October Wrap-up

On this high holiday I have some minor links and musings to present.

First, from Reason magazine, Ronald Bailey in “Our Intangible Riches” interviews World Bank economist Kirk Hamilton about his team’s investigation into wealth and capital. The team’s results are published in Where is the Wealth of Nations?, available from the World Bank site. In short, the wealth of nations lies primarily in intangible capital; the education of the populace and the quality of social institutions.

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Observations suggest inflation pressures on the working classes continue to grow. Consumer staples giants Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, and Colgate-Palmolive have all announced the need to pass along price increases in oil and raw materials. Consumers should expect to see prices increase from 3-12%. Health, education, and childcare costs also continue to rise. Low official inflation numbers also permitted the Fed to slip another knife into an already wounded dollar.

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I finished reading Iain Bank’s The Algebraist the other week. It’s not a Culture novel, though still quite fun. I also picked up a copy of Sandworms of Dune, the conclusion to Frank Herbert’s famous cycle. As expected, only in the treatment of Duncan Idaho is Frank Herbert’s touch clearly visible. The writing style was pedestrian and the story had all the subtlety and depth of a Michael Bay film.

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Finally, we had a small earthquake yesterday. Nice rolling waves, almost like being on a boat.

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