Links, paraded and annotated

Matt McCaffrey knows when a good teaching moment is only a good teaching moment. In Diablo II, certain in-game items developed into media of exchange for the players to trade other items more easily. This makes for an excellent circumstance and framework to explain Menger’s theory of the emergence of money on the market, but may fall short if we take it too far and try to connect all the dots or form-fit all the details.

David Stockman and Zero Hedge point to the CAPE ratio, the Q-ratio, and the Buffett Indicator and notice that all three are getting close to being two standard deviations higher than their long-run means. The CAPE ratio compares the S&P 500 index to a 10-year running average of earnings of S&P 500 companies. The Q-ratio compares non-financial firms’ equity to their net worth. The Buffett Indicator compares the corporate market value to GNP. All three compare measures of present valuations and prices to more grounded, real, and long-run measures, hinting that everything is overpriced right now, again. One Zero Hedge commenter made me chuckle: “It’s Lake Woebegone.  Where all the charts show above average.”

Louis Rouanet, my next door neighbor in the research wing, wrote a popular article on Molinari and technological innovation. I’m shocked that this is still an issue. This error–distrusting new technology that so obviously makes production more efficient and everybody better off–needs to be smashed. Bon travail, Louis.

Speaking of being shocked, Rothbard says “shockaroo” three times in this one speech. I linked to 25:50 on purpose–listen to Rothbard’s infectious cackle less than a minute later. That he is beloved by so many at the Mises Institute is no shockaroo.

Mark Thornton was interviewed on Ted Cruz’s ideas on tax reform and was able to work in that there is “nothing fair about taxes”, the government is “just taking our money”, and that taxes are a “kind of slavery”, all while the news reporters laugh and carry on like news reporters do.

The University of Pheonix saw enrollment drop over 50% over the course of five years. (link warning: video autoplay) The CNN article frames it as poor foresight in anticipating consumer demand on the part of the for-profit university. I would frame it as an indicator of what may come for the rest of higher education.

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