Friday, February 13, 2009

Missed out on Friday the 13th. Will miss out on Valentine's Day.

I didn't realize till seven this evening that it was Friday the thirteenth. I missed having something to talk about in my classes. I also missed out on the superstitious fretting. Just as well. Sometimes, it is good to not in in tune with the world.

Actually, the world being fallen, it is good to not been in tune with it at all.

I won't miss out on Valentine's Day but I like symmetry in my blog titles. I made the decision, later seconded by my wife, that Valentine's Day isn't worth celebrating this year. Because it is on a Saturday, we have an extra reason to stay at home. Valentine's Day will thus increase our saving. Valentine's Day is for saps who have to show economic prowess to some suspicious woman.

Every day is Valentine's Day in the K household as well as for rare readers of AKIC. I love you most of you except the fat, lazy, and/or incompetent who have crossed my path. You can fuddle duddle yourselves.

We have this student who has been best classified as a f***wit. He doesn't seem to be interested in English. Apparently, his parents dumped him in our school and not having the imagination to do anything useful, he hangs around the school, gossiping, attending classes and taking up space because he still can make any sentences, and walking around with a dumb grin on his face. You wonder if he is retarded or lazy or both. His presence is proof that some people are best suited for prison and that some people have to be given up on. Efforts to change his ways have yielded nothing. The kick in the ass he deserves will have to come in time when life catches up with him, as it does with everyone else. His interest perks up for the strangest of reason. He is what people would call nosy or a snoop. This afternoon, some people were having a shouting match in the hallway. Not having seen it, I had eye-witness reports that he had come out of his slumber to see what was going on.

I asked some students about the broken windows fallacy that some Economists, not at all, seem to know about. I first asked the students if they thought it was a good idea for the Wuxi government to build a second airport in order to stimulate its local economy. The students said it was a waste of money. One student did say that it would maybe give a small boost to the economy, but it would turn out quickly to be a waste of money. I then asked if the deliberate breaking of a window followed by its subsequent repair was good for the economy. The students, maybe due to a misunderstanding, said it was good. The window repairman would take his earnings and spend it they reasoned. And that spending would boost the economy. I would say that in both instances, the work done was not good for the economy. In the first instance, the second airport is not needed and a diversion from more productive uses of the resources employed. In the second case, the window has been lost and the resources used to repair it have been lost too. The money circulating as a result of the broken window is circulating to be sure but then so does paper shuffle in the wind. And the money spent is for commodities that have already been made and not necessarily for the labour to produce them.

The example of the City of Wuxi government building an unnecessary airport is not a far-fetched example. In the city of Seattle, there are two football stadiums of over 60,000 seat capacities as well as a baseball stadium with a 50,000 seat capacity. Are all these stadiums necessary? I should say not. One football stadium could easily support the city's major professional team and college football team. The baseball stadium, as well, was used to host a world-cup soccer qualifying match when the football stadium would have been the proper location. I also recall that the last time I went to the baseball facility, the stadium was trying to rent itself out for meetings and conventions - a sign that it was not recouping the hundreds of millions of dollars used to construct it. And where did the money come from to build these stadiums? Two of them needed money from the local government.

The city of Seattle is just one example of local governments in America, in the last twenty or so years, building large stadiums in hopes of boosting their economies. Has all this infrastructure building helped the economy? It would appear to have been of little use now. The money used to pay all the workers must have been lured them into buying houses they couldn't afford and rack up large credit card debts. Wasting money is no way to help the economy.


Don Tai said...

Hi from Toronto, Canada! I've just started reading your blog. I didn't know you were Canadian. Keep up the writing. The weather must be nice there. Do you remember what -20 with wind chill feels like?

Andis Kaulins said...

Thank you for reading my blog. Yes, I am Canadian. I have lived in B.C., Manitoba, Quebec, and New Brunswick. My father was in the army, you see.

Having spent ten years in B.C. and then five years in China, -20 is becoming a very distant memory for me.

The weather here is different. I find the summers intolerable because of the excessive heat and humidity.

If my wife lets me, I will keep up the writing.