Archive for February, 2012

The other day, I watched the 2008 documentary Food Inc. And although it contains quite a few messages I would not subscribe to, it brilliantly points out the long-term consequences of misguided politics. In the United States, huge corn subsidies have led to an incredible surplus of corn which the industry now uses for all kinds of products (see TIME article). The distortion in prices, however, causes various kinds of diseases.

Here is the movie’s trailer:

Why is it that you can buy a double cheeseburger for 99 cents but not a bunch of broccoli?

The bad food is cheaper because it’s heavily subsidized. And as a result, income is the best predictor for obesity.

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Irish economist David McWilliams explains the ECB’s massive cash for trash scheme:

We have insolvent banks lending to insolvent governments and we are calling it success.

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Adding to my previous post, here is a second round of questions answered by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman:

Workers are protected by competition from other employers.

The way you protect workers is by enabling them to have many employers who can use their services.

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The other day, Justin Wolfers posted an interesting figure on the returns to education:

Employment and earnings by education level

What would happen if we put this poster in every classroom?

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berlin to zurich

Certainly a good decision to choose Swiss International for the trip to Berlin. The airline’s service is outstanding, its punctuality notorious, and its prices (sometimes) not much higher than what its rivals charge. Besides, you get a piece of Swiss chocolate on each flight.

Here is a bunch of pictures I took on my way back to Zurich:

SWISS Airbus A319

Inside the airplane

Superb combination: beer above the clouds

Aerial perspective while approaching Switzerland

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As promised yesterday, here are some further impressions from Germany’s capital:

Strasse des 17. Juni, commemorating the uprising of East Berliners on 17 June 1953

Waiting for the city train

Some random bicycle

Pint of Guinness in a bar

Window meets art

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sights of berlin

It has been a while since my last blog entry, mainly because I spent a few days in Germany’s capital city Berlin to visit friends. Truth be told, the city is great. But it is quite different from what I expected Berlin to be.

  • First, it is not as ‘alternative’ as you might think. Yes, it is multicultural and cosmopolitan – especially young Spaniards have found a new place of residence here. But overall, Berlin is not all too different from other German cities.
  • Which directly leads to my second point: Berlin is not that cheap any more. Rents have increased rather drastically and most other things cost about the same as in other parts of Germany.
  • Third, Berlin’s citizens are not particularly impolite. Quite on the contrary, I have not met so many nice people in a city since my last visit to Munich. All in all, a very exhilarating experience to see that things can actually be better than expected.

To provide you with some impressions, I took a whole bunch of pictures. We start today with some of Berlin’s famous sights.

Brandenburg Gate, one of Germany's most well-known landmarks

Reichstag, meeting place of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament

Bundeskanzleramt, home of Chancellor Angela Merkel

Bellevue Palace, official residence of the President of Germany

Fernsehturm, Berlin's 368m TV tower, build in the 1960s by the GDR

Fernsehturm at night, seen from the Museum Island

Holocaust Memorial, 2'711 concrete slabs, inaugurated in 2005

 

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Sad news for freedom in the United States: The other day, Fox Business Network cancelled Freedom Watch, one of the best daily libertarian news & argument shows in the history of American television. RT America reports, talking with Wayne Allen Root:

Libertarianism has two problems:

1. It is not pro-corporations and corporate welfare.

2. There is a lack of libertarian spokesmen who have enthusiasm.

Judge Andrew Napolitano is one of libertarianism’s great spokesmen. And his final statement will certainly go down in American history:

The greatest losses to our freedom have not come from someone attacking us but from the government ignoring the Constitution and the majority letting them get away with it.

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Rachel Maddow from MSNBC discusses Ron Paul’s strategy and why currently he might be leading the race for the Republican nomination:

Delegates is the name of the game.

 

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anniversary

Today, the blog celebrates its first anniversary and I just like to thank all readers and commentators. Thousands of page views and ongoing economic discussions will provide enough incentive to continue the blog. Already, there are more than 225 posts in 66 categories with about 125 comments.

Some readers told me that irregular posting is sometimes inconvenient. I am sorry for that but suggest to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address on the right-hand side. You will not receive any spam and you can unsubscribe any time. Promise.

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