Japan emerges from period of deflation
Ethanol demand pushes prices much higher
Professional gamblers are social deadweight
In discussing the general uselessness of gambling, Dr. Greg Mankiw singled out a particular "professional" gambler, whose girlfriend promptly got profoundly defensive. The bottom line is that gambling itself is a fine recreational diversion, but "professional" gambling is a pretty awful waste of human capital when there are smart people playing cards for money and yet we still have no cure for cancer. Said Teddy Roosevelt: "If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your sons that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of nonremunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research -- work of the type we most need in this country."
War reporter suggests there's far too little close air support in Afghanistan