Assorted Links (9/1/2009)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading today (organized by topic):

Economics and the Financial Crisis

Wall Street Journal: “Despite the rhetoric from Washington, we were never close to 25% unemployment.”

  • The Coming Deposit Insurance Bailout

Wall Street Journal: “Another lesson that federal guarantees aren’t free.”

Game Theory

  • Pay cuts or job layoffs—which one is better?, by Presh Talwalkar

This article provides an interesting analysis of the behavioral dynamics behind a firm’s decision to either implement pay cuts or laying people off.  In light of Mr. Talwalar’s analysis, I find it very interesting that the seemingly preferred mode of action amongst universities during this recession has been to implement so-called “furloughs” which represent temporary pay cuts; e.g., one friend at a public university told me that his university is “furloughing” faculty one day per month. 

Foreign Policy

Washington Post: “Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding.”

Health Care Reform

  • Cut Costs Without Rationing Care By Putting Patient Back In Charge, by Tevi Troy and Jeffrey Anderson

Investors Business Daily: “Decades of data confirm a simple truth: If we want to lower health costs, we need to put consumers back in charge.”

New York Times (December 2, 2008): Apparently, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (aka NICE), has decided that “Britain, except in rare cases, can afford only £15,000, or about $22,750, to save six months of a citizen’s life.”

Higher Education

  • What Will They Learn For Your $50,000?, by Walter Williams

Investors Business Daily: “When parents plunk down $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 and maybe $50,000 this fall for a year’s worth of college room, board and tuition, it might be relevant to ask: What will their children learn in return?”


Slate: “Assessing the media version of the Kennedy “legacy.””

  • The Obama Slide, by David Brooks

New York Times: “Most Americans still admire the president and want him to succeed. But if he doesn’t proceed in a manner consistent with the spirit of the nation and the times, voters will find a way to stop him.”