Assorted Links (2/13/2011)

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

Understanding economic illiteracy

“”Unicorns don’t exist.” All economic logic follows from this observation. Simple, right? Unfortunately, the poor state of economic understanding among many Americans indicates to me not only that the idea is subtly complex, but also that people do have an affinity for mythical, horned creatures.”

Review & Outlook: Runaway Trains

“The Wall Street Journal says President Obama’s high-speed rail plan is a fiscal pipedream.”

Emerging Markets as Partners, not Rivals

“Achieving economic prosperity is not like winning a game, and guiding an economy is not like managing a sports team.

Geithner’s Exit Plan for Fannie & Freddie

“If we could go back in time, decades ago we would have phased out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Iran Bans Valentine’s Day

“In The Wall Street Journal, Melik Kaylan writes that the regime’s posture turns the smallest gestures into thrilling acts of subversion.” Hopefully the political freedom contagion which began in Tunisia and just swept through Egypt will continue unabated on its way to Iran!

The Weekend Interview with Charles Plosser: The Fed’s Easy Money Skeptic

“In The Wall Street Journal, Mary Anastasia O’Grady interviews Charles Plosser, president of Philadelphia’s Federal Reserve bank, who says that Monetary policy can’t retrain people. Monetary policy can’t fix those problems.”

Harry Reid’s Reagan Revisionism

“James Freeman says in The Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary that Democrats unable to dent the enduring popularity of Ronald Reagan are now trying to recast America’s 40th president as one of their own — sometimes with hilarious results.”

Review & Outlook: 800,000 Fewer Workers

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director (Douglas Elmendorf) estimated that ObamaCare will cause the labor force to shrink by about half a percentage point by the end of the next decade… (by reducing) “the propensity to work.” As with any other government subsidy, people receiving “free” health care won’t have as much incentive to search for a job or work full time.”

The Obama Administration on Housing Finance

“The long-awaited report has been released. I will have extended comments below the fold. Overall, I was disappointed to see that the report is heavily waited toward strategy and tactics, without adequate consideration of objectives. Nobody seems to want to step back and ask fundamental questions…”

Is the House on Track to Reverse the Spending Binge?

“The goal of the new House leadership is to reverse the spending binge of the past three years. They have already laid out the first step: the House Appropriations Committee has agreed to spending levels for nondefense discretionary spending for fiscal year 2011. However, because the previous Congress did not pass a budget for 2011, the year will be nearly half over before the new budget is passed and this is causing confusion about what the agreed spending levels mean…”

Denial puts U.S. deeper in debt

“The national debt has grown by $3 trillion since President Barack Obama took office, the most rapid growth under any president since FDR’s war-time defense buildup.”

Mubaraks, Mamelukes, Modernizers and Muslims

“Pharaoh Hosni is out; the Mubarak dynasty is done. This had to happen and, whatever comes next, the downfall of an undemocratic leader well past his sell-by date is a good thing in and of itself. The nation of Egypt is not a personal possession to be handed down like an heirloom from generation to generation.”

Doing God’s Work—At the Office

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column, Rob Moll writes of the increasingly popular view that we are called to be co-creators of a flourishing life on earth.”

Review & Outlook: ‘Pedal Misapplications’

“The Wall Street Journal says Ray LaHood recants on Toyota.”

Reaganomics: What We Learned

“In The Wall Street Journal, economist Arthur B. Laffer notes that lower tax rates, tighter money and deregulation created a boom that created over 21 million jobs from December 1982 to June 1990.”

The Time for Spending Cuts Is Now

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael J. Boskin writes that the White House is arguing that ‘draconian’ cuts will derail the economy. In fact, cuts are necessary to preserve tax rates that are compatible with economic growth.”

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