Assorted Links (11/23/2011)

Here’s a list of articles (and podcasts) that I have been reading (listening to) lately:

The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner “…try to answer a few fundamental questions: how do we know that what we believe is true? How do we decide which information to trust? And how do we quantify risk — from climate change to personal investments?” What results is a very interesting discussion concerning confirmation bias and the nature of risk and uncertainty. They discuss how even the smartest people can be duped into bad risk assessments, and how cultural values (often more than science) shape public risk perceptions.

CBO: Stimulus hurts economy in the long run

“The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday downgraded its estimate of the benefits of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package, saying it may have sustained as few as 700,000 jobs at its peak last year and that over the long run it will actually be a net drag on the economy.”

U.S. Political Ideology Stable With Conservatives Leading

From the Gallup organization, “Americans’ political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.”

Mystery of Dead Sea Scroll Authors Possibly Solved

“The Dead Sea Scrolls may have been written, at least in part, by a sectarian group called the Essenes, according to nearly 200 textiles discovered in caves at Qumran, in the West Bank, where the religious texts had been stored.”

Handicapping ObamaCare’s Day in Court

“There is an older vintage of the Constitution in exile that might need to make an encore appearance.”

Congressional Republicans’ strategic shift on taxes

“The most significant element of the failed Super Committee negotiations is that Republicans offered to cross the no-net-tax-increase line in exchange for structural entitlement reform or structural tax reform and a permanent answer on tax rates.”

The President’s missed opportunities for deficit reduction

“In a politically balanced Congress, is significant deficit reduction possible without Presidential leadership or even involvement?”

And the Fair Land

“‘For all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators.”

It’s Still Possible to Cut Spending—Here’s How

“In The Wall Street Journal, Glenn Hubbard writes that the obvious place to begin is the repeal of ObamaCare, then we need to empower the states, streamline the federal government and modernize Medicare and Social Security.”

If Only Obama Had Been This Guy

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. writes that President Jimmy Carter at least did not substitute his priorities for the nation’s.”

Khan Academy finance videos

I am a big fan of the Khan Academy finance videos which are located at; these videos do a great job of effectively presenting many of the most important concepts which are typically covered in undergraduate and MBA level finance curricula. Khan Academy also covers many other important topics other than finance; I love the following quote from the Khan Academy’s home page: “With a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 240 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.”