Assorted Links (10/17/2012)

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

Is gas “price-gouging” to blame for high gas prices?

I originally published this article on my blog 1-1/2 years ago; at the time, there was great concern in the US about “high” (i.e., $4 per gallon at the time) gas prices. Of course, the question concerning why prices are “high” NOW (currently averaging $3.74 per gallon nationally according to came up during last night’s presidential debate. The reasons that I cited back in April 2011 for “high” gas prices remain largely applicable today; i.e., 1) high demand, particularly from emerging markets, 2) risks of supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing political upheavals in the Middle East, 3) domestic supply constraints, and 4) the ongoing depreciation of the value of the US dollar vis-a-vis foreign currencies.

Obama and those ‘acts of terror’

Quoting from this article, “In last night’s debate, when the discussion turned to the attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, President Obama claimed that he called it “an act of terror” in his Rose Garden statement the day after the attack. When challenged by Governor Romney, the president said, “Get the transcript.” And as the president’s supporters were quick to point out after the debate, he did indeed say while standing in the Rose Garden, “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation.” But, as others have also pointed out, there is a difference between a general declaration about “acts of terror” and declaring the attack itself “an act of terror.” Nowhere in his remarks does he specifically tie the murder of Stevens and the others to terrorism. To the contrary, a closer look at the transcript suggests the president was avoiding making that connection pretty assiduously.””

A President Without a Plan

Quoting from this article, “Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney.” How inspiring!

Another British Healthcare Horror Story, but It’s “False” According to Paul Krugman

“Any healthcare system will involve rationing. The real issue is whether individuals are part of a free society so they can make the choice of how to ration.”

One woman’s lonely death on the NHS’s ‘care pathway’ to the grave: MPs demand action after another patient is chosen to die without doctors telling family

“Olive Goom, 85, passed away with no one by her side after medics neglected to consult with her family about her treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.”

France to Ban Homework. Really.

“In the name of social justice and equality, François Hollande wants all learning done in school.”

“Will ObamaCare lead to Death Panels?

My Baylor colleague, health economist Jim Henderson, explains how ObamaCare contains the elements of full-blown European-style rationing by referencing various recent medical journal articles authored by various Obama health policy advises… (the answer to his question is, yes it will…)

Obamacare vs. the Current Flawed System

“The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof’s tale of woe shows why real health-care reform is still needed.” Quoting from Reason Magazine, “What’s missing from too much of the discussion about health care reform is any sense of how the current employer-based system came into being and how an actual market in the provision of health care might improve the situation.”

Obama’s Big Tax Increases on Small Business

“It is quite a stretch for President Obama to argue that he wants to cut taxes for small businesses. In reality, he is proposing to increase taxes on small businesses by around $49 billion.”

The Romney Tax Plan: Not a Tax Hike on the Middle Class

“A report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC) has been used to claim that Romney will hike taxes on the middle class. A closer look, however, and the TPC report falls apart.”

Tech Talk: iPhone 5

Very funny SNL skit about iPhone 5 which puts things into perspective! 🙂

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts — The Economic Recovery (Part 2)

“By historical standards, the current recovery from the recession that began in 2007 has been disappointing. As John Taylor of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the Department of Economics argues in Part 1 of this discussion on the economy, GDP has not returned to trend, the percent of the population that is working is flat rather than rising, and growth rates are below their usual levels after such a deep slump.

In this episode, Taylor and Number’s Game host Russ Roberts discuss possible explanations for the sluggish recovery: the ongoing slump in construction employment, the effect of housing prices on saving and spending decisions by households, and this recovery’s having been preceded by a financial crisis. Taylor rejects these arguments, arguing instead that the sluggish recovery can be explained by poor economic policy decisions made by the Bush and the Obama administrations.” (7 minute video)

The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts

“According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US economy recovered from the recession at the beginning of the summer of 2009. Yet the recovery has been disappointing when compared to other recoveries. In this episode of the Numbers Game, John Taylor of Stanford University talks with host Russ Roberts about the nature of the recovery. How does it compare historically to other recoveries? How can we measure the pace of the recovery? The conversation ends with a discussion of possible explanations for why the recovery has been disappointing.” (12 minute video)

Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth win the 2012 economics Nobel

“THIS year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley, “for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market…””

Wheaton College v. Sebelius and Belmont Abbey College v. Sebelius

“In January, when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that qualifying health insurance plans under Obamacare would have to cover contraceptives and “morning after” pills, many religious institutions — most notably the Catholic Church — vehemently objected…”

JP Morgan Preps for Fiscal Cliff

“The year-end threat of large government-spending cuts combined with higher tax rates has the financial institution running scenarios on the possible economic damage.”

Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)

“Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)” is the latest video from Reason TV.

Worst College Majors for Your Career

According to Kiplinger, the top 10 are: 1. Anthropology. 2. Fine Arts. 3. Film and Photography. 4. Philosophy and Religious Studies. 5. Graphic Design. 6. Studio Arts. 7. Liberal Arts. 8. Drama and Theater Arts. 9. Sociology. 10. English.

Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career

According to Kiplinger, the top 10 are: 1. Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 2. Nursing, 3. Transportation Sciences and Technology, 4. Treatment Therapy Professions, 5. Chemical Engineering, 6. Electrical Engineering, 7. Medical Technologies, 8. Construction Services, 9. Management Information Systems, 10. Medical Assisting Services.

Banter: An AEI Podcast – Banter #72: A Nation of Takers

“AEI Scholar Nick Eberstadt discusses how the government’s role has changed, how large entitlements have grown, and how entitlements have changed the American character.”  Eberstadt is a demographer who points out, among other things that so-called “pay as you go” entitlement programs have grown so large that we are borrowing not only from our children, but also from our grandchildren, their children, their children’s children, ad infinitum… Gulp…

Biden: Mr. Malarkey on the economy

“On Thursday night, Paul Ryan showed up to debate Joe. Smiley Joe. Laughing Joe. Subdued Joe. Heartfelt Joe … and many others.”

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