These… are the Links of our lives.

Farm subsidies are not only a huge waste of money and a distortion of the economy, but they’re also making us fat.  Conservative or liberal, we should be against them.

Speaking of utter paranoia (have crimes against children increased?), here is some high-quality rage going on in a fascinating rant and comments thread. To be clear, we here at Grumpy Rumblings support safety for kids and are 100% against child abuse. But sometimes a misguided focus drains resources away from real ways to solve real problems.  (#2 points out:  Maybe abuse etc. is down because kids are never left alone anymore: if crime is down that doesn’t mean people are paranoid, even if they are paranoid.  Still #2 wishes there were still roaming bands of neighborhood kids that she could send her DC out to play with when ze is bouncing off the walls.)  Related:  link stolen from a Ianqui in the village.  Don’t read it if you have kids and are liable to care about whether or not you’re destroying them based on other people’s opinions.

We at Grumpy Rumblings suggest that Historiann take a small break from posting excellent posts and post some cruddy stuff instead so we can leave her off next week’s link love.  In the mean time, pop over there and see what she’s written.  Start with this one on female physicians opting out.  Related:  Wandering scientist comments on the same article, as does Dr. Isis.  This last response from a physician on motherlode is pitch perfect.  This one on scientopia has the best comments of all.  I think I agree more with Dr. Isis about the experience thing than I do with Historiann (in her comments, not in the main piece), especially since according to an NPR story I heard the other year, women able to cut back to part-time are cutting back by cutting out paperwork and red-tape working for HMOs and large group practices rather than cutting down face time with patients.  I’m not really sure that a few years down a few hours a week is really such a big deal for patient outcomes, especially as Wandering Scientist points out that many of these doctors are probably working too much to be safe or efficient.  (Atul Gawande has some horror stories in that respect!  Nurses with checklists!)  Obviously the experience/outcome profile for doctors varies by profession and is an empirical question, but I tend to doubt we’re seeing that much of a reduction in quality.  Especially given that much of the job of these GPs and so on for complicated cases in the US system is to refer patients to specialists, not to make difficult diagnoses themselves.  (And, as a commenter pointed out, much of this work is done nowadays by NPs in any case.)

Boxcarkids blog is back from hiatus and they’re buying a new trailer!  I hope she gets a job soon.  Also:  Molly on Money finally got health insurance.  Read about her saga here.

I’ve often wondered when one should use an ETF vs. an index fund.  Here’s a cnn post on that.

FeMomhist with graphs and charts asking where are the women in the history profession?  My discipline used to put out these charts every year showing the pipeline dwindling, “The status of women in X” but for some reason they’ve stopped.   Which is a shame because just eyeballing, we are doing a lot better than we had been, and the norm now seems to be one pre-tenure baby which was unheard of when I did it.

Question:  Should people who don’t need help with personal finance be allowed to read and comment on personal finance blogs, such as Get Rich Slowly?  In any case, we think we’ll take a bit of a break from personal finance blogs (though not from ET, SMRM, FGA, etc. etc.) as perhaps our insightful summative comments make other people feel insecure.  We’re still going to bring baked goods to private functions, whether that makes folks feel insecure or not.  The nice thing about the internet is that, unlike most of real life, if something annoys you, you can leave.

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all week!

We always love it when there’s a new Simon’s Cat video.  They’re funny because they’re true:

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10 Responses to “These… are the Links of our lives.”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    I’m so glad Neil Patrick Harris has made a comeback. He is a comedic genius. Harold and Kumar would not be the same without him in it.

    Regarding your personal finance question, of course they should. However, I also think that personal finance skills are kind of like communication. There’s always room for improvement. If you’re already doing all those good things like living debt free and saving 20% for retirement, etc you still can work on your asset allocation, increasing your return on investment, moving up your retirement date. There’s always something more you could be doing and even learning to spend more money. But I’m glad you’re not going to take a break from my site. Hurray, that makes me happy.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m not sure I agree on tweaking asset allocation etc. Being steeped in that research, there’s a range of optimal diversification strategies and that picking one and setting and forgetting is best. After you’ve picked a diversified strategy, increasing return on investment is a fool’s errand that leads to losing money through higher fees. (Research articles: O’Dean; Madrian and Choi, Popular press: Why smart people make big money mistakes; Bogleheads.)

      Also, I’m pretty happy with our saving/spending allocation. Cannot predict the future well enough to make changes in the retirement date.

      And, as new research becomes available, I’ll be getting it first-hand about a year or two before the internet sites and media do, so long as I keep going to conferences.

      There are some advanced topics that are probably not going to change anything I do (see ETF vs Index funds article above) but they’re rarely if ever covered on blog sites.

      And yes, I realize this comment makes me sound like a jerk, but it is indeed difficult to be perfect.

    • First Gen American Says:

      Oh and regarding medicine articles. I wholeheartedly agree that women aren’t the problem there. They are often the only voice of reason. I was considering medicine myself in college and my good friend’s sister was a resident at the time. I had lunch with her at the hospital and she broke down and cried. She couldn’t say anything positive about the life she was leading trying to finish her residency. We offered to help her and found out she had no clean clothes and did her laundry. She ended up at a top hospital but now she teaches there because she wants a life.

  2. Molly On Money Says:

    I just hopped off from reading Confluence (for about an hour!). Makes me appreciate my little community. My husband and I are the outliers of our group of friends and I’m always appreciative that they love us for our quirks rather than making us feel like we should conform.
    Patrick Harris- Yeah! (poor Brook Shields)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Your quirks are totally lovable!

      We’re *very* different from most other parents we’ve met around here. Probably partly because we’re from the Midwest but not living in the Midwest now.

      Definitely poor Brooke Shields. She has a pretty voice though!

      Huh, I could have sworn we linked up your health insurance post this week… let me add that back. Maybe I just dreamed it…

  3. Lindy Mint Says:

    Best link post title ever. :)

  4. Donna Freedman Says:

    Personally, I think that people who don’t need help with personal finance SHOULD comment, because they can speak from experience about what has worked/is working for them re money.
    Also, I’ll miss your virtual pissing matches over in the GRS comments section. :-(
    Feel free to come back to Get Rich Slowly every other week to comment on MY posts, though. ;-)


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