Links, 1/4/2010

  • Ross Douthat, “Decline is Relative” (h/t Josh) – from the article: Our challenges are new, and we must think and act anew. Manzi’s National Affairs essay, a tour d’horizon of our socioeconomic situation, provides a solid place to start. He proposes a fourfold agenda: Unwind the partnerships forged between Big Business and Big Government in the wake of the 2008 crash; seek financial regulations that “contain busts,” by segregating high-risk transactions from lower-risk enterprises; deregulate the public school system, to let a thousand charter schools and start-ups bloom; and shift our immigration policy away from low-skilled immigration, and toward the recruitment of high-skilled émigrés from around the globe. To this list, I would add tax reform and entitlement reform. The former should broaden the tax base while cutting taxes on work, childrearing and investment. The latter should means-test both Social Security and Medicare, reducing both programs’ spending on well-off retirees rather than questing fruitlessly for their privatization.
  • L. Gordon Crovitz, “Intelligence is a Terrible Thing to Waste” – the terrorist paying in cash is not as much of an indictment as it seems; many Nigerian airlines won’t accept anything but cash. This is still a very good indictment of the Obama administration’s approach to terrorism – allowing terrorists to have the same rights as American citizens is a gigantic practical mistake.
  • Study Gauges Teach for America Graduates’ Civic Involvement (h/t Josh) – from the article: “Back in the ’60s, if you signed up for Freedom Summer, it was perceived to be countercultural,” said Professor Reich, who taught sixth grade in Houston as a member of the Teach for America corps. “But unlike doing Freedom Summer, joining Teach for America is part of climbing up the elite ladder — it’s part of joining the system, the meritocracy.”
  • Maybe Americans are too hard on themselves – it does seem like a lot of things are going well
  • LGF, “American Evangelicals Enabled Uganda’s Death Penalty for Gays” – no comment necessary, the article is very specific as to which evangelicals in particular caused this mess. As Charles Johnson says, What a shock — preaching hatred leads to hatred. Who could ever have guessed?

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