Assorted Links (8/6/2011)

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

xkcd: Significant

xkcd.com

As xkcd clearly illustrates here, if you torture data long enough, you will eventually hit upon some (statistically significant) correlations.

Super-Economy: The Obama Hockey Stick

super-economy.blogspot.com

The Obama “Hockey Stick” graph is obtained from a time series chart showing Federal Nondefense Spending as a % of GDP; as this blog posting notes, “…President Obama decided to expand federal non-defense spending more than any President in recent history.” Thus the “Hockey Stick”…

Freakonomics » Why the Market Meltdown is Crazy

www.freakonomics.com

“After Thursday’s massive stock market sell-off, a lot of people are talking about how we may be experiencing another year like 2008. I’m going to get right to the point: that’s impossible. Here’s what was happening in 2008…”

Downgrading our politics

www.economist.com

“Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade America’s credit rating Friday is momentous, but not, I suspect, for the reasons most people will cite.”

Notable & Quotable – WSJ.com

professional.wsj.com

“Blogger Ryan Young on Lemonade Freedom Day.”

The Heartless Lovers of Mankind

www.orthodoxytoday.org

In this classic 1987 article Paul Johnson warns to beware of those who love humanity but have problems with people.  I would further note that Peter Berkowitz’s recent Wall Street Journal essay (see http://on.wsj.com/papgJx) basically applies Johnson’s insights from his “Heartless Lovers of Humankind” essay to the politics of the (for now) concluded debt ceiling debate…

The Weekend Interview with Eric Cantor: Obama and the Narcissism of Big Differences

professional.wsj.com

Interesting quote about the (for now) concluded debt ceiling debate: “”Never was there ever an underlying economic argument” from Democrats. “It was all about social justice. Honestly, one of them said to me, ‘Some people just make too much money.'””

S&P Downgrades U.S. Debt Rating — Press Release

blogs.wsj.com

Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. government’s “AAA” sovereign credit rating Friday in a move that could send shock waves through global. The following is a press release from Standard & Poor’s.

More S&P Downgrades Expected

blogs.wsj.com

This article sets forth an hypothetical scenario (originally published by S&P on July 22, 2011, just as the debt ceiling political drama began to attract substantial media attention) of further possible downgrades of US debt ratings, over and above the AAA to AA+ downgrade which occurred yesterday.

S&P Downgrades U.S. Debt for First Time

professional.wsj.com

A US Treasury Department official is quoted in this article as saying “A judgment flawed by a $2 trillion error speaks for itself”. This is a case of shooting the messenger. S&P was very clear (see http://bit.ly/pDkdax) that in order to be credible, a $4 trillion cut was needed. The feds called S&P’s bluff with a $2 trillion cut, and S&P responded by following through on what they promised they would do…

The Invisible Hand Is Writing On Our Wall | Via Meadia

blogs.the-american-interest.com

“The invisible hand has been writing on our wall of late, and the message is scaring the markets.  The markets should be scared; there is real trouble afoot, and the world’s political and economic leaders are terrifyingly out of their depth.”

How Big Government Hurts the Average Joe

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Stanford University’s Edward Lazear writes that job growth is very closely linked to GDP growth—if the economy is not growing, then jobs aren’t being added.”

C.S. Lewis and the Devil

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column, John A. Murray analyzes C.S. Lewis’s famous book, The Screwtape Letters, about faith, temptation and the devil.”

The Power of Bad Ideas

professional.wsj.com

“What we’ve got here is far worse than a failure to communicate, Peggy Noonan writes of President Obama’s predicament.”

Where’s Your Budget, Mr. President?

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Congressman Paul Ryan criticizes Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats for failing to produce a specific budget plan with numbers to deal with the expanding federal deficit.”

Public Employees Stand Alone in their Support for Government Management of the Economy

reason.com

“Likely Voters Overwhelmingly Favor Free Markets Over One Managed by Government, Yet 50% of Public Sector Employees Favor Government Management.”

Obama’s Deal With the Debt Devil

professional.wsj.com

“In The Wall Street Journal, Wonder Land columnist Daniel Henninger writes that cruel history turned against the president and the left’s long-term spending dreams.”

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