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Labor Unions, Not the Tea Party, Are Leading the Fight against Obama’s Trade Agenda

K. William Watson This week is the #StopFastTrack Week of Action, an attempt by the anti-globalization movement to coordinate protests around the world against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Show More Summary

Administration Drastically Lowers the Bar for Second Year of Enrollment

Charles Hughes Broken promises and lowered expectations littered the first year of the Affordable Care Act. When the law was being debated, Obama promised the law would cut health care premiums for a typical family by $2,500. Instead, premiums everywhere continued to rise, in some places they skyrocketed. Show More Summary

Highway Bill: The Unmentionable Option

Chris Edwards In an article about federal highway legislation yesterday, the Washington Post illustrated the art of advocacy journalism cloaked as news reporting. The article explored different options for raising federal taxes $100 billion to fund state highways. Show More Summary

U.S. Should Talk to North Korea, Whoever Is in Charge

Doug Bandow Power is like quicksilver. It often slips through the fingers of those attempting to grasp it. Who is in power in North Korea? Maybe 31-year-old Kim Jong-un. Maybe not. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Kim disappeared from public view for 40 days. Show More Summary

The Reversal of the Latitude-Income Correlation

It’s well known that GDP per capita increases with distance from the equator and it does so moving both North and South. (I discuss this correlation at MRU in Geography and Development, Disease (video)). Dietz Vollrathat at the Growth...Show More Summary

Is the economics job market worth it?

There is a new NBER paper on this topic by McFall, Murray-Close, Willis, and Chen, gated copy here.  Here are some key takeaways from the paper: 1. One-third of the job candidates in the sample were women. 2. More than one quarter of all job candidates on the market come from top ten institutions, which […]

Learning the Wealth of Nations

This paper I had neglected, now it is time to remedy that.  The authors are Francisco J. Buera, Alexander Monge-Narajo, and Giorgio E. Primiceri, and it was published in Econometrica 2011: We study the evolution of market-oriented policies over time and across countries. We consider a model in which own and neighbors’ past experiences influence […]

This is what happens when you don’t proofread your academic paper.

Frankly, it’s shocking that I haven’t done this myself: Story from Slate. Hat tip to @MadihaAfzal. Thank goodness no one but my co-authors can read my LaTeX comment boxes.   The post This is what happens when you don’t proofread your academic paper. appeared first on Chris Blattman.

U.S. Actions Alienate China and Foster Chinese-Russian Cooperation

Ted Galen Carpenter Two countries that have the capacity to cause serious headaches for the United States are Russia and China. Yet Washington is committing a cardinal sin in foreign policy: getting on bad terms simultaneously with those two major powers. Show More Summary

Catalan Elections Bet

We’ve been having a lively debate in the comments to these two posts about the true level of support for independence in the Catalan population. I say a plebiscite on the question would yield a clear majority in favor; others disagree. So it seems like a good opportunity for a friendly bet! I propose the […]

Kansas apocalypse markets in everything

The best defense is sometimes…a good defense: When Tyler Allen agreed to fork over $3 million in cash for a luxury condominium near Concordia, Kan., he wasn’t attracted by the indoor swimming pool, 17-seat movie theater, or hydroponic vegetable garden. The real selling point of the 1,820-square-foot apartment: It will be buried 174 feet underground […]

Assorted links

1. Public transit use in the United States. 2. Women and pot legalization, redux. 3. What is new with ECB monetary policy? 4. When fish shout. 5. 9 Chinese marriage proposals. 6. Tim Geithner on Europe (caution: contains profanity).

On Fed Ed, A Little Less Horrible Is Still Awfully Bad

Neal McCluskey This morning NPR published an interview with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the presumptive next chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Unfortunately, if you were hoping the new GOP Senate would move decisively in the right direction on education, you may be disappointed. Show More Summary

When Liberty Knocked Down the Berlin Wall

Doug Bandow It’s easy to be pessimistic about the future of liberty. Yet sometimes freedom advances with extraordinary speed. Like 25 years ago in Europe. As 1989 dawned communism had ruled what was the Russian Empire reborn for seven decades. Show More Summary

I just clicked on pre-order

Michael Hofmann, Where Have You Been?: Selected Essays.  Hofmann is a poet, translator, and essayist and in my view he is one of the finest (and most underrated) thinkers and writers of our day.  The book is due out December 2.  Here are previous MR mentions of Michael Hofmann.

A Mandate for Meh

A week has passed since the election, and I think Ron Fournier (National Journal) has provided a decent interpretation of the results: The winners were disgust, apathy, and a gnawing desire for a better choice – an alternative to what the two major parties currently are offering. Rather than a mandate for anything, the results […]

Veteran’s memorial of the day

The five pillars represent the unity of the five branches of the United States military serving steadfast together. They are staggered in size with their appropriate military seal placements on each pillar based upon the Department of Defense prescribed precedence. … Continue reading ? The post Veteran’s memorial of the day appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Geo-Engineering the Climate? A Geo-Bad Idea.

Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger The front page of yesterday’s New York Times included the beginning of a long article about geoengineering—in this case, as it applies to purposeful activities aimed at changing the earth’s climate at a large scale. Show More Summary

Quote of the day

The U.S. should have 53 states because it’s a prime number and can’t be divided. Then we would truly be one nation, indivisible. Source. D.C., Puerto Rico, and one other new state that would add two Democratic senators. As a … Continue reading ? The post Quote of the day appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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