Assorted Links (11/17/2010)

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

The Costly Freedom to Sue – Room for Debate

“The issue of litigation costs is made worse because many cases rest on dubious legal theories.”

A Significant Letter

“The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning about an open letter sent to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a letter signed by leading economists and investors.”

Robert Frank on Inequality

“The latest EconTalk is Robert Frank talking about inequality. There’s lots of back and forth–even more of a conversation than usual. There’s lots of disagreement but it’s very civilized.”

Working It Out, iTunes to Sell Beatles Titles

“Apple is expected to announce that it has struck a deal with the Beatles and their record company, EMI, to sell the band’s music on iTunes.”

From ‘Free to Choose’ to ‘Choose to Obey’

“Hoping to revive the ‘Progressive’ agenda, Katrina vanden Heuvel calls on surviving Democrats in Congress to “sharply define choices for the American people” (“Amid losses, some ways for House Democrats to gain,” Nov. 17).”

Left, Right and Wrong on Taxes

“The deficit commission’s critics are shortsighted.”

Inmates in New York’s county jails collecting unemployment benefits illegally

“The state Labor Department is teaming up with law enforcement agencies across New York to fight a crime more common than previously realized: the fraudulent collection of unemployment benefits by inmates at county jails.”

On the Burgeoning Industry of Lending for Litigation

“Back in June, we wrote about the increasingly prevalent trend of private investors providing the funding for lawsuits. On Monday, the NYT and Center for Public Integrity offered up a deep dive into the topic.”

Our Brains Signal Love of Fairness, Not Higher Taxes

“The arguments are valid only when people believe wealth is undeserved and that opportunities to accumulate wealth are unfairly distributed.”

Pretty in Pink? Obama’s Dark Night of the Soul

“Interesting essay by Walter Russell Mead, who 1) “…is the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and is recognized as one of the country’s leading students of American foreign policy” (cf. and 2) voted for President Obama in 2008…”

Why I Do Not Like QE2

“Other governments, and their central banks, have reacted vocally and negatively to the Federal Reserve’s plan for another round of quantitative easing-which means that the Fed purchases long-term bonds.”

U.S. Government: Too Big To Succeed?

“The futile efforts for budget reform.”

Celebrating the Music of Paul McCartney, In Performance at The White House, PBS Video

“Watch Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.”

Bret Stephens: Obama’s Air Guitar

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Global View column, Bret Stephens writes about the danger of America’s will to weakness.”

George Gilder: California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby –

“George Gilder writes in The Wall Street Journal that Silicon Valley, once synonymous with productivity-enhancing innovation, is now looking to make money on feel-good government handouts.”

Experts weigh in: Can the economy be saved?

“It has been more than two years since the financial and economic crash of 2008. Since then, many things have improved, and the U.S. economy is officially out of recession. But many Americans are still hurting. Unemployment remains high, and the housing market is far from settled.”

Pigs Fly as Washington Faces Up to Deficit Peril: Kevin Hassett

“Last week in Washington, beneath a flock of pigs flying south in a majestic V formation, the co- chairmen of President Barack Obama ‘s deficit commission released a plan that actually could solve the nation’s pending fiscal crisis.”

Why the Fed Cannot Regulate ‘Systemic Risk’ — The American, A Magazine of Ideas

“A systemic risk advisor might help ameliorate bubbles and busts, though not avoid financial cycles.”

What Lessons Should We Learn from Japan’s Lost Decade?

“It’s hard to remember now that in the 1980s Japan had the world’s most-admired economy. It would, people widely believed, achieve the highest living standards and pioneer the niftiest technologies. Nowadays, all we hear are warnings not to repeat Japan’s mistakes that resulted in a “lost decade.””

Democrats: The Party of No on Deficit Reduction

“The deficit reduction commission’s ideas were met with knee-jerk opposition from Democrats.”

Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget – Interactive Feature –

“It only takes a minute or so to “fix” our nation’s finances. Hat tip to Harvard’s Greg Mankiw (cf.”

Four Experts Take Aim at Deficit Commission Proposal

“Four budget and business experts take aim at the new deficit reduction plan released this week by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. If they don’t like it, who will?”