Links, 5/21/10

Slow news day, and my apologies that some of these links are just flat-out depressing. Hopefully I’ll get more Plato and poetry read and have something more optimistic to say soon.

  • WSJ, “Senate Passes Finance Bill” – an overview of what the House and Senate have been up to. Some major issues are not really spelled out in the detail they should be: if you want to know why auditing the Fed is a very, very bad idea, watch Ron Paul in action.
  • Megan McArdle, “Public Pensions Headed for Disaster” – from the article: The New York Times has a practically libertarian-sounding article on public pensions, and the strain they are putting on the state and local governments.  Public employees rack up overtime in their last year of work, with the active encouragement of their supervisors and even local politicians, then they retire with inflated pensions that can be greater than their base salary.
  • Peter Hotez, “Parasites in Paradise” (h/t Josh) – from the article: The prevalence of these diseases in the Caribbean is at least in part a tragic consequence of the slave trade. When slavers transported 11 million human captives from West Africa to the New World, they brought parasites and infections that flourished in the horrific conditions of plantation life. Distressingly, some of these diseases have been found in the United States.
  • Kevin Carey, “The Real Value of College” – from the article: …we should take seriously the collective wisdom of millions of college-educated parents who consider no option other than giving their own children a chance for higher education. This isn’t just about status and social norms; it represents a rational and highly informed estimate of cost, contingency, opportunity and benefit, all pointing in one overwhelming direction. For the last century America has led the world in expanding access to successively higher forms of  education. Does anyone seriously believe this was, in retrospect, unwise?

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