bit sad. Yes, supporters from anywhere in the world might find you in random ways, but that process, and the endurance of your (patron-creator) relationship, is fragile and one-dimensional compared to working for local supporters. Eighteen years ago, I described [pdf] how Google (and the internet’s “winner-takes all” dynamic) would undermine creativity by removing the “middle-class” performers and teachers. I think that’s still true, to a degree. I’m personally thinking about (one day) moving from my paid job to an unpaid retirement where I do mostly the same as I do now (save the faculty meetings), as the “work for the internet” option seems to have too many negatives.
  9. Listen: This discussion with a Canadian of the slow supply response from the oil/gas industries surfaced an interesting problem: So many people are refusing to enter this “unethical” industry, and so many people are retiring now (with high share prices that allow them to cash out), that there’s a risk of serious price increases due to unyielding demand. Be careful what you ask for!
  10. Listen to this podcast episode on why a liberal arts training provides useful tools for a happier — and more successful — life.

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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