Assorted Links

  1. Which Country Has the Best Government?An article that lays down some of the issues and guidelines for a revised series of articles in Spiegel. In 2008 there was a series of articles about what countries have the best governance, particularly in light of the global financial crisis and domestic conflicts taking place in western style governments. The series looked at four countries (Brazil, United States, Netherlands, and China) as case studies for these types of government. Four years later, Spiegel is returning to the countries first examined to see how they are performing.
  2. How Brazil Became a Model Nation-The revisited profile in the Spiegel series above, Brazil is having its fair share of problems, but in large part due to government involvement, stamping out corruption, and policing, Brazil has undergone a transformation and is rapidly becoming an economic power. According to at least one expert on “good governance,” Brazil is the best governed country in the world, with criteria such as being responsive to constituencies, limiting corruption, transparency to media, political freedoms, increasing equality, and a high economic growth rate.
  3. Before Air-Conditioning– Published June of 1998 in the New Yorker, Arthur Miller recalls the summer in America (particularly New York) before the advent of air conditioning.
  4. Why Capitalism Wants Us to Stay Single-A blog post in the Guardian that points out that people who live alone are less efficient consumers (meaning that they spend more money on various goods and services), so the capitalist, consumer system would prefer for people to remain single.
  5. The Boredom of Boozeless Business-an article in the Economist lamenting the end of the three martini lunch.
  6. Liberal Brainwashing/Brainwashing Liberally– An article at Inside Higher Ed that takes a look at the claims that the liberal academics are brainwashing children. The conclusion is that while many are liberal, they are more interested in actual teaching and that the students come out of the courses with their mental facilities intact.
  7. The Talented Mr. Ryan: Understanding the Ryan Plan– An op-ed in the Washington Post argues that attacking Paul Ryan’s budget plan over the Medicare and Social Security cuts mostly misses the point, when the actual problem is that Ryan is not actually a fiscal conservative since his plans would not balance the budget for decades. He makes the case that Ryan’s budget plan should be attacked from the right, rather than the left. Related to this, German papers seem to be having none of this stuff about Paul Ryan being a fiscally conservative, intellectual choice, calling him polarizing, a radical idealogue, and the chief ideologist of the Republican party.
  8. The Path to Tyranny-An article in SPIEGEL about the PUssy Riot trials in Russia (something I am amazed does not get as much press in the US…I have mostly seen it in SPIEGEL) and Vladimir Putin, arguing that Putin has a long tradition of totalitarianism that has only gotten more extreme in recent years. Interestingly, Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet Premier, is a critic of Putin’s and is a part owner of the Novaya Gazeta.
  9. As always, comments encouraged. What else is out there?

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