Monday, August 23, 2004

Thinking about Hit CDs

In the midst of a fascinating post on the effects on the market of a transition to transcience, Tyler Cowen declares:

"In the music market, in contrast, few people buy CDs for resale value (those that do will focus on the hits). " [emphases mine]

Does this make any sense? While I can't draw a demand curve here (lack of blog-posting skill, that), it seems unlikely that the resale value will increase over time of something that sells largely initially.

To put it as simply as possible, which is more valuable: an original copy of The Velvet Underground and Nico (40,000 sold) or The Doors or Smiley Smile (to name two albums from the same year, and with cult followings)? Or, more aptly, a Johnny Rivers or Tommy James and the Shondells or Sonny and Cher album from the same time period?

I don't know for certain, but I know which way to bet.

Update: The Shifted Librarian appears to agree with my sense that today's "hits" are tomorrow's fuggedaboutits.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Professor Hubbard's mileage WILL vary--though one cannot be certain why.

Audit shows $8.8 billion in Iraq funds missing

Quick comparison

Most extreme allegation of the "oil-for-food scandal": $11B over 10 years--and that's assuming any of those still-to-be-documented, my-dog-ate-my-homework allegations turns out to be accurate.

U.S. "cleaner government" effort: $8.8B in one year

From the CPA Accomplishments(p. 3):

• CPA helped the Iraqi government to build market-based economy by...
o developing transparent budgeting and accounting arrangements, and a framework for sound public sector finances and resource allocation

Yep. Got that right.

via Atrios

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

How to be out of the office while not really trying

White House Briefing tells a truth it doesn't acknowledge

Remember all those tales about how GWB was going to be working this August, to make certain people didn't think about how he didn't work in August of 2001? Turns out that he's working--on being re-elected.

Pull quote from the original source:

For three weeks, the US president has worked in Washington an average of one day a week, which was enough to announce last week his decision to nominate a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency. [sarcastic emphasis mine]

In order to recover from his electoral marathon and to prepare for his acceptance speech, the president will spend the week between August 19 and 25 at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. [emphasis again mine]

Usually, Bush spends four weeks in August at his ranch. But the example of his father, who lost his 1992 reelection battle due to, some say, insufficient campaigning, has forced the current president to revise his plans.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

An Endorsement worthy of an Alan Keyes supporter

MSNBC endorses the Olympics and Jenna Jameson

Given the following, would you rather watch television or read the book?

Pull quote supporting Olympics watching: "Programming on other networks consists of mind-numbing reality shows and repeats of half-hour comedies and one-hour dramas whose Nielsen ratings are in negative numbers. Wouldn’t you rather watch young athletes showing their stuff?"

Pull quote on How to Make Love to a Porn Starby Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss: "I think it would have been a riot if a book called “How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale” by Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss had a foreword written by John Ashcroft...This is more a memoir of Jameson’s difficult upbringing on the seedy side of Las Vegas (you know, the decadent side, with all the vice) and how she rose to become one of porn’s icons."

So the choice is between watching some show their stuff or reading about someone showing her stuff...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Restoring Honesty and Integrity to the White lie at a time

Whopper: Laura Bush - The first lady lies in order to make the president look ... stupid?

Pull Quote: Well, of course, he didn't really write the poem. But a lot of people really believed that he did. That evening at the dinner, what some woman from across the table said: "You just don't know how great it is to have a husband who would write a poem for you."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

With allies lies these...

MSNBC - Court transcript:N.Y. man admits assisting al-Qaida

Pull Quote:

"In his secret plea deal, Babar admitted to meeting with a high-ranking al-Qaida official in South Waziristan, Pakistan, near the border of Afghanistan, earlier this year and turning over equipment ranging from waterproof socks to goggles." [emphasis mine]

Tom Ridge quote:

"But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the President’s leadership in the war against terror. The reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan." [again, emphasis mine]

So our allies are providing security, aid, and comfort to the people who are going to attack us. What are our enemies doing?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Tyler Cowen sees a Bush I don't...

Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution "pie-in-the-sky"s an economic plan for George W. Bush, apparently on the (accurate) assumption that he should have one.

But he goes a step further, identifying a Bush I don't see at the bottom of the entry: “What I liked about Bush, way back when, was that he seemed willing to talk tough truths and then follow through. Where has that gone?” [emphasis mine]

I can’t find any examples in Bush’s history other than Iraq which, to be nice about it, didn’t involve “tough truths.” Anyone have any examples?