Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, April 3, 2015

Effort Is For Suckers

A few shorters to cut through the greasy buildup:

Living Debt Free Just Got Easier: Megan McArdle praises a new less-stringent credit scoring system without telling us why anyone would prefer to use it. She likes it because it will not force people to borrow to build up credit and McArdle loathes debt, having eagerly over-borrowed in her youth. By the time she dies she will be stuffing her cash (and that of P. Suderman, boy revenue stream) in the mattress.

The Real Cost of California's Drought: The best way to deal with drought is to raise the price of water.
If we're truly worried about the poor, we could set some minimum amount of water that would be sold at a very cheap rate, with any excess charged at market rates to reflect the actual supply and the cost of providing it. This would be hugely unpopular with homeowners who have big lawns as well as with farmers. And perhaps the fabulous array of California produce would be reduced. But that seems like a reasonable price to pay for keeping California's reservoirs from running dry.
End the water subsidy! Why not?

• California is the nation’s top agricultural state, and has been for more than 50 years. Agriculture
generates approximately $37.5 billion a year, more than any other state.
• More than 60% of the state’s farms are less than 50 acres in size, one indicator of the growing
number of specialty crop operations.
• More than 90% of California farms are family farms or partnerships.
• The top 10 commodities include: milk and cream, all grapes, almonds, nursery products, cattle
and calves, all lettuce, pistachios, walnuts, and flowers and foliage.

It is true that McArdle has constantly defended a business's right to never see an increase in expenses, especially if individuals can suffer instead. It is true that McArdle has said that the cheap abundance of food in any season is the gifts of the corporate gods and an all-American right. And it is obviously also true that McArdle does not have the faintest idea of the history of California water rights, or that this history even exists. But the blessing of libertarianism is that its practitioners never need to think, they just need to call on the Free Market Fairy to take away all the problems of the world.


Easter Eggs For Grown-Up Tastes:
For this Friday's food column, we have an editor request: what the heck to do with all those leftover Easter eggs. This is a bit of a stumper. Not because I don't like hard-boiled eggs, but because ... don't you know what to do with them? You make deviled eggs. Or creamed eggs. Or egg salad.
This tidbit confirms two things: 1. McArdle actually does have an editor. 2. The editor is incapable of thinking of the obvious. This clears up a few mysteries but not all. We know this editor is not Brooke Sample because she's an "amateur chef." Perhaps it is James Gibney. Ah, well, we will have to wonder.

McArdle goes on to describe the obvious in the vaguest terms possible. If you are telling someone how to boil eggs, for egg salad you do not tell them to add a little of this and a little of that until it tastes right.

ADDED: I just noticed this:

Hollandaise sauce (traditional or blender)



cynic said...

The real cost of California's drought gives us a classic McMegan twofer:
"According to Tabarrok, the average household in San Diego pays less than 80 cents a day for the 150 gallons of water it uses. This is less than my two-person household pays for considerably less water usage,"
Math Challenged, as always. According to official DC water rates it is $5.19 for 1000 gallons. Divide by 6.5, carry the two... that is ..$0.78 for 150 gallons.


" . in an area where rainfall is so plentiful that the neighborhood next door to me has a recurrent flooding problem."

Flooding is mostly a function of poor drainage - one does not need plentiful rains to make it flood repeatedly.

But that is classic McMegan: start with a math challenged throwaway comment and follow it up with a random anecdote that has nothing to do with the point she is trying to make.

Susan of Texas said...

Bless her heart.

Larger drains would help with the flooding (they did here) and saves a lot of money in property damage but we all know that government projects are just make-work.

cynic said...

in all likelihood, she is pulling a classic McMegan: dividing her total water bill including sewer etc by the gallons she uses and comparing with Tabarrok's number which is clearly a 'water only' number.

But hey, whatever works for her fawning audience, right?

Susan of Texas said...

They can't keep up with all the errors if they wanted to.