Buggy Trade-offs

Up here in the Northeast, mosquitoes are a big problem.  Triple E and West Nile are perennial threats. Typically, states will spray in order to keep the bug populations in check and lower the risk of disease.  But this year, Massachusetts won’t be spraying as much as they have in the past. Mass Audubon*, a private non-profit dedicated to wildlife preservation in Massachusetts, as well as other land owners have asked their properties to be exempt from the spraying, affecting some 60,000 acres state-wide. Their concerns are the effect the chemical will have on other wildlife and the ecosystem under their charge.  Of course, the flip-side of this is potentially increasing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the Commonwealth.

Every decision has a trade-off.  If Massachusetts sprays for mosquitoes, they will reduce the risk of disease in the Commonwealth but potentially harm other wildlife.  Conversely, if Massachusetts cuts back on its praying, wildlife may be preserved but there would be the greater risk of mosquito-borne disease for humans and animals.  ‘Tis truly a conundrum.

The point of this story is to reiterate that there is no such thing as a cost-less action.  Everything has trade-offs, some which can be seen and some which may be hidden. There is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter what some would have you believe.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I have donated to Mass Audubon in the past and thoroughly enjoy their trails.  However, I have received no compensation for this article.

39 thoughts on “Buggy Trade-offs

  1. Practically everyone enjoys a good jab at Trump, but frankly your jab didn’t connect. The link you provided clearly indicates how Trump claims he will pay for the wall. He doesn’t ever claim it’s free. In fact he mentions who he expects to pay, and some mechanisms for achieving his goal. I’m not endorcing his view and I’m not saying he (or anyone else) fully appreciates the indirect costs — nobody can predict the future. But trying to imply he’s saying the wall is some kind of free lunch is silly. And not the kind of silly that generates laughs.

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    • Bob,

      Now I admit I enjoy a good jab at Trump as much as the next guy but I’m sure Jon didn’t mean that Trump was saying the wall was “free” in the sense that someone was willing to build it without being paid for constructing it.

      His point was that Trump is telling AMERICANS that they can enjoy all of the purported benefits of the wall…while counting on people who get no benefit from it to pay all the costs. Clearly you are unfamiliar with the way economists use the term “free lunch.”

      Yes, Trump “clearly indicates” how he “claims” it will happen. You say “Nobody can predict the future.” but Trump predicts that Americans will get all the benefits of the wall while paying none of the net costs.

      Your comment is “the kind of silly” that is generating laughs in my house this morning.

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      • Bob, don’t pay any attention to our pet troll Greg G. He is nasty and tells lots of lies. For example, he does not understand that you were using the phrase “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” that is often used in economics. Here is the definition of that phrase:

        “The economic theory, and also the lay opinion, that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone – that is, you don’t get something for nothing. The phrase is also known by the acronym of ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ – tanstaafl.”

        Bob, you were correct in saying that Trump never said the wall was “free.” He clearly said that Mexico would pay for it.

        Please ignore the obnoxious troll Greg G. He does not know what he is talking about and he is well known as an ignorant liar.

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  2. There are always trade offs and no “free lunches.”

    Agreed. There is no “free” college education for the followers of disingenuous politicians like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

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        • >—I did not pay for it. Did you?”

          Oh yeah, we all pay for it. Trump University is a total scam designed to route government guaranteed student loans directly into Trump’s pocket.

          It’s not just students he is ripping off. If you don’t think a bailout is coming for unpayable student debt then just keep watching.

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          • “Trump University is a total scam designed to route government guaranteed student loans directly into Trump’s pocket.”

            Why do you have to make stuff up. Those who attended TU could not receive government guaranteed student loans for these online seminars.

            “If you don’t think a bailout is coming for unpayable student debt then just keep watching.”

            Yep. But not because of TU. Government subsidies of student loans lured unsuspecting students into attending universities to get degrees in crappy “studies” programs, which did not give them a good education to understand the world or to get a good paying job. Those people cannot repay those loans so the US government, once again, will be bailing out creditors instead of letting them take the losses or even fail. And, you, as you did last time, will be making disingenuous arguments about how if the government does not bail out creditors once again, then catastrophe.

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          • GW,

            First of all, good point about students at TU not qualifying for federally backed student loans. These loan defaults will be on the banking system, not the federal government directly. Whether or not that comes back to cost taxpayers in some fashion remains to be seen.

            I was thinking of the boom in for profit universities that are built on student loans.

            Trump University was such an transparent scam it failed before it got to that level.

            >—“I did not pay for it. Did you?”

            So then, we didn’t pay for it yet and we might not ever have to. It is possible the cost might fall entirely on the victims of the scam and their lenders. Does that mean it’s not a relevant issue if the perpetrator of the scam is now running for President?

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          • “I was thinking of the boom in for profit universities that are built on student loans.”

            The boom is among public universities offering nonsense courses in various “studies” programs and proliferating degrees in subjects that do not prepare the student for life or a career.

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          • GW,

            I agree with your criticisms of public universities and the excesses in the availability and marketing of student loans.

            Are you unaware that private for profit universities have also been a growing part of the problem and are entirely built around accessing student loan money?

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          • If you want to criticize Trump, there are many valid arguments that you can make. You do not have to lie about it. If you choose to lie and make stuff up like you did here, then you can expect someone to point out your lies and misrepresentations. Of course, many of these valid criticisms of Trump are also valid criticisms of Sanders, Clinton, and all others who arrogantly believe that, if they had enough power and other people’s money, they could save the world.

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  3. “It is possible the cost might fall entirely on the victims of the scam and their lenders.”

    All buyers should beware. There are lots of people selling goods and services, then not providing what was promised. A buyer should be discriminating. Unfortunately, the consumer does not have a choice with government, otherwise no one would be choosing it.

    “Does that mean it’s not a relevant issue if the perpetrator of the scam is now running for President?”

    Yes, it is a relevant issue. Unfortunately, his likely competitor for President is a known liar, horribly corrupt, terribly incompetent, and a disparager of the rape and molestation victims of her philandering husband. If the choice comes down to the lesser of two evils, then Trump (unfortunately) wins.

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      • “Luckily for you there is a Libertarian candidate to vote for.”

        As much as I would prefer it, Gary Johnson is unlikely to win.

        “Unless you just play a libertarian on the internet as I suspect.”

        Your suspicions are like many of your statements: false.

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        • GW,

          Unless you think your vote has a chance to change the outcome, you will vote for who you think is best. You have long ago been exposed as a garden variety Republican.

          Which is no surprise, because you have already been exposed as a former government regulator for banks (“government service”) as you like to put it, when marketing yourself to the banks you used to regulate now that you are on the other side of the revolving door of crony capitalism.

          After learning your craft at taxpayer’s expense, now you work for the very banks you used to regulate assisting them with the work of regulatory capture. This is the very definition of crony capitalism!

          And you do all this while hypocritically accusing others of crony capitalism. I owned my own business and never worked for government at all. I am not about to sit still for lectures on capitalism from you. I am a real life capitalist. You are an imposter who impersonates a capitalist and libertarian on the internet.

          You might do better to peddle this hypocrisy somewhere where you are less well known.

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          • “Unless you think your vote has a chance to change the outcome, you will vote for who you think is best.’

            No. Most people vote for the lesser of the two evils. Why do you like lying so much?

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          • “You have long ago been exposed as a garden variety Republican.”

            Yet, you have no evidence for your (patently) false claim. And, I have much evidence that I oppose all egotistical and corrupt politicians who try to persuade people that, if they have enough power and other people’s money, they will save the world. It works on “useful idiots” such as yourself. Others are much more discriminating.

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          • “. . . as a former government regulator for banks . . . ”

            . . . where I saw first hand the corruption and stupidity of government. It was just a job, which has little relation to what I do now as a lawyer representing banks in transactions. Duh.

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          • GW,

            >—“It was just a job, which has little relation to what I do now as a lawyer representing banks in transactions.”

            Little relation my ass.

            You make it sound like you are doing loan and property closings. Does any of this sound familiar?

            ” We assist clients with mergers and acquisitions, new bank and bank holding company formations, complex regulatory issues, strategic business planning, subchapter S conversions and elections, taxation advice, and executive compensation and employee benefit plans. We regularly counsel boards of directors in properly discharging their legal duties and responsibilities regarding such issues. In addition, our attorneys have represented numerous regional and community bank holding companies, state and national banks, thrift holding companies, thrifts and other financial institutions in contesting, negotiating, and complying with administrative enforcement actions, such as Memoranda of Understanding, Formal Agreements, and Consent Orders.”

            You are profiting from the knowledge and contacts you gained at taxpayer expense by being a lobbyist for the industry you once regulated. You are a hypocrite and a cliche.

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          • “mergers and acquisitions” — Transactions

            “new bank and bank holding company formations” — Transactions

            “strategic business planning” — Transactions

            ,”Subchapter S conversions and elections” — Transactions

            “executive compensation and employee benefit plans” — Transactions

            “complex regulatory issues” — legal advice

            “taxation advice” — Legal advice

            “counsel boards of directors in properly discharging their legal duties and responsibilities” — Legal advice

            “contesting, negotiating, and complying with administrative enforcement actions, such as Memoranda of Understanding, Formal Agreements, and Consent Orders.” — Legal advice

            It sounds like you do not know much about the practice of law or the regulation of banks. They are not the same. But then, you just sold general merchandise.

            “my ass.”

            You are ass all over.

            “being a lobbyist”

            I am not a lobbyist. I am a lawyer. But then, I guess they did not teach you that at general merchandising school.

            “You are a hypocrite and a cliche.”

            The evidence does not support your claim. But, you have proven yourself to be a liar and an idiot. Congrats.

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          • Here was your first lie, Greg G:

            “Trump University is a total scam designed to route government guaranteed student loans directly into Trump’s pocket.”

            The lie was that TU was received funds from government guaranteed student loans. They weren’t. Now, just apologize for this and all the other lies you told.

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          • GW,

            >—“I am not a lobbyist.”

            Here is why this reminds me so much of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”

            First Google result for: define: lobbyist

            “Lobbying (also lobby) is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in a government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.”

            From your own description of your services:

            >—-““contesting, negotiating, and complying with administrative enforcement actions, such as Memoranda of Understanding, Formal Agreements, and Consent Orders.”

            The “contesting” and the “negotiating” with the same government agency that used to employ you IS lobbying. Some lobbyists work the legislature, some work the regulators. Some go on the internet and pose as opponents of the very thing they are doing in order to try and build support for policies that would make their jobs easier and more lucrative.

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          • ““contesting, negotiating, and complying with . . . ”

            law·yer (loi′yər)
            n.
            One whose profession is to give legal advice and assistance to clients and represent them in court or in other legal matters.

            Lawyers defend their clients at administrative hearings regarding enforcement actions. Let me know the next time you see a lobbyist at an administrative hearing.

            “. . . this reminds me so much of Nixon . . .”

            Yep. Richard Nixon, like you, loved bigger government and foolishly attempted to control the economy through wage and price controls. Also, he, like you, frequently lied to cover up his stupidity.

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          • Yeah, we get it. You are a lawyer. So what? This doesn’t make it harder for you to do your lobbying. It makes it easier. Being a lawyer looks great on a lobbyist’s resume. As does what you like to call… “government service.”

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          • Greg G’s most recent lies:

            1. Says that Trump received the proceeds of federally-guaranteed student loans when he did not.

            2. Misrepresents the phrase “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” just to insult someone.

            3. Claims that all lawyers are lobbyists.

            Go ahead apologize for being a nasty troll and lying so frequently.

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          • I must admit, Greg G, that you are quite amusing. You lie, get caught, and then name calling the person who caught you lying.

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          • “I owned my own business . . .”

            You were a haberdasher. Lol. And, most small town haberdashers failed as you did. The sale of a building is how you said you made your money. Congrats! You are like Trump. And, millions of other Americans who bought property in a good location and sold it 30 years later.

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  4. Here was your first lie, Greg G:

    “Trump University is a total scam designed to route government guaranteed student loans directly into Trump’s pocket.”

    Now, just apologize for this and all the other lies you told.

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    • GW,

      Wow! Really touched a nerve there. Try taking some deep breaths. Maybe that will help you stop losing your shit.

      Actually I wasn’t really a haberdasher (not that there’s anything wrong with that). My store sold work clothing and boots, mostly for people working outdoors. We sold Carharrt, Levi’s, Red Wing Boots, stuff like that and a little bit of that for the much smaller number of women doing that work.

      You are the first person ever to refer to that as haberdashery although I am amused, not offended, that you do. Most people reserve the term haberdasher for tailored clothing or tailoring itself.

      Believe it or not you can learn a lot about economics by running a successful business for decades and reading a lot of economics. And by being an outside director at a bank. My business did not fail but it might have if I hadn’t gotten out at the right time. The time for independent clothing retailers has passed.

      Certainly it was a more modest living than being a big time government regulator, bank attorney and lobbyist. But it did allow me to support my family, pay all my bills and fund a very comfortable retirement all without ever taking a government job.

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      • Lol! So you like about being a haberdasher at Cafe Hayek. Not surprising. You do it all the time.

        It looks like a touched a nerve in calling you out on it. Try some valium. Then, apologize.

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        • GG, I think I understand your lying now. You seem to be upset that you made less income and are less wealthy than I am. Jealousy and envy are bad things. You should try to seek some professional counseling.

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