Assorted Links (10/31/2010)

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

Tuesday’s National Economic Referendum

“Over the almost 40 years that I’ve been eligible to vote there have been only two elections in which economic policy has so dominated public debate that social issues disappeared from view. One such election will take place on Tuesday. The other happened 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan challenged incumbent Jimmy Carter for the presidency.”

More Evidence on Why the Stimulus Didn’t Work

“The most debated issue is the size of government purchases multiplier. Suppose that the government purchases multiplier is 1.5… 1.5 is at the upper range of estimates, and was used in a paper by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein to estimate the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). However, John Cogan, Volker Wieland, Tobias Cwik, and John Taylor found that the multiplier in the case of ARRA was much smaller, around .7. Robert Barro argues that it is zero. So there is debate.”

How to Reform Education

“Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty on what they learned while tackling Washington, D.C.’s failing public schools.”

Making the world a better place

“Right now, a child is crying. A blind woman is walking the streets of New York asking for help at an intersection. A beggar has his hand out. A classroom full of students awaits the teacher’s entrance. Someone’s heart is breaking. A friend’s wife is in the hospital and he finds himself overwhelmed in so many ways. Someone needs you. Do you help? Do you look the other way? If you help, how do you help? With all your heart and soul? Or are you bitter or bored or distracted? Is your phone ringing? Or are you checking your email while you’re listening to a friend’s troubles? Can you find a reason to do what is easy and what is best for you? Or do you help?”

Charles Lane – Obama’s electric-car cult

“Maybe it was karma, but the Volt’s launch coincided with publication of a 72-page report by J.D. Power and Associates that confirmed, in devastating detail, what many other experts have found: Electric cars still cost too much, even with substantial federal subsidies for both manufacturers and consumers, to attract more than a handful of wealthy buyers – and this will be true for at least another decade. What little gasoline savings the vehicles achieve could be had through cheaper alternative means. And electrics don’t reliably reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since, as often as not, the electricity to charge their batteries will come from coal-fired plants.”

The Economic Way of Thinking: Red States with a Bad Case of the Blues

“The Tax Foundation just released their updated State Business Tax Climate Index (click on the map above for an easier to view version). New Mexico (-10), Alabama (-9), and Connecticut (-9) had the biggest year-over-year declines in rankings; Illinois (+7) enjoyed the biggest improvement primarily because states similar to it raised taxes while Illinois kept taxes fairly constant this past year. South Dakota enjoys the best ranking; New York has the worst ranking. When we look at southern states, they clearly seem to have a case of the blues. That is, they’re way more red in their rhetoric (and when it comes to social issues) than they are in reality. ”

The Cost in Jobs of Doing Business With China

“Does trade with China really cost the U.S. 2.4 million jobs? Some economists say the oft-cited number doesn’t square with economic reality.”

ObamaCare and Voters

“The Wall Street Journal writes that Clinton and Obama told Democrats it would be popular. Whoops.”

Requiem for the Pelosi Democrats

“In The Wall Street Journal Weekend Interview, Democratic Rep. Brian Baird says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration are unpopular because they failed to spur job creation.”

Key Bloc Of Voters Flocks to The GOP

“The Democrats’ final push to woo undecided voters appears to have fizzled, potentially putting dozens of competitive House races beyond reach and undermining the party’s hopes in at least four toss-up Senate seats, according to party strategists and officials.”