Justin Fox Profile picture
Columnist @bopinion. Eater of free snacks. (Snacks are property of Bloomberg L.P. Tweets aren't.)
29 May
As requested by @ASlavitt, here are more or less comparable pneumonia mortality numbers for Florida, Georgia and Texas (cc @Noahpinion, @JamesSurowiecki)
I used weeks 4 through 19 for comparison with past years because, while there is week 20 data available on CDC FluView for this years, it's pretty incomplete gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/…
Florida and Georgia have definitely seen big increases in pneumonia deaths, but not as big as in the (now-deleted) @ASlavitt tweet that inspired this. And most if not all of that increase appears to be counted under the CDC's Covid death totals too cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr…
Read 12 tweets
28 May
I wrote a column about how Covid-19's penchant for superspreading events is probably a *good* thing bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
Here's the 2005 @nature article by @jlloydsmith et. al. that showed that a tendency toward superspreading makes "disease extinction more likely and outbreaks rarer but more explosive." nature.com/articles/natur…
Also highly recommended: @kakape's article on Covid-19 superspreading from last week sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/w…
Read 4 tweets
14 May
There's some new Covid-19 survey data out of Sweden this week: 0.9% of those tested nationwide had an ongoing infection (that is, positive PCR test) as of April 21-24, 2.3% of those in greater Stockholm (1/n) folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-pr…
A similar survey from March 26 through April 3 found a 2.5% infection rate in the Stockholm area (2/n) folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-pr…
It may not be impossible but I think it's now *extremely* unlikely (I'll let @NateSilver538 do the math) that the Public Health Agency of Sweden's projection that 26% of Stockholm's population would have been infected by May 1 was correct folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-pr…
Read 10 tweets
23 Apr
This so totally confirms my priors that of course I believe it. :-) But it's also almost by definition a more meaningful result than the ones that have come out of California and other low-infection places
This implies that actual infections are about 13X confirmed cases, and that the infection fatality rate so far (using the NYC estimate that includes probably coronavirus deaths) is 0.84%
Which is in the same general ballpark as recent serology results from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, and in a completely different one from the conclusions (if not the actual survey findings) of the Santa Clara County study that has sparked so much criticism
Read 10 tweets
17 Apr
This Stanford study of coronavirus prevalence in Santa Clara County is really interesting but the population adjustment seems to be doing an awful lot of work medrxiv.org/content/10.110…
Raw result was that 1.5% of 3,330 people tested had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Population-weighted prevalence was 2.81%. Adjustments for "test performance characteristics" (i.e. how many false negatives there might be) take it to a range of 2.49% to 4.16%
That takes things from (1) in line with other estimates that actual infections range from about 4X confirmed cases to 25X to (2) the authors' claim that actual infections in Santa Clara County are 50X to 85X confirmed cases
Read 11 tweets
6 Mar
As @DrTedros has been arguing all week, containment of Covid-19 does seem possible. But it's going to take a lot of testing bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
Some diseases, such as influenza, basically can't be contained, because too much of the transmission occurs before symptoms appear pnas.org/content/101/16…
Covid-19 seems to have some pre-symptom transmission, but not a lot, and China and South Korea are showing that with aggressive testing, isolation of those who test positive, and tracing of their contacts you can halt the spread of the disease bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Read 7 tweets
7 Feb
That downward jobs revision was, as @LinkedInEcon, @JedKolko and others have written, not that big a deal. But for a few industries it was bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
@LinkedInEcon @JedKolko Here's the before and after for oil and gas extraction
@LinkedInEcon @JedKolko The retail jobs decline has been steeper than previously reported
Read 6 tweets
18 Dec 19
Where was the economy strongest in the 2010s? In places that Californians move to bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
Here's job growth, for example
And here are the income-growth leaders (with California in first place this time)
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov 19
Good crowd here to learn from @alon_levy why U.S. subways are so expensive
Very excited about his spreadsheet going online tomorrow so I don’t have to view it with a pillar in the way
Key takeaway: @alon_levy says “it’s not the schist” that makes NYC subway construction so expensive. So give it up, schistheads
Read 9 tweets
1 Oct 19
The market's performance since Trump was elected is good, but far from exceptional. And it seems unwise to keep making this point. The market started doing really well around this time in Obama's first term; a few more months and Trump's market performance could trail his
And ... with the market's decline today Trump slips behind Reagan in the rankings. No. 8 out of 14 for which the Bloomberg terminal has S&P data (left out Ford because he wasn't elected and wasn't in office long enough)
Read 5 tweets
23 Jul 19
Why has the economy been growing faster since Donald Trump took office? The Republican u-turn on deficit spending may be a big part of the answer bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
This is basically what @TheStalwart was arguing back in 2012: elect Mitt Romney, and House Republicans will stop trying to cut federal spending businessinsider.com/why-mitt-romne…
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr 19
OMG, look what might happen if we get rid of the Electoral College
That's from Judith Best's "The Case Against Direct Election of the President" (1975)
I did like this from Alexander Bickel's "Reform and Continuity" (1971), tho
Read 12 tweets
13 Mar 19
Where the quality of living is best, according to @mercer. Note that there isn't one U.S. city in the top 20 mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/quali…
And here's San Francisco in 34th place! (Yes, climate is a factor)
Cities in the UK, Italy, Japan and Spain only show up after that. (I dunno though, I think maybe I'd rather live in Barcelona than Basel?)
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb 19
For those of you who didn't think 2,500 words in @BW on stumpy apartment buildings was enough, I've written more at @bopinion bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
Here's the @BW article, with a headline that's more negative about the phenomenon than I am (and has been successful in attracting many, many readers, so I'm not complaining) bloomberg.com/news/features/…
The new column is, first of all, another attempt at getting the word "stumpy," which I encountered in a three year old comment at @UrbanizeLA, into general circulation as the name for these buildings urbanize.la/post/little-to…
Read 17 tweets
19 Feb 19
How do countries with really high tax revenues (relative to GDP) tax their citizens? Differently than the U.S. does, and much differently than @AOC and @SenWarren have proposed. bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
One thing every affluent country taxes more heavily than the U.S. is consumption
U.S. wealth taxes (in the form of real estate taxes) are high by international standards
Read 7 tweets
15 Jan 19
The @OECD released its revenue statistics for 2017 last month, and as always the the U.S. was near the bottom among wealthy nations in tax revenue as a share of GDP. So we're a low-tax nation! Which doesn't mean everybody's taxes are low here. bloomberg.com/opinion/articl…
Here's the taxes/GDP ranking for 2017. The U.S. came in 30th out of 35 OECD countries.
Still, lots of taxpayers in the U.S. don't think they're getting a great deal. One reason is that, unlike in many other wealthy countries, taxes don't cover health care and higher ed.
Read 12 tweets
12 Nov 18
The thing that gets me here is that criticizing current refugee policy is equated to supporting the admission of "an unlimited number of refugees." Refugee admissions are down 74% since FY 2016, and the 2016 numbers were not all that high by historical standards
Here it as a share of population. By this measure, FY 2018 refugee admissions were the lowest on record (record goes back to 1975).
Read 10 tweets
26 Jul 18
Over the past few months I've seen a lot of headlines intimating that business investment is booming, and a lot saying that it's not. I was confused, so I looked into it bloomberg.com/view/articles/…
Turns out not to be any great mystery: capital spending looks great in comparison with 2016 and 2017. But by historical standards it's ... fine.
The capital spending dip in 2016 was mainly the oil and gas industry retrenching; its return to spending has been one of the big drivers of the capex rebound, as @RaphaelBostic explained last month frbatlanta.org/news/speeches/…
Read 8 tweets
1 May 18
Historian @jerryzmuller, known for his writings on Adam Smith, Hegel, Hobbes, Marx and that ilk, has a great little book out called "The Tyranny of Metrics" on the dangers of "metric fixation" in education, health-care, the military, etc., press.princeton.edu/titles/11218.h…
After I finished it this weekend, I thought it would be funny to read venture capital legend @johndoerr's new book, "Measure What Matters," next. The pro-metrics guy against the anti-metrics one, I thought. Except it didn't work out that way whatmatters.com
The books are very different in style (Muller's is much better written), but their arguments turned not to conflict much at all. So I wrote a column on the Doerr-Muller plan for deciding what to measure and what not to bloomberg.com/view/articles/…
Read 4 tweets
30 Apr 18
The Census Bureau's annual estimate of the U.S. population by single year of age came out earlier this month. It's fun to play with! Scroll down to "Datasets" on this page to get your very own file census.gov/data/datasets/…
For my latest column, I added up the population for each generation, using the generational start-and-stop years (if not necessarily the generational names) chosen by @pewresearch. Shocking revelation: there are lots of baby boomers and millennials! bloomberg.com/view/articles/…
Then I looked the generational breakdown of Congress, using the Voteview database voteview.com/data It's really heavy on boomers, and has been for a while. Gen Xers are underrepresented, even when you factor in their smaller share of the population
Read 4 tweets