Assorted Links (1/7/2012)

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

Government: The redistributionist behemoth

Quoting from George Will’s most recent Washington Post column, “Try a thought experiment suggested decades ago by University of Chicago law professors Walter Blum and Harry Kalven in their 1952 essay “The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation,” published in their university’s law review. Suppose society’s wealth trebled overnight without any change in the relative distribution among individuals. Would the unchanged inequality at higher levels of affluence decrease concern about inequality? Surely not: The issue of inequality has become more salient as affluence has increased. Which suggests two conclusions: People are less dissatisfied by what they lack than by what others have. And when government engages in redistribution in order to maximize the happiness of citizens who become more envious as they become more comfortable, government becomes increasingly frenzied and futile.”

A Youngster’s Bright Idea Is Something New Under the Sun; Scientist Is 13-Year-Old Aidan Dwyer

“A new way of collecting solar energy has polarized scientists around the world and ignited fierce debate on the Internet, where the innovator in question has been called everything from an alien to the agent of a global conspiracy. The scientist is 13 years old.”

The Cancer Revolution

“The Wall Street Journal reports that survival rates are rising, but new drugs are delayed by 1950s’ trial design.”

The President’s Risky Defense Strategy

“In The Wall Street Journal, Mackubin Thomas Owens writes that reducing ground forces and focusing on the Asia-Pacific region leaves the United States exposed to unanticipated threats.”

The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

“Sweating is a good way to begin 2012. But if you’re going to join a gym—or returning to the gym after a long hibernation—consider the following.”

Belmont & Fishtown by Charles Murray – The New Criterion

Quoting from this article, ““…a growing proportion of the people who run the institutions of our country have… always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished. They are likely to know that Garrison Keillor’s monologue on Prairie Home Companion is the source of the phrase “all of the children are above average,” but they have never walked on a prairie and never known someone well whose IQ actually was below average.”

The Constitution is Clear on Recess Appointments

This is a brilliant constitutional exegesis by NYU law professor Richard Epstein on recess appointments; well worth reading!

Obama’s Reckless Recess Ploy

“David Rivkin and Lee Casey write in The Wall Street Journal that no president has resorted to recess appointments when Congress is in session—so we can expect serious legal challenges to new financial regulations.”

Gingrich and the History of Negative Campaigns

“In The Wall Street Journal, John Steele Gordon writes that negative ads can intensify an existing perception of a candidate. They can seldom create one.”

Where to Put Your Money in 2012

“In The Wall Street Journal, Burton Malkiel writes that U.S. stocks should produce returns of about 7% going forward, five points higher than the yield on safe bonds.”

For young graduates, the case for economics

Quoting from this article, “…”economics is organized common sense,” as Tom Sargent, this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize, remembers …the teaching assistant who inspired him to take up economics saying.”

2012: Marking the New Year

“Around the world people celebrated with fireworks, kisses, blessings, gatherings, cheers, watching the sunrise and plunges into icy bodies of water to welcome in a new year. Here’s a look back at how some of them marked the transition.”

Here’s why I love ‘greed,’ and so should you

“What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It’s really a silly question, because the answer is so simple. It turns out that it’s human greed that gets the most wonderful things done.”

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