Scamz

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/19/how-your-junk-mail-shows-if-youre-rich-or-poor/

It seems this is an example of the government protecting people. It is a case in which, if left to the devices of the free market, there are people that will take advantage of others, in this case in “broad daylight” so to speak. The government has since changed the rules on this activity…so I wonder where the predatory behavior has migrated to? And what if this means that credit card companies become incredibly less profitable? Is this a social ill? It will surely be measured that way in a political debate that ignores the whybehind the loss of profitability
 
Something I think that I find hard to wrap my head around is what exactly the state should do in markets? Referee. That’s an old answer. It’s not cheap to a) collect data, b) have the knowledge to spot these and frame them as crimes, c) have the proper policy response to correct the problem, and d) be able to sell that response to the dipshits that get elected and vote on these things.
Finally, I also don’t know where I stand on the morality of it. These are adults who agree to be taken advantage of, in a sense, and the defining feature of those who avoid the trap seems to be an education. Buyer beware is one response, but it’s not reasonable to expect consumers to be experts on subjects outside of their productive scope. This paper makes the argument that people are acting irrationally, and therefore don’t understand the contract…and what if we made people take comprehension tests in addition to signing contracts? Haha, there goes your housing market!
Haha, perhaps universities should be using these types of studies to sell over-priced education, rather than false promises of employment. Fear is a better motivator than greed, after all. So if you tell people that your best defense against predatory corporate interests is to be smart enough to avoid their traps, what would enrollment cost-benefit analysis look like? But…alas, the people without an education offend easily, and would resent the marketing.
I think the further irony…if you’re reading these articles, you probably aren’t targeted…knowledge is power.
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Prediction Market

We in Canada have an election coming up, and so I just want to remember what these things said about the candidates.

As of today I found a couple of markets.

This one seems mostly U.S. based, so I will discount it a bit. But it favours Harper : 60c to buy a 1 dollar bet vs. 30c for Trudeau and 14c for Mulcair.

https://www.predictit.org/Market/1301/Who-will-be-elected-Prime-Minister-of-Canada-in-2015

The Sauder School of Business has this one, which is both Canadian and has higher trade volumes.

https://predictionmarkets.ca/market.php?chart=volume

The Libs are currently trading higher for seat share (36.11 on Oct. 5 vs. 35.00 for the cons), but Oct. 5 was the first day for the libs to pass the cons, so we’ll see if the trends cross back to a Con win in the next few days. It also predicts a minority government, and that the libs will win the popular vote.

Finally, this is a monte-carlo simulation on all of the data from various polls by the Globe and Mail…also calling for a Con minority…although the write-up does support that the Libs are doing better in the last day or two, so it depends on how you weight the polls.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/globe-election-forecast-2015/article25377958/

Just looking at the Sauder one, I think it is the best data re: skin in the game and Canadian. It would currently suggest that, while a Lib minority is the most likely result, a Con minority would not be that surprising, and in fact the markets had been calling a con minority for the last week or two. Which means we get an interesting election night.

Anyway, if you’re Cdn, register by clicking the below image and go vote on the 19th.

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