Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Upper West Side Horror
Quick! Before she takes out her calculator!
It's spring break and we are very busy so let's be short.
Shorter Megan McArdle: We don't need more trains; there's nobody to ride them.
Shorter Megan McArdle: New York City needs more trains if it wants to accommodate more people.
If money is spent on trains that means McArdle will have to pay taxes that might benefit someone else and she would rather not help anyone who isn't Megan McArdle, thanks very much.
Shorter Megan McArdle: Netflix might just be shooting itself in the foot again!
Our brilliant journalist makes some claims that she doesn't explain ("On the other hand, Netflix has proven itself an extraordinarily nimble and visionary company, repeatedly moving to cannibalize its own sales before competitors do it for them"). She also says," The competency required to be a DVD distributor don't really overlap that much with the competencies required to identify and support successful television programming." I'll bet Netflix has amassed a huge amount of information about what people want to watch, and as I spent all week watching Dr. Who on Netflix's instant download with the kids, I know it's not just mailing DVDs either. I would like nothing better than to get rid of cable altogether, and from what I hear a lot of people have switched to viewing tv via the internet. It's the wave of the future, as they used to tell us in the '70s.
It never ceases to amuse me that McArdle is able to make a living as a journalist by obfuscating instead of illuminating. Her writing is extremely unclear and she routinely leaves out information essential to understanding her point. Fortunately for her that's a feature, not a bug, in her line of work.
Shorter Megan McArdle: "10 Quick Pickups for Your Personal Finances"
This article reads almost exactly like one of those utterly useless articles published in a upmarket woman's magazine that is aimed at educated people but is written by someone who usually covers fashion and celebrities. "Add more to your 401(k)." That's sheer genius. Putting aside the merits of 401(k)s, if you don't know enough to do this you don't have a 401(k), and if you do, you don't need some silly cow telling you to add more to your 401(k).
Shorter Megan McArdle: For reasons that I will state but not explain, income inequality isn't that bad after all! "Rising inequality (and slower income growth) have been a rising trend across most of the developed world for three decades. We need a better explanation than greedier rich people, or stupider politicians." Don't tell me--it's systemic!
Shorter Megan McArdle: Obama seems to have become as bad as Bush regarding civil rights. The problem must be...systemic!
It doesn't occur to her that power-hungry people seek the presidency, or that people actually mean what they say. Obama's worldview was not hidden; he said what he thought. People just didn't want to believe him. Now they know better. Of course most people continue the same pattern of belief and disillusionment because they dislike the alternative, which is rejecting all automatic group loyalties.
There are also a couple of posts on Japan that tell us nothing; McArdle doesn't do original analysis, she just quotes Tyler Cowen or someone else. All noise, no substance.
Where's a Dalek when you need one? Exterminate! Exterminate!