Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Estimating Construction Costs

Here is a list of great construction cost estimation books.

Direct link to Means construction estimation books.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States has a really cool PDF that shows you housing starts, types of housing built, and the cost of materials (among other things.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Here are some ways to find out which countries have signed what kind of treaties. Also, bear in mind that membership in international organizations de facto carries some kinds of agreements and cooperation (i.e. European Union).

on the internet:

Organization of American States Free Trade Agreements

U.S. Free Trade Agreements

GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Avoid www.gatt.org, one of the most famous protest sites on the internet.

UN Database of Treaties - All treaties entered into by any member state.

CIA World Factbook - see which international organizations a country belongs to. Choose your country and click on government to the bottom of the screen.

Treaties in Force - Treaties America has signed.

our databases:

Search Lexis Nexis for the full text of lapsed and current U.S. Treaties.  They also have the European Union treaties.
In Lexis Nexis, go to 1) International Legal Tab then 2) European Union, Commonwealth and Foreign Nations Tab (even for US treaties) 3) choose your selection from the box.

see below:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Finding International Stats In Passport

Passport database contains a lot of international financial and development statistics, but you have to know where to look.

Personal Branding Books

We call it personal branding, but the catalog uses these terms:  



Friday, August 17, 2018

Word of the Day: Rentier

Rentier (REN-TEE-AY from the French) is an important concept. It refers to wealth created by control of the economy, not capitalist competition and innovation. By definition, competition would produce lower prices and promote innovation, but the rentier faction captures government and passes regulations to quash such things.

In short, their wealth is an artificial construct protected by law. They may act like capitalists, but they are not. They derive their income from rents, not real achievements.

Michael Hudson has a fascinating article detailing the need to take such things into account in economic models.  Because economists are lousy at predicting human corruption and irrationality!

Here's the introduction:

"By promoting a misleading view of how the economy works, the above omissions lead to a policy that fails to prevent debt bubbles or deal effectively with the ensuing depression. To avoid a replay of the recent financial crisis – and indeed, to extricate economies from their present debt strait-jacket that subordinates recovery to the overhang of creditor claims (that is, saving the banks from taking a loss on their bad loans and gambles) – it is necessary to explain how credit creation inflates housing and other asset prices, while interest and other financial charges deflate the “real” economy, holding down commodity prices, shrinking markets and employment, and holding down wages in a downward economic spiral. We are dealing with two price trends that go in opposite directions: asset prices and commodity prices. It therefore is necessary to explain how credit expansion pushes asset prices up while simultaneously causing debt deflation."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

University Reporter Video

Here's the video for University Reporter. This is a great database for getting consumer profiles for various brands, products, and economic activities.