Ok, I have a different thought experiment that I want you to play out for me. Same magic wand. Suppose now I passed a law that minimum wage is set based on the cost of the cheapest available housing within 30 minutes commute. Perhaps your hourly wage has to scale to cover 3x the cost of available housing.
If I run a sandwich shop in the ritziest part of a big city and there is no affordable housing available within 30 minutes, I have a few options:
1. Set my pay based on the nearest affordable housing, and count the commute time above 30 minutes as time on the clock
2. Pay my employees enough to afford expensive housing
3. Join up with other business owners and start arguing for more affordable housing to be built closer in
4. Join up with other business owners and start arguing for better public transportation to be built, connecting the affordable housing to the employment centers.
I'm picturing that this provides some pressure to provide mixed income housing where housing is unavailable, or meaningful public transportation. Otherwise your sandwich may cost $40. Or you don't have a sandwich shop anymore.
What are the unintended consequences of this? How does it fall apart? (I can imagine it falling apart because rich people are great at undoing laws, but suppose my magic wand doesn't permit that.)
Mossy Character sends in this link, To Judge Inflation, Think of the Pandemic as a War.
The jump in U.S. consumer prices as the economy began reopening this spring -- they rose 4.2% over the 12 months ending in April -- has prompted a lot of historical comparisons to the bad old inflationary days of the 1970s.
If we're going to do historical comparisons, though, why stop at the 1970s? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has monthly consumer price index numbers going back to January 1913, allowing us to calculate 12-month inflation rates from January 1914 onward. That's just in time to catch the biggest inflation wave in the series, with consumer prices more than doubling from 1915 to 1920 and the 12-month price increase peaking at 23.7% in June 1920.
Kevin Drum has been beating the drum that this inflation paranoia is mostly because they're comparing prices with one year ago, instead of averaging out prices from two years ago. I think it's not the whole story, but enough for me to internalize the idea that we're overreacting to fears of inflation.
Actually, I'm young enough to always think that any time someone mentions inflation, they're an old boomer who needs to stop fighting the old wars. It's possible that I'm now old enough that I need to stop fighting my own old war of this knee-jerk reaction.
I was chatting with someone who'd returned to college as a nontraditional student (but had some college as a traditionally-aged student) and the difference in how nontraditional students approach their classes.
First, there's a lot of obvious maturity, time-management skills, and willingness to buckle down that come with time. But here's a secondary trait that I hadn't put my finger before: feeling entitled to understand the material. I wish I could think of a less loaded term than "entitled", because that seems so negative, but it captures what I'm trying to say. Nontraditional students often feel fundamentally entitled to understand the material, and therefore they advocate for themselves when they don't. (Some traditionally-aged college students also feel this, but I think it's particularly easy for first generation students to emphatically not feel entitled to understanding the material. The failure to understand is an intrinsic fact, not an extrinsic fact. They don't understand a concept and they have a passive acceptance of it.)
It gets close to those ideas on whether students have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, but I think I'm emphasizing something different. I frequently have older students with a fixed mindset who will say things like, "Now, I'm not good at math, so I'm going to have to ask lots of questions and you'll have to be patient with me." Some of that is just plain maturity and willingness to work hard, but it's also a belief that they're entitled to an understanding of the material.
Bright privileged kids tend to have this entitlement-to-understand, but it's harder to disentangle it from all the other privilege. Most of Jammies' students decidedly lack this entitlement. They are indoctrinated with the idea that they need to imitate a pattern to get through a worksheet, as though it's government paperwork and you don't really care why this entity wants this information, but if you fill out the forms in triplicate throughout the year, eventually they stop making you do it.
I sometimes imagine that these students are in a physically remote place - maybe the moon? - and doing their best to learn over long-range walkie-talkies that cut out constantly and they miss just large chunks of what is said, and they're distracted by a lot more proximate concerns. It seems to work as fairly good model.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Mossy Character writes: Taking the revised ~750k military deaths, the Civil War killed ~1/42 Americans, compared to the ~1/56 Britons (UK only) of WWI. Let us compare notes and enlighten one another; especially those of us with non-Anglo experience.
Heebie's take: Let's!