Peter Gordon’s Blog: Interesting analogy

From Peter Gordon, via Greg Mankiw, an “interesting analogy” from p. 25 of Paul Seabright’s book entitled “The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life”: “Politicians are in charge of the modern economy in much the same way as a sailor is in charge of a small boat in a storm. The consequences of their losing control completely may be catastrophic,… but even while they keep afloat, their influence over the course of events is tiny in comparison with that of the storm around them. We who are their passengers may focus our hopes and fears upon them, and express profound gratitude toward them if we reach harbor safely, but that is chiefly because it seems pointless to thank the storm.”

Assorted Links (8/7/2010)

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

How Companies Track Corporate Reputation – The Numbers Guy – WSJ 

“How polling firms and other companies track corporate reputation, from monitoring social networks to surveying thousands of people daily.”

Medicare Actuary Questions Obamacare Savings |

“The actuaries at Medicare are the nonpolitical guardians of government health care spending and are seen as stubbornly independent.And they are warning that the assumptions the administration is relying on to fund its health care policy may create enormous problems for Medicare — just as tens of millions of baby boomers start retiring.”

The World Drills On –

“The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes on how the rest of the world continues to drill in deep water, ignoring the Obama moratorium.”

Thomas F. Siems: Government and the Uncertainty Trap – 

“In The Wall Street Journal, Thomas Siems of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank says that it is not a lack of liquidity that’s holding back our economy. Investors and business leaders are waiting to learn more about future taxes and regulations.”

Mr. Fairness – 

“In The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel interviews Ken Feinberg, the pay czar, BP claims administrator, and 9/11 victims fund manager.”

TaxVox: the Tax Policy Center blog :: In Defense of Congressman Paul Ryan

“Given that columnist Paul Krugman relied on Tax Policy Center estimates to level claims that Congressman Paul Ryan is a “flimflam man” and that Ryan’s plan to address our fiscal problems is a “fraud,” I think a defense of the Congressman is in order.”

When Labor Is Capital: The Limits of Keynesian Policy

“The economic mystery of 2010 is the persistence of high unemployment, in spite of stimulus that follows the prescription of the prevailing Keynesian orthodoxy. Here’s an alternative to that orthodoxy.”

Dana Mack: Now What for Marriage, After the Federal Ruling Against California’s Proposition 8

“Dana Mack writes … about the implications of this week’s ruling by a federal judge that the same-sex marriage ban enshrined in California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.” 

John Murray: The ‘C’ Should Stay in the YMCA 

“John Murray writes … about the YMCA’s new branding strategy and name change, to the Y, and says neither effort will make the organization any more effective at service to the community than the original YMCA always was.”

Peggy Noonan: America Is at Risk of Boiling Over – 

“And out-of-touch leaders don’t see the need to cool things off, Peggy Noonan writes in The Wall Street Journal.”

Charles Krauthammer – Annals of executive overreach

“In a democracy, administrators administer the law; they don’t change it.”