Assorted Links (8/4/2011)

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

Two Joint Committee structures that could succeed

“The Budget Control Act creates a Joint Committee whose goal is to recommend legislation that will reduce the deficit by $1.8 T over the next ten years.”

Why the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Ever. by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Summer 2011

“Women prefer the mommy track.”

Henry Kaufman: Excessive Optimism and Other Economic Biases

“In The Wall Street Journal, Henry Kaufman says that we need new thinking to solve the problems plaguing the economy today.”

In Flood Zone, but Astonished by High Water

“Residents of Dakota Dunes, S.D. question whether the programs designed to safeguard people from floods actually encourage them to take unnecessary chances.”

Hat tip to my friend and colleague, Jim Hilliard, for pointing this article out to me. This is a particularly interesting (as well as tragic) real-world example of the so-called Peltzman effect; quoting from, “The Peltzman effect is the hypothesized tendency of people to react to a safety regulation by increasing other risky behavior, offsetting some or all of the benefit of the regulation.”

Why Canada Is Beating America

“In The Wall Street Journal, Jason Clemens says the new Conservative majority government will tackle health reform and promises lower income taxes.”

Fouad Ajami: Barack Obama the Pessimist

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fouad Ajami says Barack Obama’s lack of faith in American exceptionalism has dashed any hope of a transformational’ presidency.”

Gallup: US Conservatives Outnumber Liberals 2-1

“The latest Gallup survey of US political ideologies is out, and anybody who wants to understand why Democrats kept ceding ground during the debt battle should take a look at these numbers.”

Regulatory burden is wrapped up in impenetrable red tape

“Whatever deal eventually is struck between the White House and Congress on raising the debt ceiling, our “hidden” taxes will continue to multiply.”

The Big Mac index: Fast food for thought

“IT IS nearly 25 years since The Economist cooked up the Big Mac index.”

Risk and the government’s credit rating

“Inspired by Michael McConnell’s post and a comment by Charles Krauthammer on Special Report with Bret Baier, I offer a different way of thinking about the current budget battle. Let’s consider it in terms of tradeoffs among different types of risks.”

Default, Dear Brutus, Is Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves

“August 2 is but a few days away, and you know what that means: I need to buy mom a birthday card. Also THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE BUDGETARY MELTDOWN END DAYS WHERE WE FACE FINAL ARMAGEDDON UNLESS WASHINGTON GETS ITS BAR TAB RAISED ANOTHER TRILLION. Or something.”

George Melloan: The Budget Crisis and American Power –

“In The Wall Street Journal, George Melloan writes that the U.S. can afford the strong military it needs—if it uses its forces more carefully.”

Review & Outlook: The Debt-Limit Hobbits –

“The Wall Street Journal argues the GOP fantasy caucus is empowering Nancy Pelosi.”

Review & Outlook: The Obama Recovery –

“The Wall Street Journal explains why there is a growth recession, and what to do about it.”

Noonan: They’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan writes that President Obama still has supporters, but theirs is a grim support.”