Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquake, Flood, Tornado, "Other"?

Those are the disasters we have been preparing for in the Illinois National Guard. Since Japan has been in the news - I figured a small note mentioning that we have been planning multi-state cooperation (in case of the New Madrid or Wabash faults give us a jolt) wouldn't be the worse thing I could do today. In fact, we have been doing it for some time now.

As for floods - well, if 1993 and 2008 were not enough of a lesson for those along the Mississippi, then nothing can be. We have been much more proactive in our preparations for possible problems of that nature.

Disasters, natural or otherwise, will still be ungood, even double plus ungood, but we are better prepared than in past.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Is Amazon deflationary?

Or, rather, is the ability to order (and have delivered, cheaply) almost anything, anywhere in the United States a damper on inflation - at least locally?

This thought popped into my head while watching "Gold Rush Alaska" - I was thinking about the original Gold Rush and the stories of $20 eggs and such. I wondered if anything even close to that could occur again if, say, there was a boom in North Dakota oil. But my immediate reaction was "no way, anyone needed anything they could just whip out a smart phone or log in on their laptop and click away.

It also occurred to me that this was not quite a recent phenomenon (if one that reached further and faster). Sears & Roebuck helped keep the Great Plains in the same goods, at just about the same price, as the rest of the nation.

If only there was a way to quantify this effect. Might make a very interesting paper for an economist [*cough* Running Dog *cough*]...
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