A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Increased Living Standards Brought To You By: Magic

by evanmcmurry


Because they do, most of them accept for example that going down and joining the union made workers better off, by giving them better bargaining power against the bosses, even though the historical evidence is crushing that unionization did not make workers better off (rising productivity did). (via)

Yup. I remember when children were no longer needed in factories due to rising productivity. Or that time when mining safety regulations were passed, all thanks to rising productivity.

The author’s point is economic, of course, but that’s the whole problem: if you define a worker “being better off” solely through economics, miner safety doesn’t factor in—even though the historical evidence is crushing that miners would rather not die on the job. Neither would Bangledeshi workers making Walmart products. What’s rising productivity done for them?

How Hayek Became Hayek

by evanmcmurry

There’s an old episode of Night Court when Judge Whatshisface tells the story of how he got the judge post—namely, that the court called everybody on the list ahead of him, none of whom were home, but he picked up the phone. Which is about how Friedrich Hayek became the leading conservative intellectual of the mid-twentieth century:

Hayek didn’t start out as the Anti-Keynes, it turns out – he was a ringer, brought in by Lionel Robbins, William Beveridge, and other British conservatives to battle Keynes when Robbins & co. felt that they themselves weren’t up to the task. They brought in Hayek when their first choice, Ludwig von Mises, proved to be too bad at English (and too downright grumpy). (via)

Remember that the next time some blah blah blahs The Road to Serfdom at you.

Bartender Dislikes You, But Wants You To Buy His Organic Polo Shirts, Also Is A Douche

by evanmcmurry

How to come off like a dick in three easy steps: 1) Let everyone know you’re “so tired” of serving your most popular cocktail; 2) let everyone know in an interview about your bar that your “primary focus” is your 100% organic apparel company; and 3) characterize every other bar in your town as a “chugging” bar, unlike yours, which is the only civilized bar in Austin, Texas. Bonus points: misuse the word “unique.”

Addendum: As the Colonel Nilsen points out, “a city of 850,000 in a metro area of 1.5 million is no longer ‘a college town.’ Get over it.”


by evanmcmurry

The best part about this is the OED had a neologism—loanwords—for the words they were deleting. One in, one out.