Smart Links 18 March 2012
Commentary on why nations fail, stalled mobility in the United States, getting the conservative economic records straight, thinking about jobs, straightening out climate change skeptics, and Rex Murphy celebrates the tar sands.
More evidence that sharing wealth with democratic institutions is the key to making more.
New York Times Magazine -- Why Some Countries Go Bust
By his own admission, Daron Acemoglu is a slightly pudgy and fairly nerdy guy with an unpronounceable last name.
Daron Acemogul’s lecture explaining why nations fail. (ed’s note – starts about 6.00)
Quote worth quoting. (ed’s note – more evidence of the need for progressive tax system, without it the rich will dominate politics)
“It is really about societies that have a more equitable distribution of political power versus those that don’t. It is about societies where the elite, the rich, can do what they want and those where they cannot.”
More evidence of intergenerational mobility stalling in the US.
New York Times -- The Reproduction of Privilege
Instead of serving as a springboard to social mobility as it did for the first decades after World War II, college education today is reinforcing class stratification, with a huge majority of the 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 29 currently holding a bachelor’s degree coming from families with earnings above the median income.
Obama’s the fiscal conservative.
The Atlantic -- Obama: Most Fiscally Conservative President in Modern History?
Maybe not. It looks like Clinton's got him beat.
And the Harper government’s dubious economic record.
Globe and Mail -- Conservatives preach the gospel but forget the chapters
These have been confusing intellectual times for conservatives on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.
Quote worth repeating.
“Like so many other North American conservatives, the Harper party preached the gospel but forgot most of the chapters. They cut taxes all right, but they squandered the surplus they inherited, ran up big deficits and let the size of government grow, including the number of civil servants. They cut a few small programs, but unleashed a bunch of new ones in the form of programs or tax expenditures.”
John Mauldin’s helpful primer on employment.
Pdf below -- Where Will the Jobs Come From?
Yes Virginia the planet is warming and human behavior matters. Thanks to David of Edmonton.
New York Review of Books -- Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong
The threat of climate change is an increasingly important environmental issue for the globe.
Rex Murphy on Canada’s singular triumph.
National Post -- Oil sands are a triumph for the human ‘environment’
I’m lucky to be going to Fort McMurray, Alta. this weekend with colleagues from CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup.
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