Gongol.com Archives: April 2008
Brian Gongol


April 25, 2008

Science and Technology Do urban centers really matter?
While some economists think public policy should continue to pursue agglomeration economies (concentrating lots of similar firms into a single geographic area). That might be an error. Certain agglomerations will happen whether public officials want them to or not -- but given the enduring growth in worker mobility, particularly given the miracles in Internet access and telecommunications services of the last few years, it seems almost quixotic to try to consciously influence how those things will evolve. Besides, too much concentration isn't necessarily a good thing. Of course, these sorts of matters are ideal for civic debate.

Socialism Doesn't Work High taxes and an overgrown entitlement budget are de-motivating British workers
But perhaps the cruelest irony is that even though big disincentives are discouraging people from working more, many are trying to consume more, even if they don't have the money to do so, just to feel better. That's a bad recipe. Tax freedom day is June 2nd in Britain (it just happened on April 23rd in the US). Related: It's not good news that former Soviet states could be hit especially hard by some of the troubles working through the world economy at the moment. Civil society still has a way to go in quite a few of those places -- that is, unless you don't mind newspapers being shut down because they criticize public officials.

Computers and the Internet Microsoft plans to declare war on the Yahoo board of directors
The deadline for Microsoft's "friendly" bid for the company expires this weekend, and the next step is to move into an aggressive campaign to oust the board of directors. In a fascinating bit, some people think that Microsoft has to make a big move now or risk falling into a downward spiral. That's a pretty amazing and bold statment for a company ranked #44 among the Fortune 500. Not that it couldn't happen, of course. Creative destruction has taken down some incredibly powerful companies. It's entertaining enough that Microsoft has been making loud noises about the antitrust implications of any deal involving Yahoo and Google.

Health Convoluted transplant surgeries remain necessary until bio-engineered organs become widely available
A six-way kidney transplant just happened at Johns Hopkins -- which is a remarkable feat, once one considers the number of people who had to be involved (donors, recipients, and medical staff) simultaneously. And the recipients are certainly better off for the task. But the world will be better off when we can successfully manufacture replacement organs from a patient's own cells. Researchers are working on it already.

Humor and Good News 10,000 pieces of tiny art make up one digital $100 bill

Broadcasting Because who could live without a CNN t-shirt?
The TV network is selling plain t-shirts with recent headlines emblazoned on them for $20 apiece

Aviation News Stealth fighters enter retirement
The single-seat, radar-evading F-117A is being mothballed after 25 years of service. And the 56-year-old B-52 continues to fly.

Water News Gorman-Rupp announces $52 million expansion

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