Assorted Links (7/16/2011)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading (and videos that I have been viewing) lately:

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex | Video on

“TED Talks Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.”

McGurn: Are You Better Off? –

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Main Street column, William McGurn writes that President Obama will have to answer the question Reagan asked in 1980.”

Peter Wallison: Government-Sponsored Meltdown –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Peter Wallison writes that Fannie Mae did not contribute ‘marginally’ to the financial crisis, but was the source of the declining mortgage underwriting standards that brought down the system.”

John H. Cochrane: The More Bank Capital, the Safer the Bank –

“John H. Cochrane writes in The Wall Street Journal that even under Dodd-Frank, banks need buffers of capital to protect taxpayers and the financial system.”

Can President Obama keep paying Social Security benefits even if the debt ceiling is reached?

“President Obama says he may not be able to keep paying Social Security benefits if the debt ceiling is reached. There’s fierce debate about whether that is accurate.”

Review & Outlook: The Obama Downgrade –

“The Wall Street Journal on the real reason the U.S. could lose its AAA rating.”

This Is No Time for Games –

“Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be playing ‘Targeted Catastrophe,’ Peggy Noonan argues.”

Anne Jolis: Greece—Where Profit Is Taboo –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Anne Jolis interviews Greek shipping magnate John Coustas about the fate of his country.”

Montreux fetes Miles Davis with “soundtrack” to his life

“Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Marcus Miller paid tribute to their friend and mentor Miles Davis…”

Obamageddon Coming to a City Near You? | Via Meadia

“The election of the first African-American president was widely hailed as a giant step forward for American racial politics. The future, however, may remember this administration asa giant step back for Black America during a period of deepening alienation, anger and despair in America’s inner cities.”

Kenneth C. Frazier: Will Washington Find the Cure for Cancer?

“In The Wall Street Journal, Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier writes that government boards and drug price controls threaten to throw sand in the gears of medical progress.”

Best of the Web Today: Raise Taxes or Granny Gets It

“James Taranto on the liberal media’s idea of a grown-up.”

The President’s offer is left of Bowles-Simpson

“Unlike the Bowles-Simpson package, the deal Republicans are being offered by the President is such a bad one that it’s not really a tough call.”

The Method to Their Madness

“There are reasons why the Republican Party has its heels dug in on the debt ceiling.”

Nanny Steven Chu: “We Are Taking Away a Choice that Lets You Waste Your Own Money!”

“Steven Chu was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. That he developed methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light does not mean he understands economics, consumer choice, or politics. A Nobel Prize does not even guarantee common sense. Often it guarantees the opposite.”

Economic Freedom & Quality of Life

“Economic Freedom and the Quality of Life is a short, informative video centered on the ideas of economic freedom and the societal benefits it produces. The video helps explain what economic freedom is and why it’s key to improving society.”

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