Assorted Links (9/8/2013)

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

How Government is Destroying the Medical Profession: Q&A with Dr. Jeffrey Singer 

“Over the past 30 to 40 years, government involvement in medicine has resulted in a progressive regimentation of the industry,” says Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a general surgeon.” I also recommend Dr. Singer’s related (gated, but available if you register article by the same name @

Why America Is Saying ‘No’: Peggy Noonan on Obama and Syria

“Syria and Obama: Wrong time, wrong place, wrong plan, wrong man, argues Peggy Noonan.”

Have More Sex, Make More Money

Wow – this is exhibit A for junk science. Repeat after me, correlation DOES NOT imply causation. 

“Money can’t buy you love, but a new study suggests lovemaking can earn you money and not just if you’re employed in the red light district. Quentin Fottrell and couples psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish provide details.” 

Economist Ronald Coase Was Chased Out of UVA in 1964 for Supporting Market Solutions

“The Twitter feed of academic Siva Vaidhyanathan points to this story about how recently deceased economist Ronald Coase was chased out of the University of Virginia in the early 1960s. The heinous crime of Coase, who would go on to win the 1991 Nobel Prize in economics? He stood against the rising tide of belief in an economy managed by experts and regulators.”

Federal Homeownership Policy: Money for Nothing

“Our current system of homeownership subsidies has not delivered long run gains in the homeownership rate.” 

Why ‘Duck Dynasty’ Viewers Heed Its Call

“In The Wall Street Journal, Adam Chandler writes that hard work, solid values and a sense of humor have fueled the biggest show in cable-TV history.”

Baylor University National Commercial

From my employer, Baylor University “The mission of Baylor University – to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service – is showcased in this 30 second national commercial…”

Capitalism, Government and the Good Society 

On April 10, 2013, Liberty Fund and Butler University sponsored a symposium entitled “Capitalism, Government, and the Good Society.” The symposium featured presentations by Michael Munger of Duke University, Robert Skidelsky of the University of Warwick, and Richard Epstein of New York University on the topic of role for government in the economy and in our lives. These presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion of this topic moderated by Russ Roberts of Stanford University.  

More Evidence that Foreign Aid Throws Dollars Away for Nothing

“Western states should reconsider policies which hinder developing countries from taking full advantage of the global marketplace.” 

Mideast Strains Under Weight of Syrian Refugees

Amid the war debate concerning Syria, it is sobering to consider the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis of the Syrian refugees, as documented by this article from today’s Wall Street Journal…

Ronald Coase, 1910-2013

“Looking back on the magnificent, if often misunderstood, scholarly legacy of Ronald Coase (1910-2013).”

Online Class Aims to Earn Millions

“Two University of Texas at Austin professors, James Pennebaker and Samuel Gosling, this week launched their introductory psychology class from a makeshift studio, with a goal of eventually enrolling 10,000 students at $550 a pop and bringing home millions for the school.”

What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds

“In The Wall Street Journal, Sohrab Ahmari interviews Craig Zucker, the creator of Buckyballs, which was the hottest office game on the market before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned it.”  

What Mr. A did on his summer vacation

I highly recommend the incredibly inspiring video (and accompanying article @ about an Austin legend, Anderson High School music teacher and local musician Phil Ajjarapu.

“Anderson High School music teacher and local musician Phil Ajjarapu fell from an overpass onto Mopac in a motorcycle accident in 2012. He has since recovered from his near death experience and is moving forward making his first solo studio album.” – 1.8 gigapixel ARGUS-IS. World’s highest resolution video surveillance platform…

Interesting and scary video of DARPA’s “Argus” project; which apparently will soon be used by the U.S. Army to survey and spy on Afghanistan from an altitude of 20,000 feet with the ability to scan 25 square miles of ground surface in extraordinarily high resolution…  

There are better anti-poverty tools than the minimum wage

“Politicians, usually those on the left, frequently propose big hikes in the federal minimum wage — or even a dramatically higher “living wage” — as a way to fight poverty and help low-skill workers… But raising the minimum wage may not be a policy idea deserving of the passion it generates. It’s not a well-targeted, poverty-fighting weapon.” 

Five U.S. States Where People Drink the Most Beer

The Wall Street Journal runs the numbers and finds that the five states with the highest per capita beer consumption are 1) North Dakota, 2) New Hampshire, 3) Montana, 4) South Dakota, and 5) Wisconsin…

The global financial crisis and American wealth accumulation: The Fed needs a bubble watch

Interesting points raised in this article by AEI economist John Makin:

“• The 2008 housing bubble burst and the ensuing global financial crisis destroyed an unprecedented 22 percent of accumulated American wealth.
• This massive destruction of wealth has resulted in a tepid recovery marked by below-average recovery levels of saving, consumption, and investment.
• The Federal Reserve needs to create a “bubble watch” program to prevent speculative bubbles from destroying wealth accumulation in the future.”

The WSJ’s College Football Grid of Shame: rating how good all 125 teams are

Proud to point out that Baylor ranks highly in terms of its admirability/powerhouse composite score, outscoring all Big 12 conference teams except for TCU! 🙂

“As the season begins, we rate how good all 125 teams are—and how embarrassed their alums should be.”

The Good Book and the Not-So-Good Books

“The Code of Federal Regulations is as long as 95 King James Bibles.” 

8 Reasons Not to Go to War in Syria

“Is the U.S. on the march to war in Syria? Over the past week, the stage has been set for yet another military intervention in the Middle East.”

Obama to Control the Price of Ivy?

“Thanks in large part to federal aid, the price of college has risen astronomically, kneecapping students and taxpayers. Price controls will only mask the root problem while creating new pains of their own.” 

Cats Are Actually Man’s Best Friend

This is a wonderful essay on the relative merits (from a male perspective) of cats versus dogs. It resonates with me since Casa de Garven may very well qualify as a “feline colony”. 🙂

“In The Wall Street Journal, children’s author Peter Mandel says that it’s long past time for a little mutual respect between felines and their two-legged rulers.” 

Richard Vedder on the Real Reason College Costs So Much

This article does a great job of explaining why college is so damn expensive!

“In The Wall Street Journal, Allysia Finley interviews Richard Vedder on the economics of higher education. Vedder explains how subsidies fuel rising prices and why there’s a ‘bubble’ in college enrollment and student loans.” 

U.S. Policies Deter Inward and Encourage Outward Business Investment

“Inhospitable and incoherent U.S. policies are chasing investment to foreign shores.”

Get a life!

“The Economist Magazine writes that “Using the social network seems to make people more miserable”.”

U.S. Gun Laws as a Scapegoat for Mexico’s Drug Violence

The principal reason the drug gangs can obtain all the firepower they want is that they have vast financial resources at their disposal, not U.S. gun laws.

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