12 January 2018

Proverbs, Maxims and Aphorisms

A grab bag of some of my favorite nuggets of wisdom:

* Religions that protect threatened cultures thrive.

* Unemployment is not a shortage of jobs, it is a failure of entrepreneurship.

* Make up your mind, the world is full of flat squirrels.

* Policy always trumps process in politics.

* Nobody cares about federalism and every significant societal issue seeks solutions at every level of government.

* Information is cheaper than education; tools are cheaper than ability; incentive are more easily found than motivation.

* Culture matters more than institutions.

* Artificial solutions are appropriate answers to artificial problems.

* The poor have proportionately more economic power than political power.

* Price discrimination drives a large share of seemingly irrational economic activity.

* Governance quality and democratic responsiveness both have a strong positive correlation to the number of people represented per elected official.

* Economic dependency is the best first order predictor of marital stability.

* Rich women make bigger earning capacity sacrifices to raise children than poor women.

* Standard of living and wealth are predominantly a function of earning capacity rather than consumption and investment choices.

* Student body socio-economic background is the predominant driver of academic achievement at the school level.

* The main reason that capitalism is stronger than communism is that capitalism is better at shuttering failing enterprises.

* The military is a socialist institution.

* The less people are paid for demanding work, the more children will follow their parents in leadership positions in these careers.

* People who make their own fortunes have children who are professionals who have children who are artists.

* People who grow up with material scarcity care more about making money; people who grow up affluent care more about leisure and autonomy.

* Problems that can be solved with money are more tractable than those that require regulatory law.

* Relaxed land use regulation is more effective at producing affordable housing than subsidies.

* Legislatures are not very responsive to bad case law and judicial outcomes.

* Language change is driven much more by language formation and contact issues than by random drift.

* Languages naturally grow more complex over time until there is an influx of language learners when they become more simple.

* Courts are rights enforcing institutions, not dispute resolution institutions.

* Monetary policy mainly influences non-real inflation and doesn't matter much for the economy except to the extent that it produces unexpected inflation or deflation.

* Decentralizing manufacturing and food production is usually a bad idea.

* Sacred religious texts tell you almost nothing about how the religion that uses them except who toponyms and babies will be named after.

* A larger percentage of the population manage to have sex and have kids than almost any other significant life activity.

* Serial marriage is quite similar to polygamy.

* Stability and affluence create secular liberals, instability and scarcity creates religious conservatives.

* It is important to consider not just how democratic political institutions are, but also how robust and stable they are when threatened.

* Conventional wisdom about the factors that make an institution or cultural practice work is often wrong.

* Particular policies are only liberal or conservative relative to others in contention at the same time; the long term trend is towards liberalism.

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