Post from November, 2010

The TOC & Thanksgiving

Friday, 26. November 2010 4:05

John Stossel gives us an interesting and undertold story of the first thanksgiving and what lessons about the common (and the tragedies that can ensue without the collateral benefits of private property) the first settlers quickly learned in the harsh, new land of America.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, 25. November 2010 20:41

If u have a Droid or an I-Phone, you’ll probably think this is funny (language warning):

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Quantitative Easing Explained

Sunday, 14. November 2010 16:31

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Cheaters Caught by Statistics!

Wednesday, 10. November 2010 22:37

I’m sure this isn’t true of any of our students here at Tech. Particularly the student who minimizes the sin by claiming that “everyone cheats in life.” No. No, they do not. And even if they did, that doesn’t make it right! I think that business prof. went pretty easy on the cheaters. I’d have kicked em all out!

Don’t Cheat. Winners never Cheat, and Cheaters get Caught! D.GOOCH

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Jonah Goldberg on C-SPAN

Tuesday, 9. November 2010 20:21

For those of you who didn’t get enough of Jonah at the talk, here is Jonah Goldberg on C-SPAN’s program “In Depth” which spends 3 hours with an author going into detail about their works, the lives of the authors, and takes calls from viewers. D.GOOCH

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Hitler Reacts to 2010 Midterms

Monday, 8. November 2010 16:23

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Russvegas Mayoral Runoff

Thursday, 4. November 2010 22:28

I gave some comments on the upcoming runnoff election between the current mayor, Tyron Williamson (38%) and Bill Eaton (27%) to the Courier. Their article on the runoff is here. I spoke with the reporter over the phone, but I’d say she did a fair job of distilling my points on the runoff:

Dr. Donald Gooch, assistant professor of political science at Arkansas Tech, said there are elements that favor both Eaton and Williamson and it is impossible to predict what will happen in the runoff election.
Gooch added it is possible voters might take into consideration that all but two members of the city council will be new next year.

“You lose some of your institutional memory and lose some of your institutional expertise anytime you do a wholesale replacement of the government,” Gooch said. “If Williamson wins, that’s mitigated because he has the experience.”

The flip-side, however, is that runoffs are often considered bad for incumbents, Gooch said. He said the principle behind that assumption is if people wanted to keep the current administration, they would have voted for the incumbent to start with.

Gooch also said one must keep in mind a runoff election draws a different set of voters than the general election. Because district and state offices are no longer a factor, Gooch said the electorate is going to be a lot smaller.

“Neither of the candidates can be feeling comfortable (going into the runoff),” Gooch said.

My point with respect to institutional memory was more an observation of the fact you lose some expertise/memory with the loss of currently serving members of a government…particularly a wholesale replacement. This could influence voters, but I’m not sure whether any significant number of the voters in the electorate would take that into account when they vote in the runoff.

As to incumbents and runoffs, I did make one point that didn’t make it into the story. The reason I’d argue the incumbent may be in trouble here is the fact that there were 4 candidates and that, while he won a plurality between the 4 with a healthy margin, there are alot of votes for those other 2 candidates (about 30%) which could easily overcome his lead. So if they break 2 to 1 against him, he’ll see that lead disappear.

The final point I’m quoted on is spot on. Neither can feel comfortable, because we have no idea what the complete ranking ordering of the candidate preferences was in the election. We only know who their first choice was in the 4 candidate election. It’s possible that either Williamson or Eaton are the primary second choice of the other 2 candidate’s voters.

Of course, even if we did know, there still would be a great deal of uncertainty. Mostly because we have no idea what the composition of the runoff electorate will be. All I can say with certainty is that it will be significantly smaller than that which showed up on Nov. 2nd.

All of that to rhetorically shrug my shoulders and say, “Dunno!” But that’s the honest answer. Local elections are extremely difficult to predict for exactly these reasons. Multiple candidates, small N elections, absence of well-defined partisanship/ideology in the candidates, and inconsistent partisan/ideological voting in the local election electorate.

Your guess is as good as mine. But if I had to pick, I’d probably guess that, if the turnout is comparable to that of the general, the incumbent pulls it out as the percentages would stay roughly the same. However, in a small-n turnout race, I’d go with the challenger. The incumbent won’t earn votes above his general election percentage, but the challenger certainly can. Best guess: Williamson 56, Eaton 42 in a big turnout, Williamson 48%, Eaton 52% in a low-turnout election.


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Keynes vs. Hayek – The Sequel

Thursday, 4. November 2010 20:36


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The House: R+ 62 – 68

Thursday, 4. November 2010 6:11

This is the NY Times take on the current standings in the House. Republicans currently sit at a net gain of 60 seats and are projected to take between 62 and 68 House seats. I have seen it rated likely they’ll end up picking up 65 seats. As you’ll recall, I projected a net 66 seat pick up. Pretty good. 😉 The Senate? Let’s not talk about the Senate…

You can keep up with RCP’s tracking of the final resolution for the House races here and here. The interactive NY Times electoral map depicted above can be viewed here.

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Red vs. Blue

Wednesday, 3. November 2010 9:21

electoral map

This map gives us the traditional red vs. blue dichotomy while representing the share of the vote in the district with the third dimension. So the greater number of votes for either party located in the district, the ‘taller’ that district appears on the map. Cool. D.GOOCH

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