Why massive deficit spending isn't going to fix the economy
Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman seem to think that the time is right for massive deficit spending by governments, in order to kick the economy into high gear. The problem is that money has to be borrowed from somewhere, and that money has to be lent by people who think the borrowers have some sort of credible plan to pay it back. The problem is that the United States has created a web of entitlement programs via Social Security and Medicare that we have shown very little stomach for fully funding. But there's no doubt we'll continue to make those payments, since the same people taking the payments are the older people who are most likely to vote. So with a structural imbalance already in place (with more cash being spent on entitlements than being raised via taxes to pay for them), where's the credibility that we'll pay back other debts that we incur? Low credibility means high interest rates (which is why people with bad credit ratings pay really high interest rates). The kind of deficit spending demanded by Keynesians assumes that the lenders of the world can't just read the budget of the United States for themselves.
The news from somewhere else but here
An online service offers radio stations the opportunity to outsource their news operations. It's not altogether different from the Weather Channel offering localized forecasts. You'll only ever get passable work from a service like this. Never anything outstanding, and obviously never anything on breaking news or any inevestigative reports. But is the illusion of local news coverage better than no coverage at all?
Pitching the world's biggest tent
A tent that's about the height of the tenth-tallest building in Minneapolis has been erected in Kazakhstan to create a sort of indoor mall effect, where people can go to shops and restaurants. It's a vanity project being built to the "glory" of the country's president, who ordered the creation of the city where the tent is located. At 100,000 square meters, it covers an area about a quarter of the size of the floor space in the Mall of America.
Israeli security says someone stole four handguns on a US flight
They checked four 9mm Glocks for a flight from Washington to New York, but the guns never arrived
Podcast: Will telescopes save our lives?
Podcast: The iPhone 4...big fat hairy deal
A day of flash flooding in Iowa