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James Surowiecki Quotes
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A consumer-finance agency is a good thing, but it would do well to teach consumers a simple lesson: if you don't understand the deal you're making, don't make it.
Discussions of health care in the U.S. usually focus on insurance companies, but, whatever their problems, they're not the main driver of health-care inflation: providers are.
From a social point of view, it's beneficial that homeownership encourages commitment to a given town or city. But, from an economic point of view, it's good for people to be able to leave places where there's less work and move to places where there's more.
In a world where companies increasingly know about their business in real time, it makes no sense that public reporting mostly follows the old quarterly schedule. Companies sit on vital information until reporting day, at which point the market goes crazy.
In terms of productivity - that is, how much a worker produces in an hour - there's little difference between the U.S., France, and Germany. But since more people work in America, and since they work so many more hours, Americans create more wealth.
Lower oil prices won't, by themselves, topple the mullahs in Iran. But it's significant that, historically, when oil prices have been low, Iranian reformers have been ascendant and radicals relatively subdued, and vice versa when prices have been high.
Standards wars involve lots of variables, and understanding them often seems more an art than a science. They generally involve just two big players, and end in a winner-take-all situation.
The paradox of Steve Jobs's career is that he had no interest in listening to consumers - he was famously dismissive of market research - yet nonetheless had an amazing sense of what consumers actually wanted.
To be sure, if you watch CNBC all day long you'll pick up some interesting news about particular companies and the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, to get to the useful information, you have to wade through reams of useless stuff, with little guidance on how to distinguish between the two.
Of course, politicians always say they're just describing their opponents' positions, even if they are in fact offering absurd caricatures, if not outright lies.
The truth is that the United States doesn't need, and shouldn't have, a debt ceiling. Every other democratic country, with the exception of Denmark, does fine without one.
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Hunter S. Thompson
William F. Buckley, Jr.
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