And spent most of the time aftwards on the Google (searchword "Abscam"). It is a great movie but I also ran across this item:
ESPN''s Bill Simmons will be an executive producer, along with Connor Schell, on the film Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton, and Lake Bell. Million Dollar Arm tells the true story of a sports agent attempting to recruit a pair of teenage Indian cricket players to play professional baseball.
In the trailer for Million Dollar Arm there was an endorsement quote from Bill Simmons on the screen (I can't find the trailer with the Google). I was thinking, "wow, The Sports Guy likes it, it must be good." But now I feel like I need a shower.
How kosher is it to serve as an executive producer and also endorse the film as some sort of cool guy independent observer? Shouldn't movie trailers have a conflict of interest policy? Even the American Economic Association has one.
RFF’s Rob Williams, Richard Morgenstern, Jared Carbone, and Dallas Burtraw have developed a new model to examine the implications of such a bill, exploring how the economy, the environment, and consumers will be affected by a carbon tax under a variety of scenarios, such as providing consumer rebates from the revenue. On Wednesday, June 26, they will explain the results from the model, which is the only model of its kind to look at distributional impacts across current and future generations of people. Register here to attend in the seminar in person or watch online at www.rff.org/live.
The Economics of Happiness is a documentary film by Helena-Norberg Hodge, Steven Gorelick, and John Page that critiques globalization and the continued development of a global culture. The film makes the case that globalization has led to an expansion of power and influence of big business and has, ultimately, decreased world welfare. It then goes on to propose that the solution to the challenges associated with globalization can be solved with a return to more localized economies, regulation of large corporations, and strategic policy changes that allow local businesses to prosper.
The film starts with Helena-Norberg Hodge in Ladakh, or "little Tibet,"a small region in northern India where she has been conducting research for decades. Hodge asserts that prior to introduction to western culture in the 1970's, Ladakh was a near-ideal society. Apparently, Ladakh had a fully localized economy where there was no unemployment, everyone was healthy, provided for, and undeniably happy. However, upon the imposition of western culture in the region, Hodge began to notice trends that led to an extreme loss of well-being. The Ladakh case therefore leads into the dramatic criticism of globalization and the description of eight over-simplified "inconvenient truths:"
Globalization... 1. makes us unhappy 2. breeds insecurity 3. wastes natural resources 4. accelerates climate change 5. destroys livelihoods 6. increases conflicts 7. is built on handouts to big business 8. in built on false accounting
To legitimize the anti-globalization argument, the filmmakers interview a variety of talking heads from around the globe who see the negative impacts of globalization everyday. This is really where my first problem with the film is established. Upon researching the backgrounds of the filmmakers and interviewees, it came to my attention that none of them have a serious academic background in economics. Given the fact that the film is called The Economics of Happiness one would think that they might actually interview a legitimate economist. Indeed, even Hodge, who is presented as an "economic analyst" in the beginning of the film, has her academic background in linguistics. Moreover, many of the films anecdotal arguments would more appropriately be characterized as anthropological/sociological. The filmmakers rarely touch on any actual economics, and even when they do it is over-simplified and used only when convenient.
The next major problem I had with the film is how they present globalization as being defended by inaccurate measures of prosperity, and they even go so far as to attack GDP as a backwards method for measuring well-being that only takes into account monetary welfare. Their proposed solution is a more comprehensive index for well-being that factors in physical, mental, and emotional well-being in addition to monetary wealth. Other than that description of the basic components, however, they give no indication of how such an index could accurately be calculated on a macro-scale. In fact, there is a regrettable lack of real numbers and data throughout the entire film, and most of the arguments are conclusory and provide the viewer with little or no evidence with which to form their own opinions.
In conclusion, I feel that The Economics of Happiness will leave many people yearning for more information about the real facts of the situation. I strongly believe that this film touches on some extremely pertinent issues for out time, but it is presented in such a one-sided fashion that it leaves far too much room for cynics (such as myself) to find illegitimacy in their arguments. By playing to the ignorance of many concerning economic issues (ignorance not to be confused with stupidity here) the film leaves the reasonable viewer with a taste that is a little more political and a little less altruistic.
The film "economics of happiness" was the major topic of discussion in my senior seminar class yesterday. Several of my students thought that the panel could have used an environmental economist (to my knowledge, no one from the department was invited to participate). I agree, since the "... series focuses on environmental and economic issues ...". I'm sure that if invited to participate in the future we could make every effort to have a representative present the economics angle in a balanced way that would benefit the audience. ...
I had hoped to attend the movie and panel discussion along with my students but I was chose my kids first U11 soccer practice instead. If I knew that the economics discipline would receive the one-sided treatment that caused my students concern, I would have found a substitute soccer chauffeur.
In October 1843, he had the idea for “A Christmas Carol.” As Claire Tomalin writes in another new book, “Charles Dickens: A Life,” he told a friend “he had composed it in his head, weeping and laughing and weeping again” as he walked around London at night.
He had visited one of the “ragged schools,” set up in poor parts of London by volunteer teachers to educate homeless, starving and disabled pupils, and the novella, published that December, was his screed about the indifference of the rich toward those less fortunate.
Scrooge gets redeemed from an alternate life as a misanthrope, and Tiny Tim is saved from death. But two “wolfish” children, a boy named Ignorance and a girl named Want, are not rescued, but rather left to haunt readers’ consciences.
We watched the George C. Scott version last week. There was lots of explaining to do about ignorance and want to 7 and 9 year olds. Also last week, we went to the Biltmore for the first time. Again, lots of explaining to do.
The PHD Movie is screening at OSU tomorrow night at 7:30. Fortunately I have a life and don't need to relive the horrors of graduate school*. I'm picturing a bunch of nerds sitting around laughing hysterically and their 'dates' wondering what the hell they are doing there. At least that's what me and my wife would look like if we were at the screening.
We need more wind coverage! Please consider covering this topic in your blog, and do reach out to me if you know anyone who writes about wind and would be a good blogger candidate for TEC. We're also looking for more market news on the cleantech sector.
I was flipping channels the other day and ran into A Mighty Wind. I've seen it several times before but I wanted to see the scene where the actress from Glee tells the story of how she ended up in the band. I saw that scene, and it was great, and then kept watching. I couldn't change the channel! That is one awesome movie. I highly recommend it.
I bet a lot of other economist bloggers have seen the movie. You should consider joining The Energy Collective!
Five years after the need for a cleanup was recognized by the state legislature, the state Environmental Management Commission is hammering out a strategy to reduce pollutants flowing into the almost 12,500-acre reservoir from streams and rivers in Orange, Person, Granville, Wake and Durham counties that have led to rising levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the lake. ...
And mysterious deaths! Several residents, all with connections to Duke and NCSU, have died while swimming in Falls Lake (and drinking treated Falls Lake water). What could be behind this crime?
The push and pull between the interests of Durham and Raleigh - the two communities with possibly the most at stake - may lead to tense relations between the two cities.
Raleigh, and a large part of Wake County, needs Falls Lake for its
drinking water and will spend millions upgrading the city's water
treatment plant if pollution isn't reduced by 2016.
But Durham looks as though it will be on the hook for millions of
dollars to lower the amount of sediment-laden stormwater that rushes
off pavement in its urban core into streams, creeks and rivers that
flow into the lake. Durham doesn't get its water from Falls Lake but
from Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir.
And it will definitely lead to some tension between Triangle-area environmental economists (those guys need some tension). Can't you see a Duke (Murray/Pattanayek) vs. NCSU (Phaneuf/Von Haefen) empirical study-type showdown? I'd go after the following actors: Gabriel Bryne to play a Murray-type character (I'm typecasting with an Irish theme), Hank Azaria for the Pattanayek-type character, Jeff Bridges for the Phaneuf-type character (because he's Oscar-hot ... and he'd shave his head like in Ironman), and, er, Will Ferrell to play the Von Haefen-type character (sorry Roger, but I gots to get my boy in the film somehow).
... To fix the
lake, Durham might have to shell out $20 million over the next decade.
City leaders say the cost could rise to as much as $1 billion overall
to upgrade a sewage plant and bring existing development into
compliance. Among other measures, that could involve encouraging more
stormwater to be filtered by the soil, which would help curb pollution
in the lake's upper reaches, where pollution is most concentrated. ...
One BILLION dollars? That represents $1 billion in potential funding for Duke medical research.
But money is also behind Raleigh's push to start cleaning up soon.
Money? And Murder. Someone definitely has to go down. Not an economist because economic life is too boring to generate a motive, but probably an evil mid-level research administrator with higher administrative ambitions.
the lake quality doesn't improve by 2016, a $115 million upgrade of
Raleigh's E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant, which handles all the
water for Raleigh's system, will be needed. In addition, as much as
$200 million in other improvements may be necessary.
And if Raleigh has to spend this much money on clean drinking water, all of NCSU's external funding will be crowded out. No indirect costs? That's motive.
All this story needs is a crusading heroine played by Julia Roberts:
JoAnn Burkholder, an N.C. State University aquatic ecology professor
who has been researching the Falls Lake pollution, said the unsafe
conditions on the beaches may be symptoms of the lake's illnesses.
indicates to me that something has seriously gone wrong," Burkholder
said about the beach closures at a recent forum about Falls Lake.
And, of course, we'll also need a team of heros. I suggest a Mansfield/Van Houtven-type (Sandy Bullock/Clooney or Pitt) meta-analysis that determines which empirical study is the outlier, determine if net benefits are positive and reveal the true mid-level-academic-administrator-with-higher-administrative-ambitions villain.
And I'd be the technical advisor so they'd get the economics right.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous