Assorted Links (6/29/2011)

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

The Deficit Is Worse Than We Think

“In The Wall Street Journal, Lawrence B. Lindsey writes that higher interest rates, slower economic growth and a more costly ObamaCare would mean escalating deficits for years to come, regardless of whether a budget deal is struck.”

A Review of HBO’s “Too Big To Fail”

“Nearly three years after the worst of the financial crisis, we are still living with its residue of slow growth, anemic job creation, and a moribund housing market. On top of these real-life reminders have come movie depictions of the crisis, including the May 2011 HBO version ofAndrew Ross Sorkin’s book Too Big to Fail, and the 2010 Academy Award-winning Inside Job.”

Notable & Quotable –

“Economist Steve Hanke on the failure of deficit spending to revive the economy.” (note: This is an excerpt of Professor Hanke’s article; the full version is available at

160 Million and Counting

“Abortion and the tragedy of the world’s missing women.”

Q&A with Russ Roberts and John Papola

“Economics Professor Russ Roberts, and host of the weekly podcast series “EconTalk,” and John Papola, a filmmaker and entertainment marketing executive, have collaborated on the creation of two rap videos about economics.”

The Failure of Al Gore: Part Deux

“That Al Gore’s definitive statement on the crisis of the climate change movement appeared in the back pages of Rolling Stone magazine rather than in a more prominent and prestigious location is one sign of the decline in his reputation.”

An ObamaCare Legal Precedent?

“In The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey write about the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Bond v. United Sates, which gives a boost to the doctrine of enumerated powers and could have far-reaching implications for ObamaCare.”

Why Your Car Doesn’t Have a Spare Tire

“In The Wall Street Journal, Sam Kazman says the government’s CAFE standards means lighter cars, which results in thousands of additional traffic deaths per year.”

The Local Government Pension Squeeze

“In The Wall Street Journal, Steve Malanga reports on the severe budget problems of municipalities, thanks to growing pension costs and other retiree benefits.”

Are Catholic Colleges Catholic Enough?

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column, Patrick J. Reilly writes that federal regulators want to pass judgment on the religious character of schools.”

GOP Governors Are Showing the Way

“In The Wall Street Journal, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell writes that state Republicans are tackling the issues voters want addressed—and that’ll be a major asset for the party’s presidential nominee in 2012.”

Debt Hamstrings Recovery

“Around the globe, the inability of governments and households to reduce their debt continues to cast a shadow over Western economies and the financial health of individuals.”

Bummer of a Recovery

“On economic growth, real GDP has risen 0.8% over the 13 quarters since the recession began, compared to an average increase of 9.9% in past recoveries.”

Why the Old Jobs Aren’t Coming Back

“In The Wall Street Journal, Nobel laureate Michael Spence writes that old jobs aren’t coming back, but smarter tax policies and collaboration between the public, private and labor sectors can help make the U.S. competitive again.”

The Drug War: What is It Good For?

“Absolutely Nothing. Let’s end it.”

Did the Stimulus Stimulate? Real Time Estimates of the Effects of the American Recovery and Reinvest

From Dartmouth, here’s the latest empirical assessment of the economic impact of the Feb. 2009 “stimulus” act: “A cross state analysis suggests that one additional job was created by each $170,000 in stimulus spending. Time series analysis at the state level suggests a smaller response with a per job cost of about $400,000… Grants to states for education do not appear to have created any additional jobs.”

Obama vs. ATMs—Why Technology Doesn’t Destroy Jobs

“In The Wall Street Journal, Russell Roberts of George Mason University writes that doing more with less is what economic growth is all about.”

The Two Year Anniversary of the Non-Recovery

“This month marks the two-year anniversary of the end of recession and start of recovery. But it’s a recovery in name only, so weak as to be nonexistent. And it has been weak from the start.”

Shlaes: Remember the lessons of the 1980s to avoid a double-dip recession

“Is our economy headed back into a recession? A look at a past double-dip, the recessions of 1980 and of 1981-1982, suggests we are due.”

The Failure of American Schools – Magazine – The Atlantic

Among other things, I learned that 1) “The average NYC teacher works fewer than seven hours a day for 185 days and costs the city $110,000-$71,000 in salary, $23,000 in pensions, and $16,000 in health and other benefits”, and 2) “It’s possible for a teacher in New York City to retire at 55 and draw down an annual pension of more than $60,000, plus lifetime health benefits…”

Post office suspends retirement contributions

Quoting from this Associated Press article, “The agency (USPS) said Wednesday it is acting to conserve cash as it continues to lose money. The post office was $8 billion in the red last year because of the combined effects of the recession and the switch of much mail business to the Internet. It faces the possibility of running short of money by the end of this fiscal year in September.”

The Surprising Roots of Liberal Nostalgia

“In The Wall Street Journal, Michael Barone writes that World War II created confidence in large institutions and big government. But today, few Americans would want to go back to the cultural conformity of the mid-20th century.”

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