Assorted Links (7/10/2011)

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

3D Printing Will Revive American Manufacturing

“The transformative technology of the 2015-2025 period could be 3D printing. This has the potential to remake the economics of manufacturing from a large-scale industry back to an artisan model of small design shops with access to 3D printers. In other words, making stuff, real stuff, could move from In other words, making stuff, real stuff, could move from being a capital intensive industry into something that looks more like art and software. This should favor the American skill set of creativity.”

A Tale of Two Job Markets: Today & ’83-’84

“Today’s jobs report provides yet more evidence that this is a recovery in name only. The 9.2 percent unemployment rate is certainly a serious problem, but you can understand the problem a little better by looking at the percentage of working-age Americans who are actually working. This percentage declined again to 58.2 percent in June, and is well below what it was when the recovery officially began.”

Freakonomics » Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?

The authors of a study cited here find that consumers in Colorado and Washington are willing to pay $430 to $4,200 for the utility value of “conspicuous conservation” associated with purchasing a Toyota Prius. Interestingly, this effect is lacking for comparable hybrids such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry, cars which (unlike Prius) are manufactured as identically designed gas powered vehicles.

Freakonomics » The Wastefulness of New Jersey’s Gas Pumping Restrictions 

“Driving through New Jersey, we stop for gas and sit for a few minutes until the attendant comes to fill our tank. My son tells me that is because New Jersey has one of most wasteful restrictions in the Union: there is no self-service gasoline; all gas must be pumped by an attendant. This wastes drivers’ time — it’s almost always quicker to pump gas oneself.  The labor of the attendants is thus devoted to generating economic waste and could be spent productively elsewhere rather than in promoting economic inefficiency.”

Celebration: It’s Day 800 Since Senate Dems Passed a Budget

“Today marks the 800th day since the Senate Democrats passed a budget. For more than two years, democrats have ignored their legal obligation to pass a budget, while we’ve seen federal spending spiral out of control. Considering democrats have controlled the White House and the Senate for more than two years, with total democrat control between 2008 and 2010 in the House, Senate and White House, the failure lies with President Obama and democrat congressional leadership.”

The Divorce Generation

“After surviving the wreckage of their own split families, Generation X parents are determined to keep their marriages together. It doesn’t always work out.”

iowahawk: Questions, So Many Questions

“President Obama graciously offered to take questions submitted via Twitter today, courtesy the #AskObama hashtag. Being an inquisitive sort, I decided to submit a few that have been nagging me.  Although he declined to answer any, I thought I’d warehouse them here in case he ever gets around to them.”

We Need a Ronald Reagan

“Europeans pay tribute to a great American—and long for another. Peggy Noonan reports.”

Redefining “balance”

“Over the next few weeks, you should be skeptical of anyone’s attempt to claim an objective measure of a particular deficit reduction package as balanced or unbalanced. You’re almost certainly being spun.”

The beautiful tricks of flowers

“In this visually dazzling talk, Jonathan Drori shows the extraordinary ways flowering plants — over a quarter million species — have evolved to attract insects to spread their pollen: growing ‘landing-strips’ to guide the insects in, shining in ultraviolet, building elaborate traps, and even mimicking other insects in heat.”

Overcaffeinated CAFE

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins writes that President Obama’s crusade to increase automobile fuel-economy standards makes little economic sense—and it won’t save the planet.”

A Debt-Limit Breakout

“The Wall Street Journal writes that Republicans should agree to fewer business tax deductions in return for a lower corporate tax rate.”

The Moral Outrage of ‘Missing’ Girls –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Main Street columnist William McGurn writes about the debate between Maria Hvistendahl and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat about the morality of sex-selective abortion.”

Malpass and Moore: America’s Troubling Investment Gap

“David Malpass and Stephen Moore write in The Wall Street Journal that for the first time in decades, America is on net losing, not attracting, growth capital.”

John Steele Gordon: The Rise and Needless Decline of the Golden State

“John Steele Gordon writes in The Wall Street Journal that more Americans left California than arrived in the last decade. What caused this great migration? Politics.”

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