Sundry Notes

I’m planning on having a couple In The Papers posts this week, but first, some notes to clear out my inbox…

The US is looking to repeat several mistakes Europe is struggling to get out of, including extremely high marginal tax rates and a bloated and metastisized welfare state.  You would think that the regular high unemployment (as in, what we have now—9.5%—is normal for much of western Europe) and practically-zero growth in large swaths of the Euro Zone would be enough to warn away the unwary.  You’d think wrong.

– Here’s a major shocker:  global warming models could be wrong.  I’ve noticed that “global warming” hasn’t come up much this year.  This might be in part because of the record-cold temperatures in many places.  Though to be fair, average temperatures probably aren’t that far off their norm.

Gerald O’Driscoll has joined the “What Federal Reserve Independence?” bandwagon.  I’m happy to welcome him aboard.

– Ezra Levant, the English-speaking world’s foremost free speech advocate, points out a ridiculous list of banned websites in Australia.  The best part is that you can’t even see which websites are banned.  You could be criminally prosecuted for going to a website you didn’t even know was banned, and if they were to publish the list of websites, well, that’d just be grist for the mill, wouldn’t it?  The people who came up with this list should be fired and publically humiliated.

– On the other hand, we’re looking at doing some ridiculous things in the US as well.  Jim DeMint (still my favorite Senator) speaks on the Senate floor about the Thoughtcrime Act of 2009.

But…but…but…GM is a private company!  The government would never take ownership—they don’t even want ownership!

– Political Calculations almost always has wonderful and/or awesome analysis on a plethora of topics (it’s like that blog had a whole group of people writing for it or something!), and this post on health care costs by state is no exception.  What’s interesting is that, after a certain level of income, health care expenditures face steep diminishing returns, following a Weibull distribution.  The US states follow this trend fairly well, though they are generally a bit over the trend.  The difference, however, is not nearly as stark as linear plots make it look.

This is disgusting.  The people who do this should die.


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