Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Pete Shelley, 57, and What do I get?

I didn't get around to linking yesterday's Post Partisan piece, about Mitt Romney's policy leak. So check that out if you're interested, or try some of the good stuff:

1. Wonderful, wonderful interview of Barney Frank by Jason Zengerle.

2. Really, you can't read just one poll. Pollster's Mark Blumenthal explains, and talks about the latest round of presidential head-to-heads. Nate Silver also has a good primer on general election polling.

3. The real lesson of today's polls? John Sides:
Well, here it is only April, and the bases are basically unified. In other words, the campaign, if not the last few years of politics, has already accomplished what is usually accomplished months from now.

4. Brendan Nyhan has an academic reform proposal looking at. I like anything that de-emphasizes undergrad grades, by the way; I accept they're needed in many circumstances, but I also think they do more harm than good in lots of cases.

5. In the course of demolishing a sloppy AP story about Angus King, Amy Fried makes a general point that's worth underlining: "the gender gap in citizens’ voting preferences has nothing to do with whether a candidate is a woman."

6. And Matt Yglesias has a theory of why restaurants decline over time. 


  1. It's pretty simple why restaurants decline: It's hard work. The best restaurants are operated by someone pulling not just 40 hours a week, but seven twelve to sixteen hour days on average. This is just not sustainable.

    1. Agreed. And put differently, 90% of being a good restauranteur is being a phenomenal manager both directly and in the considered delegation of tasks to trusted sub-managers. High entropy comes with the terrain of the F&B business, with its high staff turnover (even when compensation is good and secure) and day-in-day-out pressure to keep standards up.

  2. Restaurants don't decline over time.

    It's hard to remain at the top of any field as the competition works frantically to woo the top's customers. Since life and restaurants get better every year by copying the best while adapting to new opportunities, any restaurant that stands still will have it's lunch eaten by upstarts. Yay, markets!

    Nevertheless, many restaurants remain excellent for decades and are able to appeal to staid AND "venturesome" customers. They do this by producing popular excellent dishes for years and shifting the rest of the menu.

    In any free market, a customer with the wrong mindset will think that providers are decaying when they're actually just being outcompeted. Too bad this doesn't work for governments...


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