Theft of Elderly Woman’s Air Conditioner Called “Murder”

Source of the “murder” quote is from:
J.D. Miles, reporter. “Elderly Woman Dies From Heat After A/C Stolen.” Dallas, CBS 11 News, August 5, 2011.
(Note: this report is the source of the “murder” quote which was stated by Mrs. Grissom’s neighbor Caroline Ware.)
(Note: Another version of the report with the “murder” quote has the title: “Texas Heat Wave.” CBS 11 News, August 5, 2011.)

Another report on the incident is:

Source:
Ed Lavandera, reporter. “Woman Dies After Air Conditioner Stolen.” CNN American Morning, August 5, 2011.

China’s Speculative Real Estate Bubble

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In a front page article on October 20, 2010, the New York Times reported on how the Chinese government encouraged a real estate investment binge that has resulted in a growing number of empty, speculatively built ghost cities. Now the video media has picked up the story in the well-done story linked to above and cited below.

Williams, Ian, reporter. “The Roads Not Taken: Visiting China’s Ghost Cities.” Broadcast on the Today Show, Sunday morning, May 30, 2011.

What Motivated Paterno to Win 400 Games—“Gettin’ Paid”

Paterno400WinsGettinPaidClip.jpgSource of image: screen capture from YouTube clip referenced below.

What motivates employees? Economists have emphasized pay as the primary incentive, while recognizing that there may be “compensating differentials” for aspects of the work that are pleasant or unpleasant.
In recent years many non-economists, such as Daniel Pink in Drive, have emphasized non-pecuniary incentives.
Joe Paterno entered the debate at age 83, after he became the first major college coach to win 400 games on November 6, 2010.
Right after the victory, he was interviewed on the field by “Heather” of ESPN. Starting at 1:33 seconds into the clip referenced below, here is the key dialogue:

Heather: “Coach Paterno, what has motivated you to get to this point?”

Paterno: “Oh geez, I don’t know—gettin’ paid.”

Source: YouTube clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQzdVeYtm5w
(Note: the clip was posted on 11/6/10 by shellymic and has the title “Joe Pa FIRST to 400 Wins!”)

CNN Says Omaha Economy is Strong Because Citizens “Living Within Their Means”

“Why Omaha, Nebraska, is seeing a small business boom and boasts of having one of the lowest unemployment rates.” Source of caption and video: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2010/05/06/n_omaha_economy.cnnmoney/

Several days ago, CNN Money ran a very nice clip focusing on why Omaha’s economy has fared better than the economies of many other U.S. cities. The piece was mainly brief fluff, though pleasant, complementary fluff.
But the one message of substance was that Nebraskans, and usually Nebraska governments, work harder at not spending more than we take in.

(The reporter for the piece is CNN Money’s Poppy Harlow. Posted by CNN on May 6, 2010. Run time: 02:09.)

Measuring High Level Entrepreneurship

DiamondArtFrazerContestEntry2009.jpg

The Measurement Center of the Fraser Institute held a contest on the theme of what most needed to be better measured. I entered the contest, arguing that high level entrepreneurs are crucial to economic growth and human progress, and yet are not often the subject of systematic (as contrasted with anecdotal) study.
It turns out that my one minute video submission was picked as one of four “runners-up” in the contest.

Details of the contest and the winners, can be found at:
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/programsandinitiatives/measurement_center.htm
My minute video can be viewed at:
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/files/videos/Motivation-characteristics-of-high-level-entrepreneurs.wmv

Wattenberg’s Corporate Graveyard Illustrates Creative Destruction

The clip is the famous corporate graveyard scene from Ben Wattenberg’s 1977 “In Search of the Real America: A Challenge to the Chorus of Failure and Guilt.” The scene appears in the first of 13 episodes, the episode called “There’s No Business Like Big Business” which received the Tuck Award for the Advancement of Economic Understanding. The episode was produced and written by Austin Hoyt.
The corporate graveyard scene illustrates that under entrepreneurial capitalism, companies prosper that innovate in better serving the consumer.

URL address for graveyard scene video clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDMNYLiBexo

Wattenberg discussed the “In Search of the Real America” program, and the graveyard scene, in his recent book Fighting Words:

(p. 307) The central point of the program was that if big American corporations didn’t compete effectively, they suffer, and many would go out of business.

The producers had the wonderful idea of a visual of a graveyard on a foggy night, with headstones made from papier-mâché and a smoke machine providing the fog. I walked through the mock cemetery in a raincoat and read off the names of corporate tombstones, which included Central Leather (the seventeenth largest company in 1917), International Mercantile Marine (the eleventh largest in 1917), as well as failures like Baldwin Locomotive Works, American Woolen, Packard Motor Car, International Match, Pierce Petroleum, Curtiss-Wright, United Verde Mining, and Consolidation Coal.2 When we showed the Central Leather tombstone, a sound effect mooed; behind International Mercantile Marine’s, a steamship horn bellowed (I love shtick).
. . .
2 The program was based on an article by James Michaels, editor of Forbes. For many years, people would come up to me in airports, recalling that one scene and complementing me on the program.

Source:

Wattenberg, Ben J. Fighting Words: A Tale of How Liberals Created Neo-Conservatism
. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2008.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: I have corrected a few obvious errors involving the omission and placement of commas in the list of companies in the text of Wattenberg’s Fighting book.)

. . . , Mr. Michaels graduated from Harvard in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Source:
RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA. “James Michaels, Longtime Forbes Editor, Dies at 86.” The New York Times (October 4, 2007).
(Note: of course, Joseph Schumpeter was a member of the Harvard faculty in 1943, and published the first edition of Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy in 1942.)

FightingWordsBK.jpg

Source of book image: http://media.us.macmillan.com/jackets/500H/9780312382995.jpg

Environmentalists Lay Guilt on Rafael for His New Set of Legos

BatkerRafaelLegos2009-06-10.jpg“David Batker with his son Rafael de la Torre Batker, 9, who worried it might hurt the environment if he bought a new set of Legos.” Source of photo and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. A1) The thick-lined drawings of the Earth, a factory and a house, meant to convey the cycle of human consumption, are straightforward and child-friendly. So are the pictures of dark puffs of factory smoke and an outlined skull and crossbones, representing polluting chemicals floating in the air.

Which is one reason “The Story of Stuff,” a 20-minute video about the effects of human consumption, has become a sleeper hit in classrooms across the nation.
. . .
. . . many children who watch it take it to heart: riding in the car one day with his parents in Tacoma, Wash., Rafael de la Torre Batker, 9, was worried about whether it would be bad for the planet if he got a new set of Legos.
“When driving by a big-box store, you could see he was struggling with it,” his father, David Batker, said. But then Rafael said, “It’s O.K. if I have Legos because I’m going to keep them for a very long time,” Mr. Batker recalled.
. . .
(p. A12) “There was not one positive thing about capitalism in the whole thing,” Mr. Zuber said.
Corporations, for example, are portrayed as a bloated person sporting a top hat and with a dollar sign etched on its front.

For the full story, see:
LESLIE KAUFMAN. ” In Schools, a Cautionary Video About America and Its ‘Stuff’.” The New York Times (Mon., May 11, 2009): A1 & A12.
(Note: ellipses added; the online version of the title is: “A Cautionary Video About America’s ‘Stuff’.”)

EnvironmentalistVideoCapture.jpg“A section of the video on toxic chemicals and production.” Source of image and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited above.