Assorted Links (5/9/2011)

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

Carpe Diem’s Mark Perry Further Exposes the Absurdity of Energy Independence

“The oil industry’s pedestrian profit margins reveal how economically crippling it would be to devote resources to “energy independence.””

U.S. Faces Doctor Shortage

“Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under health-care law, with a projected shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years.”

Three Questions for America’s Financial Future – Economic View

“Three puzzling questions are at the heart of today’s economic uncertainty, N. Gregory Mankiw says.”

DNA and Bin Laden’s Positive ID

“The math behind confirming someone’s identity through genetic testing is tricky and depends on the strength of other evidence.”

Number of the Week: Class of 2011, Most Indebted Ever

“The Class of 2011 will graduate this spring from Americas colleges and universities with a dubious distinction: the most indebted ever.”

Streetwise Professor » Control Freaks?

“The administration is floating–re-floating, actually–a proposal to levy a tax based on mileage driven. From an economic perspective, this is a puzzler. If the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions or pollution, it would be far preferable to do so via fuel taxes because (a) pollution is a function of fuel consumption, and (b) fuel consumption depends not just on mileage driven, but on vehicle size, age, maintenance, etc.”

Calculated Risk: No Surprise: Gasoline prices expected to fall sharply

“A brief comment: If oil prices stay at the current level, gasoline prices will probably fall 30 cents per gallon or more over the next few weeks. This AP article says some analysts expect a “drop of nearly 50 cents” by June.”

An Inside Look at the SEAL Sensibility

“Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, a member of the elite force, gives an inside look at the brutal training and secret work of the commandos who got Osama bin Laden.”

Debate Rages Over Fate of bin Laden Compound

“Pakistan’s leaders, already battling to control the diplomatic, political and military fallout from the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, face one particularly divisive question: What should they do with the house where he lived?”

That bin Laden Letdown

“The news of the killing of Osama Bin Laden generated euphoria….for a New York minute.”

Talk Radio Rides to the Rescue in Tuscaloosa

“How Clear Channel stations promoted a remarkable network of volunteers for tornado relief.”

We’re Still Seven Million Jobs In The Hole

“Yes, the economy is adding jobs. But it hasn’t come close to making up for what’s been lost. Here’s a look at health care, construction, manufacturing and other key sectors.”

Obama floats plan to tax cars by the mile

“A draft transportation authorization bill includes a proposal to tax automobile drivers based on their mileage. The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.”

The cost of bin Laden: $3 trillion over 15 years

“The most expensive public enemy in American history died Sunday from two bullets. As we mark Osama bin Laden’s death, what’s striking is how much he cost our nation—and how little we’ve gained from our fight against him.”

Obama’s ‘Gangster Politics’

“In The Wall Street Journal, Potomac Watch columnist Kimberley Strassel says the president is about to force companies that bid for federal contracts to disclose their political donations.”

Barney Frank’s Latest Bad Idea

“In The Wall Street Journal, Gerald P. O’Driscoll criticizes Barney Frank’s bill to remove the regional Fed bank presidents from the Federal Open Market Committee. He says that these bank presidents are an important counterweight to Washington politicos and the influence of Wall Street in setting monetary policy.”

The Tax-Me-More Lobby Doesn’t Pay More

“Stephen Moore writes in The Wall Journal that the same people who say they want to pay higher taxes—wealthy liberals—don’t bother to contribute more voluntarily.”

Show the Proof, Mr. President

“Americans don’t want to ‘spike the ball,’ Peggy Noonan argues. They want to show they crossed the goal line.”

Failing Grades on Civics Exam a ‘Crisis’

“Fewer than half of America’s eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights, according to test results.” This article also documents, among other things, that “…only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches”, and that American students’ worst subject is history (loud gulp!)…

Eric Holder’s bin Laden Moment.

“In The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger writes that the moment has come for the attorney general to end his investigation of the CIA’s interrogators of terrorist detainees.”

If Supermarkets Were Like Public Schools

“George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux offers a very interesting thought experiment: “What if groceries were paid for by taxes, and you were assigned a store based on where you live?””

Killing Terror Leaders: Israel’s Experience

“The elimination of an organization’s leader tends to paralyze the group in the short term, but it sometimes results in the rise of an even more dangerous successor.”

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