Archives for humor



The History of Taxes

If you’re still fuming over taxes this year, take a look at Mike Duncan and Jason Novak‘s (slightly biased) cartoon explanation of the history of taxes. The income tax really got its start in 1913:

Congress immediately passes the Revenue Act of 1913, creating the first permanent income tax.  No one really notices because the vast majority of incomes are taxed at just 1%.  The mustache twirling robber barons get pretty grumpy, though.  Then Wilson plunges us into WWI and unleashes the awesome potential of the new income tax.  The top end rate jumps to 77% and revenue increases 635%.

(HT: The Big Picture)



Explaining Love

Following my #lovedata challenge this morning, the first few attempts at explaining love around the world are already trickling in.

But first, the finding that blew my mind. Commenter Renars pointed out that the very data I had plotted—the proportion of people feeling love in a country on a typical day, versus a measure of GDP per capita (a measure of average income)–form a heart-shaped cloud. Really. Take a closer look at it. This may be the most amazing chart I’ve ever drawn. Read More »



Happy Valentine’s Day (a Cautionary Tale)

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a webcomic by Zach Weinersmith (well done, Zach!). Read More »



It’s Not You, It’s the Data

At McSweeney’s, Josh Freedman breaks up with his girlfriend, economist-style:

Susan, we need to talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. About us. I really like you, but ever since we met in that econ class in college I knew there was something missing from how I felt: quantitative reasoning. We can say we love each other all we want, but I just can’t trust it without the data. And after performing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of our relationship, I just don’t think this is working out.

Please know that this decision was not rash. In fact, it was anything but—it was completely devoid of emotion. I just made a series of quantitative calculations, culled from available OECD data on comparable families and conservative estimates of future likelihoods. I then assigned weights to various “feelings” based on importance, as judged by the relevant scholarly literature. From this, it was easy to determine that given all of the options available, the winning decision on both cost-effectiveness and comparative-effectiveness grounds was to see other people.

(HT: Greg Mankiw) Read More »



Economists Making Their End-of-the-World Confessions

Today is the last day on the Mayan calendar, which, according to some, means the world is going to end.  This seems about as likely to occur as any economic forecast.  And so in preparation, economists on Twitter have been making their end-of-the-world confessions, using the hashtag #EndOfTheWorldEconfessions.

Here are some of the highlights: Read More »



“Homicide Victims Rarely Talk to Police,” and Other Horrible Headlines

From a friend, who got them from a friend, who got them from someone else, here’s a collection of newspaper headlines that don’t quite accomplish what the writer set out to accomplish. Anyone who has ever written or published anything can surely sympathize — and laugh. Read More »



Economists in a Coal Mine

From the Onion, “Nation’s Economists Quietly Evacuating Their Families”:

As employment stagnates, manufacturing continues its slump, and overall confidence in the U.S. financial system wavers, the nation’s economists have begun abandoning their homes and sending their loved ones overseas. “We’ve noticed a trend among the leading economic thinkers, be they Keynsians, supply-siders, or students of the Austrian school—they’re putting their families on one-way flights out of the country, often leaving half-finished survival bunkers behind them,” Paul Klement, an analyst with the Brookings Institute, told reporters Tuesday.

This, meanwhile, is not a joke: Economists for Romney today announces that its statement in support of Mitt Romney for President has been signed by more than 400 economists, including Nobelists Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Myron Scholes.

(HT: Dave Domingo)

 



FREAK-est Links

1. Will putting your organ donor status on Facebook encourage organ donation?

2. Economist humor: When a physicist meets an economist.

3. Will the UAE outlaw junk food in schools?

4. CNN releases 13 years of transcripts.

5. Why fiction might be good for you.

6. The 10 Commandments of Twitter: Academics Edition.