This weeks Carnival of the Capitalists is at gongol.com, A site well represented in my weekly top picks. The best of this week:
- Magic in the Market Place - Some companies are just good at what they do.
- Government-Sponsored Enron Billion-Dollar Scandal Not Ready for Prime Time - Why doesn't the media cover this scandal? Its dog bites man. Government waste, fraud and unaccountability is not news.
- Is my car properly inflated? - When comparing prices between now and then, you have to account for the fact that things are better now.
- Supply and Demand for Teachers - and how it relates to teachers salaries.
Pual Graham has an interesting essay up on how PR firms manipulate the media.
A surprisingly large fraction of what you read in newspapers and magazines consists of such press hits: stories that, though not false, are there because someone paid for them to be ... PR is the news equivalent of search engine optimization
John Stossel talks about PR from the perspective of a reporter in his book Give Me a Break. As a consumer reporter, he was targeted with PR from law firms trying to get him to run "XXX is bad" type stories in order to prepare juries for yet-to-be filed lawsuits.
Do you trust the links at the top of the search engine results? Do you trust the story at the top of the news? It would seem to depend on the topic. Stossel made me distrust "XXX is harmful" stories. Now Graham makes me question the "XXX is great" stories. I guess you have to ask "who stands to gain" whenever you see something in the media.
To prove my point, you might examine my link to John Stossel's book more closely.
I've been picking the top five or so items from the Carnival of the Capitalists for several weeks now. This weeks edition focuses on selecting the top 20 of the 45 submissions. Much better than the two part laundry list of a couple weeks ago. And yet, going through the top 20, I still find about 5 which I think are a cut above the rest. I read most of the entries anyway and hopefully my weekly posts provide some sort of editorial value.
- Social security reform in texas - Through a fluke of history, Galveston texas has private retirement accounts instead of social security. If you care at all about this issue, you have to look at the graph comparing rates of return for Galveston's program versus social security.
- Stages of Economic Growth - Russia today is equivalent to the US in 1950? Fascinating analysis of the top 20 countries in the world.
- Property Rights - Uncertain property rights have destroyed Zimbabwe's economy.
- Walmart again
I enjoyed this weeks Carnival of the Capitalists. I didn't do a top picks for last week because I was busy and that carnival was split into two parts. Here are the best of the best for this week: