Good government dies in the darkness. This article is getting a lot of attention on Wonk Twitter and what’s left of the blogosphere. From the abstract:
We examine the effect of local newspaper closures on public finance for local governments. Following a newspaper closure, we find municipal borrowing costs increase by 5 to 11 basis points in the long run …. [T]hese results are not being driven by deteriorating local economic conditions. The loss of monitoring that results from newspaper closures is associated with increased government inefficiencies, including higher likelihoods of costly advance refundings and negotiated issues, and higher government wages, employees, and tax revenues.
What the hell happened at GE? This guy blames Jeff Immelt’s buy-high/sell-low strategy. I blame Jack Welch.
Academic writing is terrible. Science journalist Anna Clemens wants to change that. (Plus she quotes one of my grad school professors, Paul Zak Here’s what Clemens says about turning your research into a story:
But – just as with any Hollywood success in the box office – your paper will not become a page-turner, if you don’t introduce an element of tension now. Your readers want to know what problem you are solving here. So, tell them what gap in the literature needs to be filled, why method X isn’t good enough to solve Y, or what still isn’t known about mechanism Z. To introduce the tension, words such as “however”, “despite”, “nevertheless”, “but”, “although” are your best friends. But don’t fool your readers with general statements, phrase the problem precisely.
Write for the busy reader. While you’re writing your next book, paper, or op-ed, check out what the readability robots think of your writing.
They tell me I’ll get more hits if I mention Bitcoin and blockchain. Um, OK. Here goes. The Seattle Times reports on the mind-blowing amount of power cryptocurrency miners are trying to buy in the electricity-rich Pacific Northwest:
In one case this winter, miners from China landed their private jet at the local airport, drove a rental car to the visitor center at the Rocky Reach Dam, just north of Wenatchee, and, according to Chelan County PUD officials, politely asked to see the “dam master because we want to buy some electricity.”
You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. The Wild West of regulating cryptocurrencies:
The government must show that the trader intended to artificially affect the price. The Federal District Court in Manhattan once explained that “entering into a legitimate transaction knowing that it will distort the market is not manipulation — only intent, not knowledge, can transform a legitimate transaction into manipulation.”
Tyler Cowen on what’s wrong with the Internet. Hint: It’s you.
And if you hate Twitter, it is your fault for following the wrong people (try hating yourself instead!). Follow experts and people of substance, not people who seek to lower the status of others.
If that fails, “mute words” is your friend. Muting a few terms made my Twitter experience significantly more enjoyable and informative.