Assorted Links (6/9/2010)

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

Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff | Video on
“It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples.”

If Morgan Stanley Caused The Oil Spill –
“In time we’ll learn how to prevent another Deepwater Horizon oil spill. What about another financial crisis?”

Preparing for the World Cup – The Big Picture –
“Next Friday, June 11th, South Africa will step onto the world stage as host nation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the international soccer tournament begins – welcoming 32 teams from around the world.”

Are Government Workers Underpaid? No — The American, A Magazine of Ideas
“Once all promised benefits are included, government employees at all levels—local, state, and federal—receive significantly greater total compensation than private-sector workers.”

Charles E.F. Millard: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Is Billions in Deficit –
“In The Wall Street Journal, Charles E.F. Millard says the PBGC, which guarantees private pensions, is deeply underfunded and may not be able to meet its obligations to retirees.”

Dorothy Rabinowitz: The Alien in the White House –
“Dorothy Rabinowitz writes in The Wall Street Journal that the distance between the president and the people is beginning to be revealed.”

Scott Gottlieb: Two Steps Forward in the War Against Cancer –
“Scott Gottlieb writes in The Wall Street Journal that the time from lab to market for new drugs keeps getting shorter, but bad government policies threaten to reverse this trend.”

Feel the Rage –
“The Wall Street Journal writes that liberals who are assaulting President Obama and government over the Gulf oil spill have discovered conservatives’ critique of the regulatory state.”

A Self-Appointed Teacher Runs a One-Man ‘Academy’ on YouTube – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
“Salman Khan, a former financial analyst, has created 1,400 educational videos and posted them to YouTube. “My single biggest goal is to try to deliver things the way I wish they were delivered to me,” he says.”

The new Democratic claim about job creation
“A new claim about job creation appears to be bubbling up through the Democratic ranks. Here is the clearest statement of that claim, from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Stuart Varney’s show:”

Responding to the President’s Carnegie Mellon economic speech|
“Yesterday I tried to neutrally summarize the President’s 5,000+ words economic speech delivered last week at Carnegie Mellon University. Today I’ll give my views on the substance.”

Okrent on Prohibition and His Book, Last Call
“Daniel Okent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They discuss how the 18th Amendment banning the manufacture, sale, and transport of intoxicating beverages came to pass in 1920, what life was like while it was in force, and how the Amendment cam…e to be repealed in 1934. Okrent discusses how Prohibition became entangled with the suffrage movement, the establishment of the income tax, and anti-immigration sentiment. They also discuss the political economy of prohibition, enforcement, and repeal–the quintessential example of bootleggers and baptists.”