Red Versus Blue in a New Light – NYTimes.com

Red Versus Blue in a New Light – NYTimes.com.

I’m not sure how I missed this before (oh, I suppose it was probably the screaming infant), but Gelman had an article in the NYTimes about the divide between red and blue America.

I like to read Gelman because he is so good at simplifying his explanation. According to this article, lower income Americans vote overwhelmingly Democrat, whereas wealthier Americans are split between Democrat and Republican. The red/blue state phenomenon is caused by skillful gerrymandering.

Of note, however, is that several of the missing states are “red” states, and it is possible that some of them could alter the analysis if they had reported exit polling data.

If You Can’t Lose,You’re a Loser – Bloomberg View

If You Can’t Lose,You’re a Loser – Bloomberg View.

The point at the end about having a “falsifiable theory” is critical. I know I’ve been a victim of this problem on both sides — either I was defending something based on a circular assumption, or I was fighting against a theory that was based on one.

Theories that are not falsifiable are not constructive give and take, they are dogma that can’t be questioned. Note to self: Don’t fall into this trap!

So you’re the world’s greatest trader? Taxes will fix that. – The Washington Post

So you’re the world’s greatest trader? Taxes will fix that. – The Washington Post.

The loss you experience from taxes on short term gains kill any possible advantage that short term trading might get you. As always, infrequent trading and asset allocation win out.

I looked at the spreadsheet they used to calculate this, and the gap is widest in the most recent year of data; ie, in 2013, when the market went up 32%, and the active trader made 41% (and they were starting at the highest portfolio value up to that point). In that instance there is a very wide gap opened by the magnitude of the taxes. Most other years are not quite so drastic. But this still shows that you don’t really do much better — maybe the same at best.