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April 2006

Free Market System Drives down the Real Cost of Living

This 1997 Annual Report of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Time Well Spent: The Declining Real Cost of Living in America, shows how the real cost of living has declined over the century. It uses the work-time required to purchase goods and services to compare the living costs across time. Truly eye-opening, especially, for those who are fond of complaining that life has become harder over time.

The "Exhibit 8", titled, "The Bounty of Time Well Spent—Household Ownership and Use of Products", plots % of households with Telephones, Automobiles, etc. over the century. It is stunning!

The chart, titled "THE WORK-TIME COST OF PRODUCTS, TODAY VERSUS YESTERDAY", gives average work-time required to acquire various goods and services over the years.

It won't be real if everything was so good! The spoiler comes at page 14:

Americans do, of course, have to work
longer to buy some goods and services.
Paying for higher education and medical
care requires more hours of work than it
used to. Tuition and fees at public colleges,
for example, have doubled in terms
of work time since the mid-1970s. Inflation
has been even steeper at America’s
private institutions.9

Also, see the accompanying chart giving the comparison of higher education costs over the year. It has almost doubled compared to 1979! Education at a Public University costs 200 hours more!

What's missing is analysis of whether those extra work hours spent in educating yourself is worth the decline in the work-hour costs for a typical univesity graduate!

They should given more space for analysis of medical expenses too!


Chaos can create order

Link: digg.

According to a computational study conducted by a group of physicists at Washington University in St. Louis, one may create order by introducing disorder. The physicists' research is not only hard to grasp for non-physicists, but puzzling for physicists, too. "Every physicist who hears this is surprised."

Pretty interesting!


Anti-immigrant liberals

Link: EconLog, Still More on Immigration, Arnold Kling: Library of Economics and Liberty.

    What should you call someone who wants government to provide for our education, competitiveness, and health care but whose concern about "us" stops at the border? The obvious label would be national socialist. But George Bush and Paul Krugman are not Nazis...

    The alternative ideology that I would propose might be called transnational libertarianism. The ideal libertarian world would have no economic borders. There would be no problem of illegal immigration, because all forms of immigration would be legal.

I thought the same way but couldn't have made the point as eloquently as Arnold Kling.


Australian Uranium exports: Yes to China, No to India

Apparently, Australia trusts the Communist regime in China more than the Democratic one in India! Sure, if China has signed the NPT it must have abided by it and since India hasn't, it must have participated in the proliferation of nuclear weapons! What kind of twisted logic is this where words matter more than actions?
Australia refuses to lift ban on uranium exports to India:

Australia has welcomed a US-India agreement to share nuclear technology but ruled out lifting a ban on uranium exports to India while New Delhi refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

CBC News: Australia opens up uranium sales to China.

Canada's major competitor in the uranium business, Australia, has reached a nuclear safeguards deal with Beijing that opens up the Chinese market to Australian mines.

...

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Monday's deal will ensure that Australian uranium is sold only to power producers and that there are international inspections of Chinese nuclear facilities.