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January 23, 2014


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We're movin' on up.


Mobility may not be declining, but the economy is declining. Just look at the labor participation rates.


And talk about raising the bar: the study (at least the articles reporting on the study) cites the percentage of people who move from the bottom quintile all the way to the top. While this may be illustrative of 'you too can become rich', it isn't that informative as an illustration of the extent to which people are able to improve their relative position.

Isn't that more the (realistic) goal of parents, for their kids to have a better life than they did, than for their kids to reach the upper stratosphere of wealth? So instead of telling me that only 8% of kids moved from the bottom to the top, how about letting us know how many kids moved out of the bottom? How many kids from the middle were able to move up to the upper-middle?

It's almost as if the reporters either had an agenda to push or are clueless about the subject they're writing about. Hmmm, that can't be the case, can it?

I think a more appropriate measure would be to look at the percentage of people who improved where they were.


I won't bother with this NYT blather (although I will read the TomM links), as far as NYT 'economics' I'll quote my PhD in Stats wife, quoting Mark Twain: "Lies, Damnable lies.... and Statistics."


henry-- how did Walker do last night?

Old Lurker

OT but surfacing after five days JOMless.

YL presented us with our first grandchild last Saturday. Healthy boy, 8/11!

YL, Mr.YL and baby will be in Chicago until April then Hong Kong for six months. We plan to visit them there just because we never have been there.

Damn is Chicago cold. Had to go to Brooks Brothers and buy one of those stupid looking hats they all wear up there. :-)


He did ok. Focus on tax cuts, job growth, business formation, blue collar jobs added, jobs for disabled (primarily Downs sufferers from the people he showed), businesses moving from IL, and of course the change in rankings on CEO Magazine polls. Dems left whining about the tax cuts going to everybody instead of their preferred plantation members only (if you reduce the rate on the lowest tax bracket, my taxes are cut the exact same $ amount as a burger flipper's taxes are cut), lack of growth in Milwaukee (ahem, local control has consequences).

Main themes:

1. the state surplus is taxpayer money, give it back to taxpayers.

2. help people stand on their own, don't subsidize dependence.

3. MN, IA, IL suck in comparison to WI. (This is directed at Dem claims those states are doing better because they raised taxes).


TomM-- I read your 11/2002 post. It was thoughtful and thorough. It depressed me thoroughly. You've been fisking Krugman for over 11 years now... yet he still exists, and he continues to publish in the NYT the same BS (or his wife or grad students do). Krugman's like a cockroach, he'll exist and publish the same BS even after the NYT is the NYC Shopper's Daily handout.


Thanks Henry. Love Walker. he's not perfect of course, he lacks charisma. But I think the womenz in 'battleground' states will vote for him. I'll be a supporter.


How wonderful, OL!!


OL-- you lucky dog!! Many congrats. Best of health to everyone in your family.

jimmyk on iPhone

" Denmark has a much flatter distribution of wealth and income, so skipping amongst the quintiles may be merely a matter of gaining or losing a few thousand dollars of income."

(Semantic nitpick: I think you meant "narrower" not flatter.)

And along the same lines, if the US distribution has widened so much, "constant" mobility really means increased mobility.

jimmyk on iPhone

Congrats, OL!


I'm getting a sense of déjà vu.


Congrats OL !

jimmyk on iPhone

And speaking of flatter(y), I'll take TK's imitation of me at 9:52 (see next thread) as the highest form thereof. :)


Only 2 comments on that 2002 post.

jimmyk on iPhone

"Mobility may not be declining, but the economy is declining."

The good thing about decline is that we can move up by just staying the same.

Seriously, that's another issue with all the focus on quintiles. It completely ignores overall growth and absolute mobility, as though all that matters is one's place in the distribution.


Congrats, Grandpa.


I would have flattered more, jimmy, but I tired out. :-)

Congrats OL!

Old Lurker

Thanks guys.

Did the world end while I was gone?

Even the cabbies in Chicago hate Obama.


OL-- the cabbies in ChiTown work for a living... of course they hate Obama.



Why do you think Judith is reaching out to Scooter?

"What we did not report at that time was that Judith Miller contacted Lewis "Scooter" Libby immediately after making that confession in the hope that Scooter could intervene, and convince us not to pursue this explosive story."


Do other people get these creepy ads on the margins for some kind of online games featuring animated scantily clad, buxom Renaissance women or hot Dragonslayer-type chickies?

I've never clicked on one nor even been to a site of one nor have I ever seen anyone here mention them, so why is it I can't chuck a brick (metaphor adjusted on behalf of DocJ) without hitting one?


"I've never clicked on one nor even been to a site of one ....."

Sure you haven't ..... I believe you ;)

Jack is Back! (Instigator-in-Chief)


What have you searched for recently and what words did you use? It will help explain.

Account Deleted

Congratulations, Grandpa!


Thank you for the link to the Mankiw paper. The paper is a very nice dissection of the utilitarians and the proposition concerning just-deserts is worth examining, although it does come back to a "sez who?" problem without any obvious solution.


Ig, all I get is ads for a dating site featuring a hot babe labelled "Stephanie". My searches are tech standards & trends.



Today, the odds of escaping poverty appear to be only about half as high in the United States as in the most mobile countries like Denmark, Mr. Saez said.

Since the results are stable my rebuttal from eleven long years ago is probably stable - Denmark has a much flatter distribution of wealth and income, so skipping amongst the quintiles may be merely a matter of gaining or losing a few thousand dollars of income.--

Denmark and other "managed" economies artificially compress income ranges through taxation, regulation and generous welfare benefits which of course makes it easy to escape poverty and move up and down the ladder.
What isn't measured is how much poorer the country is overall by the suppression of the free market nor how many jobs aren't created nor innovations developed.
Small, and even good sized, relatively homogenous countries can maintain such an economy for many decades but over time they lose vast ground to countries that remain free.

And let's see where Denmark is in say 75 years when they have a dynamic majority of Islamic goldbricks sucking at the teat of the productive. You can only trade on the remnants of homogenous industry for so long when your borders are open to the heterogeneous masses looking to make their hadj to the mecca of the secular welfare state.


Congrats OL.

This strikes me as a good post for just what I wrote for reasons that should be obvious upon reading.


Ig,I got those ads for a few days recently,very weird. The only connection I can figure is that I searched for a vintage clothing,Renaissance style dresses site. I assume you didn't? :)


--What have you searched for recently and what words did you use? It will help explain.--

Well, not "big breasted snake woman with a sword" or "Guinevere in a nighty holding a battle ax".

Perhaps it is my public service history of trying to find and post the most delightful yoga pants ads, but I seem to get a lot more snake women than lululemon ads.
It's a puzzler.


CONgrats OL. What did they name him?


BL, Baby Lurker, of course.

Old Lurker

Maxwell Davis, Jane, but I do like BL!


Marlene-- Renaissance clothing?? Oh yeah... I believe you!... sure I do ;)


Maxxxxxxx!!!!!.... put down down that copy of Das Kapital right now young man!

Old Lurker

Since YL was forced to listen to Atlas Shrugged during the 12 hour treks to Nantucket, I assure you Das Kapital will be low on the list, NK.


I jest I Jest OL-- that said, careful with that stuff. The 4 years of Leftwing propagandizing at her fancy pants New England boarding school made my daughter a rabid rightwinger for a while. Two+ years of Jesuit college education has made her a ... well... a nihilist for the moment.



Account Deleted

"And let's see where Denmark is in say 75 years when they have a dynamic majority of Islamic goldbricks sucking at the teat of the productive."

No need to wait, Ignatz. The Swedish model is being revised rather rapidly right now due to the OPM Famine. The influx of headchoppers may accelerate the revisions but the penalties on innovation and effort have done all the damage necessary to expose the foundational idiocy.


Great name OL. How fun for you guys!


RickB/Ignatz-- friends with a family. Husband is Dutch, runs the family multi-national recycling/trash treatment business equipment manufacture busines. Wife is Flemish, but Dutch nationl as well. She's 'fun,' almost silly. On a 9 day school trip to Japan, I asked her about Netherlands becoming an Islamic republic. She said, it would never happen. I said what about demographics?, it's either Muslim majority, or ship the muzzies back to North Africa. She got very serious and said, it would be the latter.. forcibly if necessary.

Old Lurker

I will believe that when I see it NK. I don't see the Dutch having the backbone to do that. Rick's 11:05 pretty much nails the northern countries too. Has JiB's wife opined on this yet?


Hearty congratulations to the entire Lurker family and welcome to BL!


OL-- I have no opinion on what the Dutch nation will do, I have no idea. But the interesting point to me is that 'free spirit' Dutch libs see Islam as anathema to the Dutch nation. What they will actually do about it?

Old Lurker

Free spirits everywhere see these threats the same way, NK. The questions is, as you stated it correctly, have the demographics (summing bad guys+LIV+Libs) tipped too far for them to save their countries? Our ours for that matter?

Old Lurker

Here's a headline that is laugh worthy for several reasons:

"CNN lays off more than 40 journalists"


OL. next to the news about your grandson, the CNN header is golden in my eyes.

Danube on iPad

Congrats, OL.

Jimmy, I'm picturing a bell curve in which the value of the mean is not much greater than the values out near the ends. Hence "flatter."

I won't rest until Justin Bieber is deported.


Gee, wasn't it just last month that President Obama was saying how declining economic mobility was the reason he is pursuing all his programs? It was!

Remarks by the President on Economic Mobility


DoT@11:42-- too funny. it's like the movie "Slap Shot"... this young man has had a troubled year, what with his arrest,and the litigation, and his deporatation back to his native Canada... and that country's subsequent refusal to accept him.


DoT, I took TM's comment to be that the US is more like the blue, Denmark the red:


I suspect there is a good deal of the old Medieval "hey, I'm bored, let's launch a hundred year massacre and siege" mentality just under the surface of staid, tolerant old Europe but I'll be surprised if it can erupt from under the callouses of the last century's enervation.
I'll believe it when I see it.

On the other hand the guys who saw your head off are notoriously enervated themselves when exposed to, well, I was going to say wealth or the welfare state but really it seems to be just being alive, anywhere.
On the other other hand they do seem to capture cultures fairly well.
We shall see.


Congrats OL! What a joy a first grandbaby must be. Only a single grand-dog for me and the prospects are either - not great - or the son in medical school will marry a modern-day hippie and have a gaggle!

Danube on iPad

I believe I had the ordinate and the abscissa mixed up.

Old Lurker

Jimmy, if that graph persists for more than four hours, do you have to visit your doctor?

Cindy, when we visited our daughter in Med School, I asked to see the supply closets where Grey's Anatomy shows the med students having sex 24x7. So your son might surprise you.

Man Tran on iPhone

A couple of observations about Sweden:

Jimmyk's red is probably right. Even with that, a couple of decades ago, their median income was lower than Arkansas or Mississippi. However, I never saw the 'trappings' of poverty there. Same with Norway before winning the North Sea lottery. Must be part of the homogenous culture.

Like us, the yutes are generally bright, but not strongly motivated, so hard to see them going berserker to drive the muzzles out.


OL: The son keeps assuring me that "nobody he has ever worked with..." has Grey's Anatomy good looks and "hotness"! But he is a 25-year old who tends to tell his mother what she wants to hear....sigh!

Old Lurker

Cindy, last week at the ceremony marking the start of daughter's major clinical year, I was struck by: 1)how hot the girls were, and 2)how geeky were most but not all the guys. (Not that I notice what girls 1/3 my age look like)

So yes, your son is lying through his teeth to his mother.


"I was struck by: 1)how hot the girls were,..."



In Flanders, the churches are empty of anyone under the age of 70.

The diamond district in Antwerp 20 years ago was primarily Haisidic Jews that gave way to the Indians that gave way to the Russkies that gave way to the Muzzies.

Vlaams Bloc was consdiered so racists and intolerent based solely on their policy of limited immigration and integration that even when they won elections they were denied seating. Now there is an awakening. My BIL has written on my FB page about how Flanders needs a Tea Party not just on the immigration issue but taxation, social welface excess and corruption. Compared to Wallonia, Flanders is without sin. But there you go.

The Dutch at one time exported their wealth due to taxation and over provision of welface which attracted all the wrong sorts. I have had my umbrella stolen out of my hands in the Rotterdam station, had my laptop cut off my shoulder (but I saved it with swift kick to the nuts) and been pickpocketed, but all they got was a folded map. [I don't carry my wallet in my back pocket].

In Antwerp, going to the Zoo which is next to the Central Rail Station, Mrs. JiB made the turn she usually makes to get to the street with the best parking. Low and behold, in 2 years, since the last time, we were met with a scene out of Saudi Arabia. Men in robes and women in full burkhas. Storefront signs in Arabic and hardly any signs of 'western' life. It pretty much shook her up and has convinced her that unless the Flemish pols don't put the brakes on and come down hard then they are doomed in 20 years or even less.

Pretty much the same in Holland. Although with the young King Willem, there seems to be a collective assurance they can be more agressive on the Muzzie scum but leave the law abiding more or less alone. It won't work. They are as tight as clay.

In the UK, they have a different problem. They have a strong muzzie minority already that is growing and has political power in local councils and parliament. What they are focusing on is eastern European immigration especially from Romania, Albania and Trans Caucusus. In fact, it could bring down the government it is growning so contentious.

Old Lurker

Interesting, thanks JiB.



Set your calendar: The Heist, by Daniel Silva, starring Gabrial Allon, coming July 2014.

To recover a masterpiece, you steal another. Wonder where he got that idea?:)

Old Lurker

"In Flanders, the churches are empty of anyone under the age of 70."

Visit Istanbul to see how easy it is to convert a Christian church into a mosque. Some plaster and a few minarets and you are done.


OL: ;-D! The most disturbing thing comes to mind ' "What is 'hot' to the son"? He is witty, smart, and looks like a young Clint Eastwood. Sigh....I am going to quit watching Grey's Anatomy!

jimmyk on iPhone

"Jimmy, if that graph persists for more than four hours, do you have to visit your doctor?"

I was waiting for something along those lines....

Old Lurker

Cindy, well mine is 29 and with the same guy for six years now. Had it not been a pre-existing relationship I have no idea how they could meet or date anyone not also in med school. There just is no time for them, and the uncertainties of where they will go during residency etc is hard to plan around.

Why these two have not moved to the next level is beyond me. I worry that by funding my kid I have created a a sort of reverse dowry that would make any suitor scared to death of taking on the cost burden!

Man Tran on iPhone


Ok, I get the 289, but 386? I had to goog it. 56 Lincoln came up. Was there one in your youth?

Old Lurker

Man Tran I assumed since JiB's wife is an Apple geek, JiB is probably still using his old IBM intel 386 PC.



386 is our area code and 289 is our exit off of I-95:) Been having Typhoid issues and had to change up the LUN.

Please god, I beg you, make this a real cover and not some photoshop. Supposedly, this Sunday's issue. We are going to have a bonanza Sunday here. I can feel it:)


OL: Actually, I am hoping he waits to find "the one". He is on the MD/PhD track and finished 2 years of med school, is currently at the NIH in DC, and leaves for Cambridge England this summer to work on the PhD portion. He doesn't return to finish the MD portion for another 4 years. By that time he will be with an entire new group of 3rd year medical students (think younger group of 3rd year). Fortunately for us, everything is covered through an fantastic scholarship.

Old Lurker

Cindy, see, your rock star student proves my point that there is just no way to support a real relationship is there?

Let me know if I can help him out in DC. I have fancy friends at the NIH.

What is his PhD interest? Dr.YL's is in Neuroscience but we don't have a clue what her MD sister will want to be.

Congrats on the scholarship! Jealous here.


He is working with MRI's to early defect MS. He loves working at the NIH. Email me at cindyguyatmsndotcom and I will send you his contact information. Thanks!

Man Tran on iPhone

JiB, hah! Old car guys have well worn paths between the synapses.


Congratulations on your grandson's birth, OL! That is great news!

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