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China fact of the day

This year China is set to pay an interest bill of about $1.7tn, an amount not far short of India’s entire GDP last year ($1.87tn) but larger than the economies of South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia. That is from James Kynge at the FT, there is more here.

Always gamble on an empty stomach?

So says one new paper on PubMed, by de Ridder D, Kroese F, Adriaanse M, Evers C.: Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with […]

Government Gold-Plating

Steve H. Hanke Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his annual Wastebook this past week. It contains a laundry list of doozies. The U.S. government’s gold-plating operations included $190,000 to study compost digested by worms, $297 million...Show More Summary

Bulgaria: Liquidate KTB, Now

Steve H. Hanke and Matt Sekerke The long-awaited audit of the Corporate Commercial Bank’s (KTB’s) assets has been released by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). In its wake, a debate has arisen about the future of the KTB: Should itShow More Summary

Tropical Cyclones: Is Global Warming Making Them Worse?

Craig D. Idso Severe hurricanes, or tropical cyclones as they are known by those living outside the United States, are the most intense storms on the planet. Given the amount of damage they can inflict, it’s no wonder that they often are the poster children for the global warming movement—think Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy. Show More Summary

Send The International Nanny Packing

Walter Olson As many of us have noted lately, the federal Centers for Disease Control, known originally for their work against infectious and communicable diseases, have shifted focus in recent years to supposed public health menaces like beltless driving, gun ownership, social drinking, and suburban land use patterns. Show More Summary

Ebola markets in everything

Ebola plush toys have been selling so fast in response to this year’s outbreak that a Connecticut manufacturer, Giantmicrobes Inc., can’t keep them in stock. The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, and even non-harmful microscopic organisms things like […]

Friday Links

Federal revenues ($3.02 trillion) for fiscal year 2014 are above estimates and have set a new record. Another record: $4 billion spent in the 2014 midterms. Question: are there no limits to how much one might spend to earn the right to spend? Republicans support entitlement reform, unless they don’t (which is the case as […]

“Can you get Ebola from a bowling ball?”, the song

The post “Can you get Ebola from a bowling ball?”, the song appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Assorted links

1. Where is the missing right of center media? 2. There is no great stagnation (juvenile, skip it). 3. Unemployment and the minimum wage in China. 4. Do hedge funds get there first? 5. Did Thor Heyerdahl have a point after all? 6. Why not make your car a cathedral? 7. Ferns.

U.S. Is Losing (Has Lost?) the War on Drugs in Afghanistan

Christopher A. Preble After a decade of reconstruction and over $7 billion spent on counternarcotic operations, the results are in: the United States has lost the “war on drugs” in Afghanistan, although few U.S. officials are willing to admit it. Show More Summary

Fragility of Tunisia’s Transition

Dalibor Rohac The upcoming parliamentary election in Tunisia comes at a critical time. For a while, Tunisia was seen as a poster child for a successful transition away from authoritarianism. In Egypt, a widespread disappointment with an Islamic government resulted in a military coup last year. Show More Summary

Ebola Travel Restrictions – Marginal Measures

Alex Nowrasteh The recent story of a Liberian man in Dallas who had Ebola sparked a political conflagration around travel restrictions for countries where there are Ebola cases. The virus does not appear to have spread from him to anyone...Show More Summary

Stop Squandering “Defense” Dollars on Rich Allies and Failed States

Doug Bandow America accounts for nearly 40 percent of globe’s military outlays, but Washington hawks believe that the federal government never spends enough on the Pentagon. The United States should scale back its international responsibilities and cut Pentagon outlays accordingly. Military expenditures are the price of Washington’s foreign policy. Show More Summary

Wastebook: 100 Silly Government Projects

Nicole Kaeding The office of Senator Tom Coburn released its fifth annual “Wastebook.” The report highlights “100 silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects” funded by federal tax dollars or government debt. The 100 projects in this...Show More Summary

Immigrants Don’t Grow Government

Alex Nowrasteh Many critics of immigration claim that immigrants will grow the size of government. As their argument goes, allowing for more lawful immigration to the United States will produce a larger government through immigrant voting behavior or their children’s voting behavior. Show More Summary

Abusing Federal Paid Leave

Nicole Kaeding Compensation for federal civilian employees is more generous than private-sector workers. Federal workers receive better benefits than their non-governmental counterparts in particular, and generous paid leave benefits are one of the federal advantages. Show More Summary

TFSAs Spur Canada Savings Revolution

Chris Edwards A tax reform is spurring a savings revolution in Canada. Amity Shlaes and I wrote about Canada’s Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in the Wall Street Journal in August. We think that such accounts would be a fantastic policy reform for America. Show More Summary

OMB Director Sets a Low Bar for Deficit Reform

David Boaz Jonathan House reported [$] in the Wall Street Journal: The U.S. government’s budget deficit narrowed in its 2014 fiscal year to its lowest level in six years, as an improving economy boosted tax revenues. The annual deficit...Show More Summary

Las Vegas Is Ripe For Ridesharing

Matthew Feeney The regulations that govern taxis in the Las Vegas area impose especially heavy restrictions on consumer choice and driver availability. Such an environment is ideal for rideshare companies, which provide consumers with more choice and drivers with more flexibility. Show More Summary

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