Catching my eye: morning A through Z

Here’s what’s caught my eye this morning:

  • Is it my imagination or is there a problem reaching Typepad blogs this morning?
  • Kash of Angry Bear points to the differences in income expectations based on educational achievement. His commenters note that, yes, if you take a segment of the population and subsidize them by providing barriers to entry to inhibit competition and also direct subsidies their incomes will, in fact, rise.
  • Ben Stein’s Thanksgiving thoughts from CBS’s Sunday Morning is online. I particularly liked this part:

    And please dear God, send wisdom to George Bush and Karl Rove and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Condi Rice to get us through our time of peril and into peace and to put aside anger and strive for unity against our foes.


  • Patri Friedman of Catallarchy interviews “The Undercover Economist”.
  • There are a post and an article which, at first blush, don’t appear to be related but are actually both hitting around the edges of the same topic. Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog comments on how the decisions of the past have blown back on government technocrats. Michael Barone wonders whether the United States won’t perforce be moving to a more European-style system. Both of these posts are about the collapse of Fordism (to refresh your memory the Fordist compromise is mass employment at high wages, mass production, and partial surrender of control of production to government techocrats). I don’t completely buy Warren’s libertarian shtick but he’s right on the money here:

    Technocratic idealists ALWAYS lose control of the game. It may feel good at first when the trains start running on time, but the technocrats are soon swept away by the thugs, and the patina of idealism is swept away, and only fascism is left. Interestingly, the technocrats always cry “our only mistake was letting those other guys take control”. No, the mistake was accepting the right to use force on another man. Everything after that was inevitable.

    Fordism is collapsing everywhere under the pressures of globalization and contemporary technology.

    Our challenge is sustaining the economic growth of the last 20 years (let’s not forget that over the last 50 years there were 20 years of growth, 10 years of stagflation, followed by 20 more years of growth) while avoiding a return to the ills of laissez-faire capitalism of the 19th century, preserving vitality while sustaining a decent society. It’s a puzzlement.

  • Michael Woods of Dr. Woods Speaks has the single best post I’ve ever read on the conundrum facing the practice of medicine. He who has ears let him hear!
  • Victor Shih of Elite Chinese Politics and Political Economy has an article on the prospects for the Chinese banking system (for those interested in such things).
  • Lawrence Solum of Legal Theory Blog has posted another installment of his Legal Theory Lexicon. This time the topic is fact and value (normative law).
  • Andrew Samwick of Vox Baby writes on corporate pension plans. One note on the PBGC: unless premiums are in some way proportional to risk it can be a lot of things but it can’t be a functional insurance plan.

That’s the lot.

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