Assorted Links (12/28/2012)

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

Families Await, Lament Moscow’s Move

“Adoptive parents in the U.S. who have been assigned to children, and in many cases have met them in Russian orphanages and have dates to bring them home, warily await the country’s proposed ban on U.S. adoptions.” This is genuinely cruel – as this article points out, Russia “… has about 120,000 registered orphans but fewer than 20,000 Russians listed as prospective adoptive families.”

Dear Mr. President, Zero-Sum Doesn’t Add Up

“In The Wall Street Journal, P.J. O’Rourke asks: Is life like a pizza, where if some people have too many slices, other people have to eat the pizza box?” As far as I am concerned, P.J. O’Rourke’s op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal wins the award for the best op-ed ever…

Six Reasons To Keep Capital Gains Tax Rates Low

“The advantages of low capital gains taxes have led many economists to call for ending these taxes altogether. Eleven OECD countries today don’t tax long-term capital gains.”  This is an Excellent tutorial on the economics of capital gains taxation. This article explains how going over the fiscal cliff will prospectively raise the cost of capital for US firms while reducing the rate of private investment and future growth prospects for the US economy…

College graduates earn 85% more than those with high school-only

“Adults with bachelor’s degrees in the late 1970s earned 55 percent more than adults who had not advanced beyond high school. That gap grew to 75 percent by 1990 — and is now at 85 percent. The margin is smaller, though still sizable, when adults with bachelor’s degrees are compared to counterparts …”

Port Closures Approach, As America Nears The Container Cliff

“It might not be as economically deadly as the tax hikes and spending cuts due on Jan. 1, but a looming crisis at America’s ports has retailers worried.” First there was a fiscal cliff, then there was a milk cliff, now we have a dock cliff. Here a cliff, there a cliff, everywhere a cliff cliff!

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

“Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.”

Why Celebrate Christmas When We Do?

“It is generally believed that the birth of Christ is celebrated on December 25 because our savvy Christian forebears with a flare for marketing took over a winter solstice holiday from the surrounding pagans. Not so, apparently.”