World Cup: Brazil favored by how much? And is soccer socialist?
Betting the World Cup.
: “Who will the lucky winner be?
Economics has a surprisingly large amount to say on the subject. Forget Thomas Piketty: By far the most important academic study out
this year is Goldman Sachs’s massive 'The World Cup and Economics 2014' . . . The authors developed
the best possible econometric model drawing on those data, and used it to generate a prediction that
Brazil has a 48.5 percent chance of being the World Cup champion.”
Ignore those World Cup productivity studies
: “Every four years around the soccer World
Cup, the same pernicious pattern of lamentable link-baiting takes hold. Some sales data firm or a bunch
of employment lawyers will come up with an ‘analysis’ of product
ivity losses incurred as a consequence of the attention people choose to pay to the tournament, and they will always find reporters happy to
summarize their ‘findings’ and propagate the idea that bad things are happening. . . . These reports are
d misguided. They are also dangerous.”
PRO/CON: Is soccer a socialist sport?
: “Capitalist sports are exciting —
people often hit each other, sometimes even score. Soccer fans are excited by an egalitarian 0-0 tie. When soccer powerhouses Brazil and Portugal met recently at the World Cup, they played for 90 minutes
and combined got just eight shots on net
(and zero goals).”
: “Unlike the major American professional sports, failure is not rewarded and
incentivized in soccer. There is barely any revenue-sharing between teams; teams invest in young play
ers, often from as early as age 10 on; there are no salary caps for players; you don’t get to draft
better players if you perform poorly; and you can definitely go out of business, so to say, by getting
Jobs and Seattle's minimum wage hike
Seattle do-gooders just shot themselves in the foot.
: “The [Seattle City] council is
correct to worry about the economic condition of the working class. American workers have been
suffering for many years now, and the perception that ‘the top 1 percent’ is doing great is widespread and
correct. It is natural and commendable for policymakers to want to take steps to help workers. But even a modest increase in the minimum wage
isn’t the answer. And a city
-specific $15 per hour minimum wage
is simply reckless.”
On the jobs report:
Another worrisome sign that the beating heart of the US economy is failing.
“There seems to be a secular decline in new busi
ness formation. Not only does this mean fewer fast-
growing, highly innovative new firms, but also less competition for incumbents.”
Student loan crisis
Democrats are pushing a stimulus package for the college educated.