Artist/Source: Tom Toles at Go Comics
h/t: Greg Mankiw, A Cartoon for the Pigou Club
Are you suffering fiscal cliff fatigue yet?
I am, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good fiscal cliff video. Here are six of the best, some wonky, some wacky.
1. David Wessel, Wall Street Journal: Standing on an actual Potomac cliff
2. Salman Khan, Khan Academy: For beginners
3. The Simpsons: The most popular fiscal cliff video by far
4. Felix Salmon, Reuters: Legos and Clifford the dog (get it?)
5. Merle Hazard: Surfing on the fiscal cliff
And if you will forgive a little self-promotion:
6. Me, Urban Institute and the Tax Policy Center: What happens to taxes?
The art shows in Miami last weekend included several artists who turn data into art.
Norwood Viviano’s installation Cities: Departure and Deviation brings three-dimensional tangibility to the population history of 24 American cities. Here are the first dozen of his blown-glass pieces, Atlanta through Los Angeles:
Chicago, short and squat, is fifth from the left.
In Words and Years, Toril Johannessen brings a certain whimsy to data tracking word use in leading academic and popular publications. Here, for example, she documents the triumph of “Hope” over “Reality” in political science:
Bluefin tuna are swift, gigantic, tasty, and increasingly endangered.* Those last two items go together, of course, with tuna’s high market value encouraging over-exploitation of many populations.
But markets can also encourage creative efforts to preserve threatened species. Jason Kottke points to one example: bluefin farming in Japan. This 5-minute video raises a host of important questions, including the source of baby bluefin and the resource costs of their food. And, full warning, it doesn’t shy away from the bloody reality of bluefin harvesting:
On a closely related note, Felicity Barringer of the New York Times News Service writes about Utah’s market in hunting licenses for deer, elk, moose, and pronghorn.
The auction or sale of scarce licenses inevitably means that some will to well-heeled hunters, often from out-of-state, rather than typical residents. For some, that raises concerns about the marketplace intruding on what was once a natural resource held in public trust. On the other hand, by allocating some licenses to landowners who provide habitat, the program encourages conservation:
Here is how it works: The state has enticed ranchers with an allotment of vouchers for lucrative hunting licenses that they can sell for thousands of dollars as part of a private hunt on their land. Many used to complain bitterly to state officials about elk and other game eating forage meant for their cattle.
The vouchers for hunting licenses, handed out for more than 10 years now, give them ample economic incentive to nurture big game on their land and not get frustrated with ranching and sell their land to developers.
* Note for tuna enthusiasts: There are three species of bluefin (Atlantic, Pacific, and southern) that differ in size and degree of endangerment; see Wikipedia).