Peggy Noonan: Home

A nice bit from Peggy Noonan's analysis of President Obama's inaugural address:
Mr. Obama suggested . . . that while Ronald Reagan was wrong in saying, in his first inaugural, that “government is not the answer, government is the problem,” Bill Clinton too was wrong in saying, in a State of the Union, that “the era of big government is over.” Such talk, Mr. Obama suggested, is beside the point. “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.” Programs and policies that are effective should move forward, and those that are not “will end.”"


Do economists agree on mimimum wage laws? Perhaps not

Until a minute ago, I was pretty sure that a large majority of professional economists believe minimum wage laws are a bad thing.

Greg Mankiw, however, points to study by Robert Whaples:
One issue that fails to generate consensus is the minimum wage: 37.7 percent want it increased, while 46.8 percent want it eliminated.
Tyler Cowen displays some quotes from economists who favor minimum wage laws. He notes that the reasons given:
are striking, most of all for how far they stand outside traditional economic reasoning
He adds:
If you wish to understand the gap between market-oriented and more left-wing economists, this piece [by Dan Klein] is an excellent place to start.
I'm with Arnold Kling on this one.


College students hire "gap year" consultants

From a Wall Street Journal article via Joanne Jacobs:
"To fill her spring months, Ms. Kivel turned to gap-year consultant Holly Bull, president of Interim Programs, to help her sift through more than 100 different programs in China. Ms. Kivel will live with a host family in Shanghai, study Chinese language, history and culture in a classroom setting, and teach English to children."


A vote against Google ads

Brian Clark at Copyblogger:
"Last year, I quietly removed all third-party sponsors from Copyblogger. The ratio of income from those sponsors to revenue generated from my own projects, joint ventures and affiliate marketing promotions made it clear there was no reason to bother with relatively cheap sidebar spots."


CSPAN to provide embeddable video

via The Open House Project:
"CSPAN has come a very long way with their digital video services, evolving from an over-aggressive assertion of copyright to now offering embeddable video."

Netbooks and the Death of x86 Computing

Instapundit likes his 10" Asus netbook, and others like the HP mini 1035 10". And the NYT mentions ARM chips.


The "fragile earth" mantra: a counterpoint

Wow! Gary Jones has discovered an environmentalist who talks about the robustness of Earth. Oliver Morton in the journal Nature:
it was the photographer [of Earthrise], far more than its subject, who was isolated [. . .] the fragility is an illusion. The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing
In truth, the Earth is robust in some ways and fragile in others. But when we hear mindless repetition of the "fragile environment" meme we tend to forget about the robustness.

"Are Environmental Journalists an Endangered Species?"

Joel Makower makes the case that
"The past few weeks and months have been devastating for environmental journalism."
Here in Baltimore, Tom Pelton left the Sun last summer.

Best Education Blog for 2008

Here are the finalists:

Would repeal "War on Drugs" help solve the economic crisis?

Taki thinks so. He suggests that repeal of Prohibition was driven by the government's need to raise funds during the Great Depression.

His message to Obama: "Time to End the Second Prohibition".

via Gary Jones at Muck & Mystery

Journalism innovations in 2008

From Changes | Newspaper Death Watch:
"the difference between the new breed of online reporting and traditional print journalism. Chief among them is the involvement of readers in the process. Editor Joshua Micah Marshall has even been known to give “assignments” to his readers, asking them to comb through official documents."
via Jeff Jarvis

Thought for the day

Seth Godin:
"as soon as you focus on your art and leave the money behind, you may just discover that this focus turns out to be the secret of actually breaking through and making money."