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Ukraine: What Went Wrong With It and How to Fix It

That is the new Anders Aslund book, and it is instructive throughout.  Here are a few things I learned: 1. 80 percent of Ukrainian youth receive higher education of some kind. 2. Ukraine has the world’s highest rate of pension expenditures as a share of gdp, at about 18 percent, circa 2010.  Most of that […]

Why does the American economy seem to slow down each first quarter?

This very good Justin Wolfers piece outlines some possible explanations, for instance: For those not keeping track, it boils down to two camps: economists who blame first-quarter weakness on idiosyncratic factors versus those blaming mismeasurement. The weather would be one — but not the only — possible idiosyncratic factor. I wonder, however, if a third […]

“Goodman: FEC Backlog Mainly Includes Cases Against Republicans, Conservatives”

Bloomberg BNA: Republican commissioners on the Federal Election Commission are reluctant to approve new procedures to speed up resolution of pending campaign finance enforcement matters because the backlog of pending complaints at the FEC involves many more Republicans and conservative … Continue reading ?

“Department of Justice Proposes Legislation to Improve Access to Voting for American Indians and Alaska Natives”

Press release: Today the Department of Justice proposed legislation that would require states or localities whose territory includes part or all of an Indian reservation, an Alaska Native village, or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place … Continue reading ?

Goodbye Sitemeter

For a number of years, I have been using Sitemeter to keep track of visitors to the page. I now have Google Analytics too, but what was nice about Sitemeter is that I could see the domains (not the individual … Continue reading ?

“Win Lunch with Bush; Owe Uncle Sam; For political sweepstakes winners, there really is no such thing as a ‘free’ lunch.”

Shane Goldmacher for National Journal: Marcus Owens, a lawyer with the IRS for 25 years and now an attorney at Loeb and Loeb in Washington D.C., said that those issued a 1099 form could be caught fairly easily by the … Continue reading ?

WI GAB Has Only Tiny Budget to Get Out Word About New Voter ID Requirements

Troubling report from the GAB, indicating a budget of only $34,000 to get out the word about mandatory voter id requirements: The G.A.B. staff does not believe that voluntary efforts and free media will be adequate to the task of … Continue reading ?

“One county at a time, vote centers coming to Texas”

That’s the lead story in this week’s Electionline Weekly. … Continue reading ?

“How the Money Primary is Undermining Voting Rights”

Ari Berman cover story in the new issue of The Nation. … Continue reading ?

Three Year Mark for Cato's Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Cross-posted from So today marks our three year anniversary here at!  One of our prime objectives has been to draw more attention to the problem of police misconduct across the country.  Long...Show More Summary

Life working in a nail salon

Luo Yufeng, who has worked in the salons for four years, reports: Q. What are your thoughts on the New York manicure industry in general? A. I think it’s fine. Many of my friends have been doing the work for more than 10 years, and they generally think it’s better than working in restaurants. The […]

Hunting Whales: The Problem with Prosecuting SIFIs

Yesterday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the unprecedented announcement that five of the world’s largest banks – JP Morgan, Citi, Barclay’s, RBS, and UBS – would be pleading guilty to criminal charges.  According to the allegations,...Show More Summary

The TPP and GDP: Let's Wait and See

In discussions of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are often very specific figures put out there as the estimated economic gains of this trade deal.  $78 billion of annual income gains for the U.S. is a commony cited number. It...Show More Summary

How Much Profit Is There in Thwarting Financial Innovation?

Ben Lawsky is resigning as superintendent of financial services in New York. The New York Times says he plans to open his own firm and lecture at Stanford University. The Post reports that he will consult on digital currencies such as Bitcoin. The move West suggests that Lawsky may want a piece of the action in Silicon Valley. Show More Summary

Thursday assorted links

1. Will poisoning rhino horns protect the rhinos? 2. How to get arrested for fraud in China. 3. al-Qaeda’s job application form. 4. There is no great stagnation.  There really isn’t. 5. “…the hardy turtle had managed to survive three decades in storage.”

A glass-half-full view of academic fraud in political science

Wednesday was interesting for political scientists. Our social media feeds were full of angst in response to the news that a very influential member of our discipline had requested a retraction of a very widely reported finding published by a very prestigious journal on which he had been a co-author. The data upon which the […]

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