Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What Entitlements Crisis?

Despite right-wing noise to the contrary, there is no entitlement crisis.
Looking forward, population aging will expand that deficit by a few percent of GDP, but that’s well within the range that could be closed with moderate tax hikes, cuts in pointless military spending, etc.. Nor is there a big rush: nothing terrible will happen if we don’t immediately decide how we’ll pay for projected benefits in the year 2050.
In fact, there never has been an entitlement crisis. Should a conservative-minded friend tell you otherwise, you are completely justified in pointing out that they are just dead wrong.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why Iran Even Has a Nuclear Program

It isn't part of a good energy strategy. It has cost too much and hurt their economy too much. If it is for the purpose of nuclear weapons, it doesn't make much sense because all of the likely targets are upwind. A nuclear weapon is nothing more than a national suicide bomb. The best answer is that its just a matter of national pride. Other nations have done similar things. It was similar national pride that drove the U.S. to land men on the moon.

Reports of a Bee-pocalypse Have Been Premature

Despite all the headlines to the contrary, the number of bee colonies is actually doing well. It's true that there has been an increase in lost colonies, but the industry has adjusted by putting more energy and money into increasing the number of colonies. As a result, prices for honeybee-based products have gone up, but not terribly so. We are actually experiencing a new normal.

Finland's Euro Problem

Matt O'Brien explains how the euro has been bad for Finland. When Nokia went toes up, 4% of Finland's GDP evaporated. That's a deep hole to dig out of. It points out a fundamental flaw in the EU currency union that has affected many of its constituent states. Some new mechanism needs to exist that somehow allows member states to devalue their economy in order to reset after localized recessions that does not require them to leave the euro completely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A New Kind of Pride

An evangelical pastor joins a PRIDE parade and shares his experience. Some portions of our world are changing for the better.

The Experience of Prison

An ex-con talks about what people on the outside don't understand about the prison experience and what prisoners have to learn the hard way about returning to society. As a country, we should do better.