Lyman Stone 石來民 Profile picture
石來民 Lutheran. Husband. Dad. Kentuckian. Demographer. @DemographicNTEL @FamStudies @AEI @NovakFellows doing PhD at McGill. lymanrstone at gmail dot com
eDo Profile picture intentionally left b_ank Profile picture 200,000+ Excess US Deaths 🇺🇸🙏 Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
24 Nov
One thing I don't think DC folks who want to "target" aid understand is that now a HUGE portion of people who got pandemic special UI are being asked by state government to pay it back now because the targeting was imprecise and they misallocated a ton of it.
Supposedly almost 40% of Ohio pandemic UI recipients are being asked to repay some or all of what they received on the grounds that they weren't *really* eligible. Apparently the code in the system was not super awesome.
Asking people to repay those benefits is.... kinda crazy. That money is gone. And it served its purpose of keeping people affloat during the pandemic.

But the inherent philosophical logic behind targeting suggests states *should* seek to reclaim it!
Read 14 tweets
24 Nov
Let’s not rule out the ultimate and unconquerable light of Heaven breaking through the firmament to shine it’s gladsome light on our small lives and thus enlighten our darkness as a possible explanation. Not 100% sure but keep it on the table.
Scientists are like “the entire observed cosmos is held together by a mysterious excess gravitational force we can’t really explain and also lowkey glows all the time. probably nbd.”

God is like: *facepalm*
Obviously I do not actually subscribe to a God of the gaps approach and fully expect a suitably mundane and boring explanation will be found by which modern man continues to delude himself that the manifestations of divinity are in fact just How Things Are.
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov
One interesting factoid is that New Zealand skipped their winter flu season. Deaths in NZ usually rise in their winter months (our summer). This year, they did NOT rise. The result is that approximately 1 of every 15 people who would have died in NZ this year will instead live. Image
Also I finally found excess mortality data for Japan through the summer and it basically confirms what the official COVID deaths were saying: Japan really was not hit hard at least in the first wave.

Lockdowns may be good or they may be bad. But if we found a way to end seasonal influenza, that would be a huge win and worth paying a large social price for!
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov
I recently ran a survey where I asked people a list of places where they wore masks, and then asked them what share of people they saw in those places were wearing masks.

And they matched! About 75% reported wearing, and they reported seeing about 75% of other people wearing.
However, I also found huge variation in mask prevalence. Everybody wears them at the grocery. Not everybody wears them at work. Few people wear them when at a friend's house.
"Mask wearing," to work, needs to not just be broad but fairly deep. You need a lot of masking *not* in public places.
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov
Only #NBERday paper I'm gonna review today because most of them bore me.

Q: Do past pandemics help societies prepare for future pandemics?

A: Everybody says yes but the answer seems to be no.
This paper is specifically interested in whether exposure to epidemics at young ages leads people to have more trust in science in the future. They have a quite a large sample with lots of epidemic events in it.
What they find is that people who experience epidemics when they're young are *not* more likely to trust science and do healthy stuff like get vaccinated.

They are *less* likely! #NBERday
Read 18 tweets
17 Nov
The fact that two "populist" conservatives who supposedly cheerlead "dignified work" and want to boost demand for labor are poised to vote for a Fed candidate who is actively hostile to labor-demand-boosting monetary policy is a bad sign for that wing of conservatism.
No amount of tweaking the deliver of work subsidies or trying to tackle marriage penalties can ever offset a monetary policy which is determined to crash the economy into the ground because But Muh Gold Standerrrrd.
You cannot on the one hand be like, "WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR THE WORKING CLASS" and then on the other hand be like, "HOWEVER, monetary policy should prioritize non-expansion of the monetary base because that might theoretically, someday, create inflation, which is bad for bankers."
Read 18 tweets
16 Nov
Henrik Kleven is out with a paper using 60 years of the entire population of Austria with a ton of family policy changes and he finds that childcare and parental leave expansions had NO EFFECT on gender equality.
I mean, this is like a nuclear bomb on these policies.
That right there friends is a PRECISELY ESTIMATED NULL EFFECT of childcare expansions on the gender gap in Austria, using data running from 1953 to the present day!
Read 9 tweets
15 Nov
Wait what? I see them at stores all the time. I have like 75 spares at my house.
For folks saying “KN95s from China don’t count” note that I’m not talking KN95; I’m talking about N95s that don’t say “made in China,” but also y’all the Chinese KN95s are quite good!
Also, a brief reminder that the difference between the N95 standard and the KN95 standard is:

N95's are designed to be more *comfortable*, whereas KN95's are required to have an actual demonstration that they *actually work on real humans*.

That's it. That's the difference.
Read 12 tweets
14 Nov
Sometimes Job 19 just HITS you and it's like OH GOD THE FEELS. And then you bump into Job 24:1 and it's like SERIOUSLY WHY.
Seriously though how you weigh the arguments in Job, who you think is in the right, how often you hear Job's friends in your own theological reasoning, is probably a kind of semi-litmus test we should administer more often.
My read of it, and the plain reading of the Job 1:1, is that basically Job is correct in his complaint against God, that the friends trying to offer theodicies are wrong, and that God does not in fact challenge the truth of Job's claims.
Read 14 tweets
14 Nov
In 2016, Canada's population tables broke. The standard relationship between age cohorts abruptly collapsed for one important group: women ages 20-24. Here it is for Quebec, just one example but it shows up elsewhere.
A period where the 20-24 population SHOULD have been in steep decline, given the size of that birth cohort in prior years and the relationship between 20-24 year olds and the same birth cohort in prior years, instead had a very modest decline.
The rest of Canada is even weirder.
Read 13 tweets
13 Nov
Death day!

Good news! US excess deaths are not spiking yet. They probably will as current case spikes progress, but SO FAR while excess deaths remain elevated, they're not near the summer peak!
Looking through the data in more detail, it SEEMS like a lot of what is happening is the biggest case increases are happening in states that also happen to be somewhat sluggish all-cause reporters. So I expect our deaths will catch up.
But even so, here's the ascertainment rate implied. You can see that on either official death basis or excess death basis, we are getting better at catching cases than we were in late summer.
Read 20 tweets
13 Nov
Look, Turchin may be a genius or he may not be, but on beneficent side effect of expanding the house to ~6,500 seats is that it directly tackles a piece of the elite overproduction problem!…
Turchin sort of takes it for granted that the franchise of actual power is really hard to change, but in fact handing out more titles of nobility for progressively tinier and tinier sub-baronies is quite possible and can keep things going for a long time.
If the problem is, "People who have money and status but not officialized power," officialized power is pretty easy to provide! You just have to expand the franchise of rulership by creating a larger Estates General!
Read 8 tweets
13 Nov
I mean it was: Hitler rose to power by promising to ward of socialism, and starting WWII was his big plan to do so!
Less flippantly there is an argument that a lot of allies strategy actually WAS about denying Soviet ability to control the post-War and the European unwillingness to check Hitler WAS partly because he was seen as a bulwark against socialism.
Like Soviet historians did feel rather strongly that the Americans did indeed fight WWII to limit the spread of socialism.
Read 5 tweets
12 Nov
Today @ehaspel is out with a piece responding to my argument that support for children should be routed through allowances instead of care. He argues we should indeed earmark spending for childcare.…
I think part of the issue is @ehaspel and I just conceptualize the issue differently.

He asks, "Would it be good to have a universal public childcare program?"

I ask, "What is the best way to transfer more money to parents and children?"
Read 35 tweets
11 Nov
I was asked this question a while back. My answer was that in fact the wizarding world has extremely low educational attainment and is riven by poverty. Numerous wizarding children die in childhood as well.
So the number of wizards is rather large, but very few receive formal education in wizardry, hence why a small precocious band of wizarding students can make such extraordinary gains in wizarding knowledge.
This also fits with what we observe of wizarding world social stratifications: massive wealth inequality, deeply entrenched class and racial/ethnic differences, etc. We know as well many wizards and witches adopt hermit-style lives.
Read 24 tweets
11 Nov
Randos on Twitter > The most prestigious health institution on the planet
My big theory on the Western World is basically, as someone once said to me, "You think you're pretty smart don't you," with a side of too-big-for-your-britches.
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
Just took one of the worst surveys I've ever taken. Dear unnamed researcher at Tufts University: your Gallup/Qualtrics survey was ridiculous, leading, and incredibly one-sided.
One does not simply ask "Has COVID-19 impacted your household finances?" and then not ask, "For better or for worse"?
When listing issues that might be of interest to voters, it is generally wise to choose terms which are recognizable to respondents and neutral. "Reproductive rights" does not fit that bill. Conservatives do not see themselves as opposed to the right to reproduce.
Read 6 tweets
11 Nov
Okay but ACORN and its employees were actually convicted of voter fraud. That wasn't a conspiracy. They were found guilty.
FWIW, here's 6 examples of ACORN convictions. It's not a complete list, just examples.…
For people being like "It wasn't ACORN it was their EMPLOYEES"

How exactly do you think organizations commit crimes?

With robots?
Read 10 tweets
10 Nov
AND we would reduce the odds of a genuinely stupefyingly huge disaster!
Seriously though y'all, putting in geothermal energy generation equipment around the edges of the Yellowstone caldera to bleed off some of that heat which will eventually explode and wipe out half the continent would be a good idea.
Not gonna lie, IMHO the Yellowstone caldera is a way bigger long-term risk than e.g. anthropogenic climate change.
Read 18 tweets
10 Nov
For those curious about the actually interesting and important candidates, here's the county-level vote shares in thus-far-reported ballots for the American Solidarity Party and for Kanye West.
The ASP has a whooooole lot of ground to cover before they can even be a "serious third party" let alone an actually important political movement. I like the ASP! I mean heck, I'm a member and donor to it. But yikes y'all Kanye thrashed the ASP, even in states with both listed!
This, and the performance of e.g. Gary Johnson for the Libertarians, really speaks to the importance of celebrity recruitment. Third parties can achieve more significant places in the political discussion only by getting some star power.
Read 4 tweets
10 Nov
Whenever people talk about the "demographic dividend" or the huge time cost of having children I feel like they are just absolutely uncomprehending of how difficult and wearisome elder care can be.
Changing a baby's diaper >>> Changing a bedpan
The idea that elder care is going to, on net, be less of a weight on society just seems so prima facie unreasonable to me I have difficulty believing anyone who argues it has ever been into a nursing home.
Read 11 tweets