Bill Gates is apparently a formalist. Of course it’s easy to say that accounting should be honest, but the consequences for lots of states and cities (and the Feds) would be disastrous.
Dennis Mangan continues to post interesting stuff on Japan. John Derbyshire has good things to say about Japan in his newest book. The Japanese always have interesting roles in Neal Stephenson’s books as well.
Russ Roberts links to a table that shows that stagnation in median wages in Canada might be caused by divorce. The odd thing is that he considers this good news. I believe his interpretation is that this is good because it means that economic progress (the only progress that matters, you see) hasn’t stopped. We should not be fooled into thinking that progress has stopped by the fact that families are being destroyed at increasing rates. Ahhh, libertarianism.
I agree with Bryan Caplan’s thoughts on Italy. I think being an Italian would be particularly depressing. There is evidence all around them that their state doesn’t have to suck, and yet it does suck. They must be constantly reminded of their own aggressive under-achievement.
The Chinese think Christianity is the reason for the West’s success. It’s easy to say that economic growth is the most important thing, but it’s harder to follow that logic through to the end, as it results in some conclusions that proponents of economic-growth-uber-alles don’t like. For example, I think economic growth is best advanced in homogeneous and religious societies – all else equal.
Seattle passes a bill that increases penalties for crimes against homeless people. I swear that I am not making that up.
Iowahawk bitch slaps The Economist and The New York Times. Ouch. No wonder no one pays for news anymore.