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Is globalization going in reverse?

Jeffrey Rothfeder has a very good piece on that question, here is one excerpt: Somewhat surprisingly, cross-border capital flows are equally anemic. Despite the common perception that multinationals these days manufacture their products...Show More Summary

Why the TPP is a better trade agreement than you think

In a word, Vietnam.  Vietnam has about ninety million people and a relatively low per capita income, below by 2k by some measures.  It liberalized tariffs a good deal upon WTO accession, but since then has done some backsliding.  It has large numbers of state-owned enterprises, and its policies toward such enterprises could use more […]

Robot sentences to ponder

Harnessing high-powered computing, color sensors and small metal baskets attached to the robotic arms, the machine gently plucked ripe strawberries from below deep-green leaves, while mostly ignoring unripe fruit nearby. Such tasks have long required the trained discernment and backbreaking effort of tens of thousands of relatively low-paid workers. Show More Summary

Progressive Finnish fines for traffic tickets?

Getting a speeding ticket is not a feel-good moment for anyone. But consider Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman. He was recently fined 54,024 euros (about $58,000) for traveling a modest, if illegal, 64 miles per hour in a 50 m.p.h. zone. And no, the 54,024 euros did not turn out to be a typo, or […]

How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs

That is the subtitle, the title proper is Pedigree, by Lauren A. Rivera.  This is a very good book on the microdynamics of inequality and the important role played by social networks, how you present yourself, and…pedigree.  Not all of it is a revelation, because by now many of these mechanisms are well-known.  Still, it […]

“Stop the Texas Gerrymander”

San Antonio Express-News editorial. … Continue reading ?

The Chinese edition of The Great Stagnation

It is now available, notice the new subtitle The Economic Malaise at a Technological Plateau: Problems of the United States and Oppotunities for China. I will be doing some book promotion in China in May, and soon I will have a few questions for you all.

Assorted links

1. Japanese virtual water innovation. 2. Cell phone blocking near a Baltimore jail? 3. Photos of a Chilean volcano eruption. 4. “Inspectors in Israel monitor live feeds to ensure that Jews aren’t sneaking in their vegetables with the Palestinian crop.”  And the economics of suspense. 5. Tsundoku. 6. Who are the junior creditors in Russia?  […]

Clinton’s Campaign Finance Push as a Way to Inoculate Herself from Charges Related to Her Lack of Tranparency?

John Dickerson: This campaign finance pillar of the Clinton campaign appears to be weakened already, but some campaign finance advocates were skeptical that Clinton was ever going to have a big fight over campaign finance reform as she pledged, seeing the … Continue reading ?

“Intense Lobbying Failed to Assure Comcast’s Deal”

NYT: Despite the distribution of $5.9 million in campaign contributions by the two companies during the 2014 election cycle, and the expenditure of an extraordinary $25 million on lobbying last year, no more than a handful of lawmakers signed letters … Continue reading ?

“How We Will Save Our Democracy (and How We Won’t)”

Matthew Saks: Last week, the election law expert Rick Hasen wrote a piece in Slate criticizing Hillary Clinton for coming out in support of a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. He argued that a constitutional amendment is … Continue reading ?

The failure of constitutional torture prohibitions

Last December, the release of the Senate Torture Report shocked the world. But although the C.I.A.’s use of torture had been more brutal and extensive than previously reported, researchers who study human rights were not surprised to see more evidence that a government—even a democratic one—frequently engages in torture. In fact, there is data suggesting […]

A Regulatory Balanced Budget in Canada

Financial Post: Canada is now the first country in the world to require that for every new regulation introduced one of equivalent burden must be removed. C-21, has been operating as policy for several years already, which means that the costs of new rules must be quantified and equal or greater costs removed. It essentially […]

3-D printed food

Marijn Roovers’ epicurean delights have graced the tables of some of the Netherlands’ finest restaurants. But the food designer’s Chocolate Globe is his most intricate — and technologically advanced — creation. A chocolate shell just 0.8 millimetres thick is embossed in gold with the chocolate’s continent of origin, and it holds delicacies that symbolize the […]

“Right-wing candidate’s nude campaign poster skirts election law”

Japan Times: Campaigning for Sunday’s second wave of quadrennial unified local elections has highlighted a legal loophole that allows candidates to go to extremes — including nudity — to gain votes. In contrast with the ubiquitous portrait shots preferred by … Continue reading ?

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