Gongol.com Archives: November 2006
Brian Gongol

November 16, 2006

The American Way Milton Friedman is dead (1912-2006)
The most public face of the Chicago School of free-market economics died in San Francisco today. He was probably the most influential economist of the late 20th Century.

Iowa What newspaper editors used to be like
And why the Des Moines Register used to be a great newspaper

The United States of America States still mostly responsible for higher education
And that's good -- it's for the better if Washington isn't allowed to screw up the colleges like it's managed to screw up things like the old urban housing projects or the funding of Medicare. Leaving higher education in the hands of the states encourages them to view education as a means of development and encourages inter-state competition to do better work.

Socialism Doesn't Work Fat people watching stupid TV constitute "greatest threat" to democracy in Europe
Author argues that the welfare state makes it possible for prospective workers to become workforce dropouts, which in turn keeps them from learning or doing anything that makes them competitive in the trade economy, in turn making them members of a perpetual underclass. See Amartya Sen's book Development as Freedom for a thorough exposition on the importance of separating welfare from dependency. Related: Other highly recommended books in economics and development.

The United States of America The Kennedy-Khrushchev letters

Threats and Hazards Why fascists and totalitarians love the goose step
At least one plausible reason: Because it's a way of showing off how the powerful can make the rank-and-file troops do something utterly unnatural.

Business and Finance Ben Stein objects to stock-picking
Is it funny that a man can become a financial columnist based upon remarkably non-innovative advice like, "Stay sober and save early and often"...or is it just sad that a huge number of people have absolutely no comprehension of those incredibly basic rules? Or you can just go ahead and become chair of the Communist Party of Britain, then stumble into a huge windfall from the sale of an old painting and then not know what to do with yourself. Yes, there really are still Communist loonies in the Western world.

Computers and the Internet Online brokers say fraud has cost them $22 million
Stolen passwords plus pump-and-dump schemes and a little bit of money laundering altogether resulted in big losses. Crooks use all kinds of tricks to get around security, so there's no substitute for individual vigilance. Related: Another big Patch Tuesday for Windows users. Related: Biological computing is certain to confuse millions of people who are already baffled by how their computers can get "viruses."

Aviation News US Airways wants to buy Delta
The $8 billion offer is strange because USAir is the #7 carrier and Delta is #3