Assorted Links (10/20/2012)

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

Town-hall brawl

“Barack Obama does better, but Mitt Romney does no worse.”

Are recoveries always slow after financial crises and why

Are recoveries always slow after financial crises and why – University of Chicago professor John Cochrane argues here that “… recessions are worse and longer after financial crises… because governments go completely haywire and screw things up after financial crises. They bail out banks. They hike taxes on “the rich.” They transfer wealth. They bail out borrowers. They stomp all over property rights (GM.) Thus, they kill capital markets for a generation. They clamp down on the financial system in horse-left-the-barn efforts to regulate “safety.” … They try big “stimulus” plans. They often end up with unsustainable government debts leading to sovereign default or inflation… So, perhaps recessions are longer and deeper after financial crises, not as a matter of economics, but as a matter of particularly bad policy.”

The Voter-ID Election

“Researchers are torn about how best to measure the effect that a spate of new state laws requiring identification from voters will have on turnout and on the election.”

10 Federal Food-Policy Issues Obama and Romney Should Discuss

“Here are 10 important federal food-policy issues the presidential candidates should be discussing but have ignored until now.”

In Constant Digital Contact, We Feel ‘Alone Together’

I was captivated by Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interview of MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle. Professor Turkle is the author of a book entitled “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” which explores the effect of digital media on human interaction and personal identity. Her research investigates how devices are changing the way parents relate to their children, how friends interact, and why many people — both young and old — keep their devices in-hand all the time — even as they sleep.

After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care

After the ACA: Freeing the market for health care. This is a non-technical essay, based on a talk that U of C finance professor John Cochrane gave at the University of Chicago Law School’s conference, “The Future of Health Care Reform in the United States.”

As Goes Janesville

Excellent essay by University of Chicago finance professor Luigi Zingales…

Why Dilbert Creator Supports Romney

Scott Adams writes on his blog: “[Obama] is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law.”  Even Rolling Stone has complained about Obama on this issue; cf.…

Our Scary Fiscal Future? That Can Wait

“What we heard in the second presidential debate was President Obama and Mitt Romney not discussing the nation’s future.”


“The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore on Obama’s divisive presidency.”

Another Government-Backed Solar Bankruptcy

“Satcon joins Evergreen, Solyndra, and Abound on the list of government-backed solar energy firms that have filed for bankruptcy. The firm seems to have won a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy and pieces of other federal grants.”

A Sad Green Story

“What happened to the golden days of green technology? It’s a tale of disappointed hopes.”

People Respond to Incentives

Expensive real estate can apparently now be had for less as rich French citizens are selling in droves and relocating to more tax friendly domiciles.

Minnesota Bans Free Online College Courses from Coursera. I Give Up.

“You know what would be terrible? If someone figured out a way to make the very best college courses available for free online to anyone who wanted them.”

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

A feast for the eyes!

Adam Smith and the Follies of Central Planning

Here’s a quote from this short video: “Architects create blueprints for buildings; could a person create a blueprint for society? Could such a person choose how many people will be lawyers and how many will be policemen? Adam Smith discusses such a designer in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). He calls this person the “man of system,” saying that such man is “apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his ideal plan of government that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.””

A Foreign Policy Failure to Acknowledge the Obvious

“Douglas Feith and Seth Cropsey write that after the Benghazi attack, the Obama administration’s focus on the YouTube video reflected a years-long denial of the Islamist threat.”

Make Way for the Metro-Evangelical

“In The Wall Street Journal’s Houses of Worship column on urban churches, Andy Crouch quotes New York City pastor Timothy J. Keller: ‘You go to the city to reach the culture.’” Good WSJ op-ed by the editor-at-large at Christianity Today, Andy Crouch…

The Year the Debates Mattered

“Peggy Noonan asks: Will Obama’s crass presidential style become the rule or prove an exception?”

Damn Lies and Statistics

“If the candidates can’t agree on basic facts, what hope does the U.S. have of coming together to fix the economy?”

Here’s Reuter’s take on the Benghazi controversy…

For Benghazi diplomatic security, U.S. relied on small British firm

“The State Department’s decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.”

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