Assorted Links (7/24/2010)

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

Mike Huckabee on politics, Christianity, Israel : The New Yorker

Interesting New Yorker article about former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee…

Will the U.S. Hand Chavez a License to Kill?

“Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s record of providing money, arms, political support, and, yes, safe haven to groups waging a murderous war against a sovereign state openly violates international law.”

The Government’s Role in the Housing Bubble – National – The Atlantic

“I never would have guessed that years in, we’d still be debating the role of the government in the housing bubble.”

New Blood for Social Security

“Should public-sector pensions shift their workers to Social Security?”

Are We Naturally Lazy?

“We’re happier when busy, but inclined to laziness.”

Crisis Economics

This is the clearest “plain English” explanation that I have seen anywhere which explains the conditions under which fiscal policy instruments such as government spending and tax cuts may or may not have particularly “stimulative” effects on the economy. The author (Harvard Professor N. Gregory Mankiw) also provides some interesting anecdotes concerning the absurdity of the Obama Administration’s famous “jobs created or saved” metric (also see Three Million Imaginary Jobs II); e.g., how some employers have counted federal government stimulus money which was used to provide pay raises to existing employees as “creating” jobs, and the story about a shoe-store owner in Kentucky who sold boots to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (for work on a project made possible by stimulus funds) who claimed to have created nine jobs with $889 (“…after all, a soldier could not go to work… without a pair of boots”).

Stormy skies – The Big Picture –

Robert McDowell: The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom –

“In the Wall Street Journal, Robert McDowell writes that the FCC’s move to treat broadband providers like phone company monopolies could spur international efforts to regulate the Web.”

Kim Strassel: Obama’s Other Chicago Problem –

“Kim Strassel writes in The Wall Street Journal that the president’s support for Illinois senatorial hopeful Alexi Giannoulias is an unwanted reminder of the Windy City’s unsavory politics.”

Review & Outlook: Liberal Tax Revolt –

“The Wall Street Journal writes that even many Democrats don’t want the Bush cuts to expire.”

Charles Krauthammer – Beware the lame duck

“To pass major legislation in a lame-duck session would be a violation of democratic norms.”

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