And now some praise for economic theory, although in this case it’s for theory presented (and possibly developed) by a writer and not a full-time economist. Hugo Lindgren’s brilliant Hot Waitress Index:

The indicator I prefer is the Hot Waitress Index: The hotter the waitresses, the weaker the economy. In flush times, there is a robust market for hotness. Selling everything from condos to premium vodka is enhanced by proximity to pretty young people (of both sexes) who get paid for providing this service. That leaves more-punishing work, like waiting tables, to those with less striking genetic gifts. But not anymore.

(via Jason Kottke)