Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Freakest Links

A couple of interesting posts over at Freakonomics that I thought I'd point out:

Is France Due for Riots? I think unrest will seep out and eventually explode again. France's real problem is that all non-French are second class citizens. That is completely untenable, especially with an increasingly militant Muslim underclass. If they wait until after June next year though, I'd appreciate it.

To All the Incentive Haters. I'm far from an incentive hater (Indeed, as this long parenthetical aside will show, I'm an economist at heart. I was talking with my wife about the kids and prime seats in our car. You know how it is...on trips there's always a fight or at least some strong feelings about where everyone sits. My mom and stepdad would have us physically rotate every hour or so [seriously, we'd pull over and play musical seats], while we almost had assigned seats with my dad and stepmom. I told my wife that I'd like to do it the way an economist would. If the kids are packed and ready to go, they can spend all the time in the world out in the car [the opportunity cost of doing something else with their time] in order to get a prime seat. I also proffered the suggestion if there was disagreement about a particular seat then giving an additional incentive [cash] for the child who would take the lousy seat without complaint. Yes, I love maximizing utilities and teaching it.), and find this very interesting.

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