What A Baby Born Now Is Thinking About

Bad times now.

Worst than before?

Blue sky tomorrow?

Baby or no baby now?

Please my Queen, don’t read this post! Anyone informing my Queen about it will be dead meat 🙂

Here is the diary from a new born baby.

A baby born in the worst recession in a generation.

Thanks to Market Watch, here is the diary of this poor (lucky?) baby:

(sorry to put all the text, but it’s so goooooooooood!)

I’m not sure how being born at the end of what has come to be called the Great Recession will affect my life. I may be new around here, but I figure growing up today won’t be as easy as it might have been a generation ago.

At least that’s the feeling I get from Mommy and Daddy, who had plenty of scary money thoughts as they prepared for my entry into the world — not to mention the usual panic attacks about raising a kid that keep every parent awake (hey, that’s my job!) no matter what the economy is doing.

For starters, my inheritance has already taken a nosedive. Last week a house just like ours sold on my parents’ block for 80% of what they paid two years ago. Sheesh.

But times haven’t been too tough for me yet. I have a stockpile of blankets and onesies, and the milk keeps flowing. Plus, Mommy and Daddy still have their jobs.

And don’t think I’m a freeloader. Daddy says I provide daily opportunities for him and Mommy to grow as people as they build up "reservoirs" of patience. And Mommy says I give her about 100 chances a day to think about "opportunity costs." I’m not sure exactly what those things are, but they must be worth something.

Frankly, I’m pretty lucky to be around at all. I’ve heard, because Mommy told me, that a lot of women now are worried because the economy is so bad, so they aren’t having babies. In fact, back about 10 months ago, not so long after Barack won (I am also an Obama Boom Baby — ladies are still having lots of babies in D.C.) my father said that maybe he and Mommy should wait to have me until the recession ends.

Thankfully, my mother nixed that plan.

There’s always going to be some reason to delay, she said, and the sooner she had me, the easier it would be to get back in shape.

But Mommy wasn’t just thinking about fitting back into her size 6 jeans. She also said it makes sense to have a baby while she has a job with good benefits. And boy was she right. The hospital bill arrived this week, and our six-day stay cost $22,000 — that’s a lot of diapers! But because she’s insured, we owed the hospital less than $700.

Before I arrived the biggest worry for Mommy and Daddy — other than a night of tequila shots for Mommy before she knew I existed — was paying for my education. Personally, I think they should worry less — after all, if times get tough I could always model (yes, I am that cute).

But the ‘rents are thinking long-term and wondering if college is going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mommy asked her own Mommy and Daddy — they are both something called "economists" — to help her figure out how much we should save to send me to a top private school. The answer was pretty scary, worse than one of my poopy diapers.

Basically, Mommy realized that she’d never be able to buy a new dress, or bottle of wine, or really indulge any little whim ever if she tried to save enough to send me to someplace called Yale. So it looks like I am heading to "state school" in about 18 years. Sounds fine by me, but what do I know?

Mommy and Daddy have also been worried about who will look after me if something happens to them. I’m not sure why they are so worried — we’ll always be together! But they’ve been meeting with some lawyer guy, and trying to figure out who should be in charge of me and when I should be allowed to get a bunch of money in some trust. The lawyer guy isn’t cheap, but Mommy says some things are worth paying for to have them done right.

It’s been hard for Mommy to decide when to go back to work. She’s worried about losing her "edge," whatever that is. But she really didn’t have much choice about staying home (not that every day with me isn’t a blessing — I rock!). I’ll probably have to be at least a year old before they can leave me home alone (I kid, I kid).

Seriously, it takes so long to get into day care in Washington. Right now I am cooling my heels, on three waiting lists. Anyway, some lady said the average wait time to get into her day care was 18 months, and because my folks signed me up as soon as the doctor told them to expect me, I’ll hopefully grab my spot pretty soon.

Geez, why aren’t there more options for working parents? Why doesn’t Daddy get months and months of paternity leave? Why does everything have to be so hard?

Mommy has already decided to put her master’s degree in economics on hold because she’s just so busy these days. I think that may be one of those "opportunity costs" she talks about.

And she’s not sure when to go back to work and leave me in someone else’s care. If she goes back too soon, maybe I’ll turn into a drug-snorting, convenience store-robbing psycho. But if she doesn’t go back soon enough, maybe she’ll turn into a sweatpants-wearing, Days-of-Our-Lives viewing sludge.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a few weeks of being strung out on soap operas and comfy pants. But I know Mommy has worked hard for her career, and isn’t ready to quit.

To help keep her in the loop, Mommy is going to write for MarketWatch about me and our family and how we’re going to get by in this tough economy. She would’ve written today’s column, but I could tell she was nappy after we partied all night (well, I cried and she fed me). So I’m pinch-hitting to give her a break.

I had fun telling you about my start in life and I hope you’ll come back next week to hear more.

And now I’m getting sleepy, too, so I’m going to crash out. I had a long day of naps and feedings and fussiness, and I even slipped in a few smiles to show the ‘rents I really am worth all that work.

Best,

I love it 🙂

Hope you enjoyed it 😆

 

Mots clés Technorati : ,,,
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How Grad’s Students See Their Prof

 

phd101209s

Click on it to get a larger image 🙂

 

"Peaceful Wolf T’ai Chi Ch’uan"… And Economics

Let all things be healthy.

Let all things be peaceful.

Count your blessings at least once a day.

Forgive those who have hurt you; forgive those who have offended you.

But most of all forgive yourself for what you have done, and for what you have failed to do.

What is done, there is no need to speak of.

What is past, there is no need to blame.

Have self-control, self-knowledge, self-respect, and the courage to dare.

Strive to make the spot where you stand beautiful.

Then harmony, happiness, and longevity will follow you all your days and all your ways.

Beautiful isn’t it?

I am not sure who wrote it, but I read it from Yoram Bauman’s website and it was told to him by his grandmother in 2003.

Who is Bauman?

A PhD in Economics, and the first ever Stand-Up Economist (but still a professor 🙂 )

He is more specialized in Environmental Economics but he made an hilarious translation of the famous “10 Principles of Economics” from Mankiw.

I think I should report his translation to my students…

Do you want to have a look on his hilarious translation (even Mankiw put it in his blog)?

So go there and enjoy!

 

 

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Taiwan: Finally The Cruel Made Its Decision And Left

Few hours after I posted about LUPIT (yesterday evening Taiwan Times), I checked (this morning) the current path.

Obviously if LUPIT (downgraded to tropical storm) didn’t know what to do yesterday, it seems now that its mind is clear 🙂

image

I am using a very good source: Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) which is mapping and forecasting activities worldwide.

 

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Taiwan: Is It Coming Back? Cruel and Viciousness.

We thought that the typhoon LUPIT will let Taiwan alone.

And… It changed its direction to the North, toward Taiwan.

Then, we thought we will have heavy rains during several days.

And… It changed again its direction to the East.

Then, we thought, OK this time it’s done.

And… It seems it’s coming back (see the blue arrow in the below snapshot)…

image

By the way, do you know the meaning of LUPIT?

It is Tagalog for cruel or viciousness.

We should add: tricky

Yes, indeed…

🙂

Taiwan: Again, Not Responsible?

Since one year, the Maokong Gondola (located in Taipei – Muzha area) is suspended for security concerns linked (at least) to the Tower 16 (mudslides eroded the ground beneath a support pillar).

It was decided, designed and constructed when Ma (the actual president of Taiwan) was the mayor of Taipei.

The Control Yuan decided to investigate the case and in today news (HERE), an anonymous member (I supposed it’s because the probe isn’t finished yet) said:

…President Ma is not responsible for the problems…

What is the reason for that?

[…]

The anonymous member said that Ma did not make mistakes in his decision to build the gondola.
Before the system was suspended, the gondola brought great benefits to the Muzha area, attracting more than 5 million visitors in a year, he said.

[…]

Wait, it’s not done yet 🙂

Still according the same source:

[…]

…the anonymous official said that the Taipei City Government under Ma’s administration was found to be partly at fault for an incomplete evaluation of the geology of the tower sites, inadequate project design and insufficient testing.

[…]

I don’t get it:

  1. Of course as president, Ma has nothing to do with that
  2. But when the project was decided, designed and constructed, he was the mayor no?
  3. Why blame the staff for that?
  4. A mayor has nothing to say and do for a so big and huge project? If yes, what is the job of a mayor?
  5. Moreover, because more than 5 million visitors used it, it means that Ma is not responsible, thanks to all the money brought by the gondola?
  6. I suppose it’s better to thanks the good fortune of the users: what if a tower collapsed during working hours with a lot of people several dozens meters above the ground?

And what about the other project decided and constructed (starting to be) when Ma was mayor of Taipei? I am of course talking about the Neihu MRT line.

This MRT is working as hell and yesterday it was again interrupted, apparently because a power failure. Again.

Guess about all the money invested in the gondola, which is interrupted since one year, not mentioning about maintenance cost (if any maintenance…???) and the cost to re-start the gondola (if it re-start one day).

Guess about all the money spent for a poor designed MRT line.

Oh by the way, this MRT line will of course (more or less in a new future) be the target of an investigation.

I suppose that as for the gondola, the mayor who decided it won’t be hold responsible.

As usual, responsibility could only concern other people…

Same about the story about the funds used by the former mayor of Taipei.

Same about the last typhoon and the poor reaction from the central government…

Some people, as a wet soap, can’t never be caught, if the system is helping…

Maybe I am wrong with my analysis, so I welcome readers to open my eyes and mind.

 

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Taiwan and Press Freedom

Taiwan yesterday saw its press freedom ranking slip 23 spots in the latest report issued by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), dropping to 59th this year from 36th last year (HERE  and in RSF website).

According RSF, it’s a big drop.

In response to RSF’s latest report, Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin said (see the above link on Taipei Times):

[…]

"Although [RSF] alleged the government exerted pressure on state and privately owned media, it did not cite concrete examples," Su said.

"I haven’t heard of complaints from media outlets about government interference," Su added.

[…]

When I had a look on the RSF website, I didn’t have the feeling that this NGO did not provide examples and specific cases. It gave several examples (HERE).

It seems quite clear… At least on their website…

In related news, the National Communications Commission (NCC) through an amendment proposed by itself to the Broadcasting and Television Act, will be able if this amendment is accepted, to grant operating licenses via public auction and stipulate severe punishment for illegal radio operators.

In other words, money will decide.

Is it not a way to control media?

Isn’t China preparing to invest, according the news, in Taiwanese media?

What do you think?

Any reason(s) to disagree with RSF?

🙂

 

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