Assorted Links (3/5/2011)

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

The Math Behind Scoring Systems for March Madness Pools – The Numbers Guy

“A biostatistician proposes a new system for scoring college-basketball prediction contests and other office pools.”

Longhorns vs. Badgers

“So are public schools in Texas worse than public schools in more ‘progressive’ states such as Wisconsin – as Paul Krugman, among others, argues? Read this post from Iowahawk and decide for yourself. (HT Steve Pejovich)”

We Don’t Need U.N. Approval to Save Libyan Lives

“Why is the Obama administration deferring to an international body that protects brutal dictatorships?”

Review & Outlook: Still Too Big, Still Can’t Fail

Interesting article on how the ratings firms rationally condition their credit analyses of large banks like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup upon the expectation that “…Washington will open the checkbook again” for these firms when the next financial crisis occurs…

The Weekend Interview with Paul Johnson: Why America Will Stay on Top

I first became aware of Mr. Johnson many years ago when I read thought provoking essay entitled “The Heartless Lovers of Humankind” (available on the web at My favorite quote: “…intellectuals profess to love humanity and to be working for its improvement and happiness. But it is the idea of humanity they love, rather than the actual individuals who compose it.”

World’s Top Ten Gaddafi Toads

“When Muammar Gaddafi, the ‘Commander of Islam’, Africa’s King of Kings and the Great Loon of Libya addressed the United Nations General Assembly at unusual length in 2009, he asked about the hanging of Saddam Hussein. “How is the member of a government and president of a country sentenced to hang?”

Charles Krauthammer – From Baghdad to Benghazi

“Everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda.”

Public Broadcasting Should Go Private

“In The Wall Street Journal, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint says that if these outfits can afford to pay lavish salaries to their heads, they don’t need taxpayer help.”

Time to Get Serious About American Oil

“In The Wall Street Journal, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell asks why Washington is blocking oil exploration in states like Alaska and Louisiana when the Middle East is such a powder keg?”

The Desire for Liberty Is Universal

“Michael Novak writes in The Wall Street Journal that a rebellion against a cruel dictator is not the same as a choice for a polity of law and rights. But it’s an important first step.”

Dollar’s Reign as World’s Main Reserve Currency Is Near an End

“The U.S. dollar will soon have to share the role of the world’s currency, argues UC Berkeley economist Barry Eichengreen in The Wall Street Journal. He explains why the change is coming—and what it will mean for international markets and companies.”

The Case for the Dollar’s Continued Dominance

Here’s a counterpoint to Eichengreen’s article: “The financial crisis and the U.S. government’s troubled long-term fiscal position have triggered speculation about alternatives to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. But many economists say there’s nothing ready to replace it.”

Gadhafi Makes the U.N. Grade

“The Wall Street Journal on the Human Rights Council’s opinion.”

The Minimal Impact of the Stimulus

“The latest data on gross domestic product shows little benefit from the federal stimulus plan, an economist writes.”

EU Bans Sex-Based Insurance Rates

“The European Union’s highest court declared illegal the widespread practice of charging men and women different rates for insurance, roiling the industry and setting in motion an overhaul of how life, auto and health policies are written.”

Should We Invest More In Pre-Schools Or Parents? : Planet Money : NPR

“We have too many eggs in the kid basket,” an economist says. “We need to spend much more time and many more resources on helping parents.”

The Massachusetts Health-Reform Mess

“In The Wall Street Journal, John E. Calfee notes that the health reform that served as the model for ObamaCare is in serious fiscal trouble.”

George Will can really put a sentence together

“The latest EconTalk is George Will talking about his career, the state of America, the state of American politics, baseball, and a few other things along the way. He is a beautiful talker. I particularly liked his thoughts on whether American politics hasn’t gotten any uglier in recent years. Enjoy.”

The Best Economics Papers Ever?

“In celebration of its 100-year anniversary, the American Economic Review asked six “eminent economists” (Kenneth J. Arrow, B. Douglas Bernheim, Martin S. Feldstein, Daniel L. McFadden, James M. Poterba, and Robert M. Solow) to select the journal’s top 20 papers ever published.”


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