Interesting Readings for November 2, 2009

Sanjeev Sanyal in Business Standard : Building cities for 21st century India, Delhi (which leads you to delhinullahs.org), and Calcutta. Also see: The Sustainable Planet Institute. Why investment banks were fated to be roadkill, in Financial Express by Viral Acharya. On Mumbai’s Streets, Cabbies Fight To Keep Passengers Uncomfortable by Eric Bellman in . . . → Read More: Interesting Readings for November 2, 2009

Relentless Advance Of Technology

The first message to ever travel between two computers connected via the ARPANET, the computer network that would become the Internet, happened on 29 October 1969.  The Internet just turned 40.  And 40 is the new 20.  It is incredible that Al Gore, born 31 March 1948, was able to invent such an amazing series . . . → Read More: Relentless Advance Of Technology

The Government-Based Economy

I really got a laugh out of the report from Bloomberg that the Democratic Party of Japan (known in the parlance as DP) won an historic victory in the recent elections, coming to power for the first time in decades with “a pledge to support households battered by two decades of economic stagnation”, whatever . . . → Read More: The Government-Based Economy

What Practical Measures Can be Taken to Improve Policy Outcomes in Democracies?

There seems to be increasing skepticism these days about the worth of democracy. The following quote from a post by John Humphreys on the “Thoughts on Freedom” blog provides a good example of what I mean:

“Democracy has become a new faith. Simply saying the word supposedly makes an argument stronger, as though there . . . → Read More: What Practical Measures Can be Taken to Improve Policy Outcomes in Democracies?

Book Extract on Confucius and The Way

The Chinese concept of the Way, or Tao, was current before Confucius lived or taught; the Books of Odes and Rites tell of Heaven, and reveal beliefs in ancestor-spirits and a supreme being with a human face. However, Tzu-kung reports that “one cannot get to hear [Confucius’] views on human nature and the Way . . . → Read More: Book Extract on Confucius and The Way

Are Policy Makers Responsible for Our Happiness?

“Societies need subjective indicators of well-being to aid policy makers and ordinary citizens in making decisions.” This is the opening line of the recently published book, “Well-being for Public Policy” by Ed Diener, Richard Lucas, Ulrich Schimmack and John Helliwell. The first three authors are psychologists (Diener has played a leading role in the . . . → Read More: Are Policy Makers Responsible for Our Happiness?

Does Cash-For-Clunkers tell anything about Healthcare Reform?

On Thursday night the government announced it was suspending the Cash-For-Clunkers program. In my twitterstream I reacted as follows:

dhsmith24 Cash for clunkers suspended w/i a week. What the heck are these guys doing? And they want to run #healthcare?

The doubt this #fail creates is real enough, but there is more, and Hugh . . . → Read More: Does Cash-For-Clunkers tell anything about Healthcare Reform?

Read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow”

If you want to understand Democrat fantasies in the absence of financial constraint or common sense, read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow.” Reed Hundt is a permanent member of the American political class, a Yalie, a partner in a high-powered law firm, head of Bill Clinton’s FCC, and a member of Barack Obama’s . . . → Read More: Read Reed Hundt’s book, “In China’s Shadow”

Parsing the Budget Announcements

The Great Recession has induced a unique setting for Indian economic policy. See India in the Great Recession (April 2009) and The setting for the budget speech (May 2009).

These articles emphasise that the dominant story of Indian business cycle fluctuations is the situation with private corporate investment. When this analysis was written (April . . . → Read More: Parsing the Budget Announcements

Employment in Manufacturing and Government and the Deficit with China

I heard a couple of talkers on business news and talk radio note that government employment had exceeded manufacturing employment in the United States. When I looked into it, I found the origin of this meme at a blogpost of Fabius Maximus entitled America passes a milestone!, with interesting charts and analysis. The charts . . . → Read More: Employment in Manufacturing and Government and the Deficit with China