23 Jan 2012

Mick and Gene Discuss the Weather

Economics, Humor 6 Comments

GENE: It’s really nonsensical, all these people talking about the chance that it might rain during the Super Bowl. It can’t possibly rain in February, it’s too cold. It’s true, it might snow, but that’s something else entirely.

MICK: I understand why you might think that, but you’re wrong. We can easily imagine atmospheric conditions under which it rains in February.

GENE: Are you listening to me? Think about what you’re saying. It’s winter time, you know? Brrrrr. A jolly fat man in a red suit. Bing Crosby didn’t sing, “I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas.” Wow I can’t believe how bad the press is, when reporting the weather.

MICK: I promise you, I really do understand what your intuition is here. But I’m certain you are wrong. Even in February, it can still be the case that the air is above the freezing point, and so precipitation takes the form of liquid water, not ice crystals. It is entirely possible for it to rain in February.

GENE: *sigh* OK sure. I agree with you that if a bunch of Army helicopters strapped big basins to their undersides, and dumped a bunch of water on the stadium, it would seem like it was raining. But c’mon, Mick, that’s not what I’m talking about. You know that. Let’s rule out Army helicopters, and Superman freezing a lake with his breath then picking up the slab of ice, etc. etc. I’m saying under the real-world conditions as we face them, it won’t rain at the Super Bowl.

MICK: I’m sort of at a loss here. I’m not invoking anything like that at all. I’m saying your original argument is totally wrong.

GENE: Mick, are you forecasting that it will rain on the Superbowl?

MICK: Huh? Well, no, I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it…

GENE: Uh-huh that’s what I thought. Like I was saying, these fears about rain on Super Bowl Sunday are ludicrous.

MICK: Look, I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, but your actual argument was invalid. If you want to say you think in practice it won’t rain this particular Super Bowl Sunday, you may very well be right–

[GENE’s fans:] What the heck is this guy’s deal? Is he getting paid by the umbrella lobby?

GENE: Look Mick, we both know that it would make for a much nicer Super Bowl if it were sunny, right?

MICK: Of course.

GENE: All right then. Are you willing to go on record saying it won’t be sunny?


GENE: All right then. Like I was saying all along, these people warning about rain on the Super Bowl are idiots.

This dialog was inspired by the exchange between Dean and Nick in the comments of this blog post.

6 Responses to “Mick and Gene Discuss the Weather”

  1. Joseph Fetz says:

    And, it continues….

    Honestly, the argument in the blog post reminds me of Hoppe’s explanation of the faults of socialism ‘Social-democratic style’. Well, at least Nick’s two last comments.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Nick’s actual comments, not Mick’s comments.

  2. Major_Freedom says:

    “Yes. Absolutely. Government investments that pass the standard Cost/Benefit test will create benefits to present and/or future generations that exceed the costs.”

    He had me until this.

    One can’t compare and contrast inter-subjective utility.

  3. marris says:

    Is that the wrong link? It takes me to a CEPR post.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Marris, it’s the right link. Replace “it can’t rain in February” with “government debt can’t burden future generations.”

    • marris says:

      Sorry, I didn’t realize what you did with the names. I’d expected to see an exchange between Gene Callahan and some guy named Mick. The dialog above sounds a bit like Gene.

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