Assorted Links (2/18/2011)

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

Goodbye to All That — 2004-2007

“In times to come, the period between the failed campaign of John Kerry and the Democratic control of the Congress, coupled with the beginning of the successful surge, should be known as “The Insane Years.” This was the era in which Guantanamo was a gulag, renditions were the stuff of Hollywood movie”

Is Your Job an Endangered Species?

“In The Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler writes that technology is eating jobs—and not just obvious ones like toll takers and phone operators. Lawyers and doctors are at risk as well.”

Review & Outlook: Athens in Mad Town

“The Wall Street Journal on the showdown between public unions and taxpayers in Wisconsin.”

Where the Leaders Are

“In a time of crisis, two governors show Washington the way, Peggy Noonan writes.”

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s Louis XV budget

“Obama’s first post-commission budget marks a return to obliviousness.”

The Madison Blues

“The world has been watching the upheavals and protests shaking the Middle East these days, but it’s just possible that the disturbances in Madison, Wisconsin mark what will ultimately prove to be a bigger turning point in world history.”

Tomorrow Never Comes

“President Obama keeps promising to get serious about the national debt, but nothing’s happening. Where’s the leadership?”

The President’s proposed deficits and “primary balance”

“Today we’ll look at President Obama’s proposed deficit path, as yesterday we looked at his spending and revenue paths.”

Till Debt Do Us Part

“The European marriage between its peripheral and core countries shows all the signs of the parties having irreconcilable differences.”

Will Green Nukes Save the World? | Fast Company

“Amidst the darkening clamor over global warming, declining fossil fuel reserves, conflicts over oil supplies, and rumors of heavy-handed governmental attempts to curb our carbon-hungry lifestyles, a welcome glow of hope is emerging on the energy technology horizon.”

Your Spousonomics Questions, Answered

“Last week, we solicited your questions for Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, co-authors of the new book Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes. Here are their answers, covering everything from sex to divorce to … gulp … apology.”

Race to the Top of the Laffer Curve

“David Leonhardt of the New York Times has it exactly backward: America’s corporate tax rates are driving economic activity abroad.”

The Contradictions of ObamaCare

“Why does Health and Human Services want to exempt millions of consumers from an ObamaCare regulation it just implemented to protect consumers?”

The long term budget problem begins now

“The dotted red line shows us that, over the past 50 years, federal government spending averaged just over one-fifth of the economy (20.2% of GDP). The dotted blue shows us that, over the past 50 years, federal revenues averaged just over 18% of GDP…”

The Experience Economy

“What happens when wealth and living standards diverge?”

After Obama’s Budget, Republicans Need a New Strategy

“In The Wall Street Journal, David Malpass says the big spenders are setting the GOP up for another phony debt ceiling debate. The party should unify around a proposal to put a ceiling on debt as a share of the economy.”

Ecuador Court Orders Chevron to Pay

“Hat tip to my good friend, Tom Butler, for pointing this article out to me. Here are some of his legal perspectives on this case: “What an interesting legal tangle this Chevron Ecuadorian case is. Multinational, competing int’l jurisdictions, The Hague Court, conflicting injunctions, etc… Better than a Grisham novel.”

Budget Battle Lines Drawn

“President Barack Obama offered a 2012 budget Monday that would reduce the federal deficit over time but still leave spending at historically high levels because of mushrooming health and retirement programs.”

Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood

“In The Wall Street Journal, Global View columnist Bret Stephens reflects on an earlier revolutionary moment—namely, Iran in 1979—in which Western thinkers were too quick to embrace fundamentalist Muslims they little understood.”

Want to Boost the Economy? Lower Corporate Tax Rates

“Harvard economist Martin Feldstein writes in The Wall Street Journal that the increased flow of capital to the U.S. from lower corporate taxes would result in greater productivity and higher real wages.”

A Way Forward for the Mortgage Market

“In The Wall Street Journal, Peter J. Wallison writes that the housing system can function perfectly well without government backing. The key, he argues, is making sure most mortgages are prime loans.”

ObamaCare and the Medicaid Mess

“In The Wall Street Journal, Peter Suderman,an editor at Reason magazine, discusses the severe state budgetary crisis posed by escalating Medicaid costs, and why the crisis will get worse under ObamaCare. He discusses reforms such as federal block grants.”

Review & Outlook: The Cee Lo Green Budget

“The Wall Street Journal on the cynical and unrealistic White House budget.”

Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions

“Previous research has suggested that low levels of financial literacy can often be blamed for poor financial decisions by individuals, with knock-on effects for the wider economy. This column adds empirical evidence based on cross-country aggregate and micro-data, showing that indeed countries with higher financial literacy also have higher saving rates and greater wealth.”

CoCo bonds as a way of preventing risk

“Contingent Convertible (CoCo) bonds have been suggested as a way to ensure that banks keep aside enough capital to help them through financial crises. This column proposes a market-triggered CoCo buffer to maintain risk incentives during periods of high leverage. It argues that this will also activate risk information discovery through the market prices of bank securities and increase activism by outside shareholders.”