Economics


krugman-thumbThe growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law”–which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants–becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.

 

– Why most economists’ predictions are wrong.

I’m sure he’s right about everything else though.

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Over at Mark Perry’s excellent Carpe Diem blog, Mark has an ongoing series about “markets in everything.”  As soon as I saw this, I thought of his series.

As you can see from this photo, Hurricane Sandy took out a section of Hwy 12 on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

There is a bypass across the sand, but it requires a 4×4 vehicle. When we drove through today, there was a thriving trade of locals with 4x4s and trailers ferrying two wheel drive vehicles (sometimes with an entire family still inside) across the half-mile or so of sand. A waitress at a local restaurant told us that the going rate was a surprisingly reasonable $25.

There were orderly queues of cars waiting on the side of the road to be loaded, and the only government presence I could see was an NC DOT pickup truck who was keeping an eye on the condition of the sand road.

Edit:  I sent these pictures to Mark, and Carpe Diem is carrying the story.

Mozambique’s new energy reserves may not be pretty or clean, but they have two advantages that trump everything else: they are lucrative, and, unlike the unicorns that the global climate movement insists will descend from the Misty Mountains any minute and solve all our problems while saving us money, they are real.

Walter Russel Meed, Via Meadia

[H]istory contains no record of a British political party losing an election because it was perceived as insufficiently pro-French.

Walter Russell Mead

More great work by xkcd.

Brilliant econ-geekiness.

Brought to you by John Papola and George Mason’s Russ Roberts.  If you don’t listen to Roberts’ podcast or read his blog, you should start.

No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a Corolla. So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.

— Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen speculating on the success potential of GM’s Volt hybrid-electric car, as quoted in Car & Driver (Jan. 2010).

I don’t know what de Nysschen is on about. It’s only a 19 year return on investment. I could probably break even by the time the crown prince finishes college.

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