Megan McArdle, “Did GE Really Pay No U.S. Taxes in 2010?” – complicated discussion, not unlike our tax code. A highlight: I don’t like the fact that GE lobbies aggressively on tax rules, and I certainly wish that Congress would not oblige them by passing bad laws that benefit GE. On the other hand, the author of the article takes it as obvious that any law which benefits GE must ipso facto be a bad law. So a publication which has not, in the past, been particularly hostile to green energy tax credits is suddenly outraged that GE has lobbied in support of them.
Jay Cost, “Where is the Public on ObamaCare?” – Mr. Cost goes into detail about a claim his boss made. A solid examination of poll data, with a sobering conclusion: In other words, lack of trust in the government is a bad thing for everybody, of all ideological stripes. It will ultimately come back to cut against Republicans — if not in 2013 then sometime thereafter, unless the GOP can figure out a way to rebuild confidence in the nation’s public institutions. There was great hope that Barack Obama would be able to do that, but it has been an opportunity missed.
Bill James, “Shakespeare and Verlander: Why are we so good at developing athletes and so lousy at developing writers?” (h/t Kishore) – from the article: I would never encourage my children to be athletes—first because my children are not athletes and second because there are so many people pushing to get to the top in sports that 100 people are crushed for each one who breaks through. This is unfortunate. We are very good at producing athletes, and maybe we are too good at producing athletes. Sometimes the cost is too high. We should do more to develop the next Shakespeare and less to develop the next Justin Verlander.
“Philadelphia School Battles Students’ Bad Eating Habits, On Campus and Off” (h/t Josh) – from the article: After Philadelphia schools stopped buying the sugary products of the local bakery icon Tastykake, the company created a 190-calorie muffin, reducing sugar enough to move it below flour on the list of ingredients. The new formulation, which uses whole grains, got Tastykake muffins back on the school breakfast menu and classified as bread. “It is sweet,” said Autumn R. Bayles, a company senior vice president. “Sugar is just not the first ingredient.”