Random Links XI

Unemployment training:

College edition:  http://accounting.smartpros.com/x64268.xml

High school edition:  http://www.ednews.org/articles/10474/1/Unemployment-Training-The-Ideology-of-Non-Work-Learned-in-Urban-Schools/Page1.html

“Smart Guns” vs. EMP:

http://volokh.com/posts/chain_1233708063.shtml

George Friedman on “The Next Hundred Years”:

http://www.investorsinsight.com/blogs/john_mauldins_outside_the_box/archive/2009/01/22/the-next-100-years.aspx

Partisanship & Blindness:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/02/maciel-partisanship-and-blindn.html

I learned this lesson – the non-correlation of ideology with decency & character – back in college, when I learned how to be friends with those whom I strongly disagreed with.

Mixed-Use Malls:

http://www.housingwire.com/2008/12/29/malls-the-future-of-housing/

Private Student Loan Problems:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-collegedebt27-2008dec27,0,4636992.column

My solution:

1.  Better disclosure requirements.  E.g., a Truth-in-Lending box as with credit cards.  Include max. possible interest rate, a plot of the index rate over the last few decades (giving a student some idea of just how high rates could go); whether the loan is fixed or adjustable rate; etc.

2.  A class to all potential student borrowers re. fixed vs. adjustable rate, compound interest, amortization, how to calculate monthly payments, how payments break down into principal & interest, etc.  Also on the differences between federal & private student loans.

If these students are smart enough to get into college, they’re smart enough to understand amortization calculations.

Drought & Civil Conflict:

http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/2742

No civilization is more than three meals away from collapse.

ID’ing genes responsible for the Spanish flu’s lethality:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-12/uow-sig122608.php

Scientific evidence of Everlasting Love:

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-liston0612330644jan06,0,990050,print.story

Two things I found notable:

1) The cynicism of the researchers (cynicism, I might add, that I’d probably share in the absence of countervailing evidence); and 2) the fact that the researchers’ cynicism was proven wrong (at least for this particular sample).

State & local tax progressivity:

http://lanekenworthy.net/2009/01/08/how-progressive-are-our-taxes-follow-up/

(Something to remember next time Republicans/conservatives/libertarians point out how progressive the federal tax system is.)

Humor:

http://www.all-creatures.org/humor/dogcatdiary.html (And yet I prefer cats – go figure.)

Why we need more toll roads:

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/why-youll-love-paying-for-roads-that-used-to-be-free-a-guest-post/

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/why-youll-love-paying-for-roads-that-used-to-be-free-part-two/

FHLB Downfallhttp://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/01/federal-home-loan-bank-of-seattle.html

Legitimizing Mythshttp://www.jerrypournelle.com/alt.mail/altmail5.html#myth

Gun Buybacks as Gun Owner Subsidy:

http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2009/02/gun_buyback_in.php

“Gun buybacks are a great subsidy to gun owners. Everyone has a junker or two that’s beyond repair and unsalable. You can still get $50-100 for it! […] A gun dealer sold all his junkers to his employees, and they went around turning them in, and netting a nice profit as their bonus.”  Heh.

Innocence + Wrongful Conviction = Harsher Sentence:

http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2009/02/why_the_innocen.html

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