Assorted Links (4/22/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

The NFL Draft Drives Economists Crazy –

“With its fixed costs and hard-to-judge talent, the NFL Draft is a mess. Now some economists think they have a better way–a type of auction that uses an academic-research area known as market design.”

On Presidential Rhetoric –

“More than any President in memory, Mr. Obama has a tendency to vilify his opponents in personal terms and assail their arguments as dishonest, illegitimate or motivated by bad faith… Politics ain’t beanbag, but most Presidents leave this kind of political attack to surrogates or Vice Presidents. Mr. Obama seems to enjoy being his own Spiro Agnew. A President may reap a short-term legislative gain from this kind of rhetoric, but he also pays a longer-term price in ill-will and needless polarization.”

An Important Human Right – Freakonomics Blog –

“Europe declares vacations a human right.”

Paul H. Rubin: Environmentalism as Religion –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Paul Rubin writes that Greens have a holy day, food taboos and sacrificial rituals. They proselytize too.”

Daniel Henninger: Democrats at the Edge of the Cliff –

“Daniel Henninger writes in The Wall Street Journal that Democrats are spending trillions at the worst possible moment, with a new poll showing public trust in government at a historic low of 22%.”

Book review: Bonhoeffer –

“Joseph Loconte reviews Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.”

Will the VAT Lady Sing? –

“If so, it’s over for America, writes Pete du Pont.”

How should we define Too Big to Fail?|

“I’d like to propose some structure to the policy debate around the Too Big to Fail (TBTF) concept. This arises mostly from my frustration with both the debate among policymakers and the press coverage of that debate. Many people seem to be talking past each other.”

Those Meant to Benefit From Health Law Still Face Hurdles –

“Under the new health care act, some people with low incomes might face penalties if they don’t buy health insurance.”

This New York Times article provides a case study concerning how the abolition of medical underwriting coupled with poor enforcement of the individual mandate will likely result in substantial adverse selection and correspondingly higher health insurance costs throughout the system.

Senate Bill Sets a Plan to Regulate Premiums –

“Fearing that health insurance premiums may shoot up in the next few years, Senate Democrats Tuesday laid a foundation for federal regulation of rates.”

Scenes from Sudan – The Big Picture –

“Residents of the African nation of Sudan recently cast votes in the first national election in over 20 years. Official results are still forthcoming, but early indications show that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is set to win a landslide victory.”