Comments on: Counterparties: Sandy Tuesday http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Christofurio http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44323 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:44:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44323 The anti-Bastiat argument is just goofy. Is the conclusion that we should start breaking windows after all? at least when there is no convenient Keynesian hurricane that will do it for us?

No … for panes of glass or anything else, only the market-clearing price is the market clearing price. That tautology is both true and important: any stimulus policy that changes that price by destruction interferes with the processes of economnic health. Bastiat and Hazlitt are right.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44320 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:48:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44320 While I’m here, in re Silver, there has been some back and forth about Silver’s use of polls, and I’d like to criticize an argument on each side of the discussion.

1) There are some generally very smart and mathematically adept people who seem to forget that averaging a bunch of measurements, all made with the same biases, will not give you an endlessly improving estimate of the thing to be measured. Some people (largely optimistic Romney supporters) have argued that the polls are skewed because the samples are unrepresentative, and have adduced the party breakdowns of poll respondents as an argument. If you believe there are shared methodological problems with the 25 polls a day (or whatever it is at this point) that go into the averages, you shouldn’t imagine that those will average out.

2) The closest thing to a good response Silver has given has been that the relative fraction of voters who are Republican or Democrat are not constant, and that that is part of what the polls should capture. The problem that I think most of the other side has with that is that it seems easier to believe right now that there’s some methodological flaw in the polls than to believe that Obama will do better in the turnout battle this year than he did against McCain. My response to them is that I think a significant number of the people identifying themselves to pollsters as “independent” are tea party voters who consider themselves fed up with the GOP, but will continue to generally vote for Republicans over Democrats, and in particular Romney over Obama. I think this is why Romney is polling so well against Obama among “independents”, and is why the likely voter party breakdown is skewing toward Democrats.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44319 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:38:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44319 One of the things confident Romney-backers who disparage Silver, confident Obama-supporters who lean on his forecasts as an excuse to near-complacency, and about 99% of other human beings since the evolution of the species have in common is their misapprehension that 5-2 odds are something they experience as overwhelming. Saying that the campaigns, in their confidence, each believes that it has a 50.1% chance of winning betrays a rather severe confusion about what that would mean. Historically, an NFL team with a one or two point lead and the ball near midfield at the end of the third quarter will win more often than Silver says Obama will. Maybe Silver is right, maybe he’s wrong, but it would be foolish to imagine that a Romney win next week would refute today’s assertion that Romney has almost a 30% chance of winning.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44318 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:26:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44318 @ottorock: I don’t think race is part of this, I think it’s pretty much just Amerisolipsism. If you hear an unqualified statistic on the evening news about number of people who die each year from breast cancer, it most likely excludes Europeans and includes small brown citizens of the United States.

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By: marc21 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44314 Tue, 30 Oct 2012 22:22:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44314 Now the game

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By: absinthe http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44310 Tue, 30 Oct 2012 20:46:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44310 Yikes, why even link to that Carter piece on Bastiat? Ugly attack on Yglesias in there, totally off the mark.

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By: ottorock http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/10/30/counterparties-sandy-tuesday/comment-page-1/#comment-44309 Tue, 30 Oct 2012 20:18:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=19277#comment-44309 Sandy’s killed a lot more than 30 people, but who am I to correct Reuters? I suppose it’s an editorial decision that depends if the company counts those small brown humans who live in the Carib and Haiti as people, of course.

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