Gongol.com Archives: February 2012
Brian Gongol

February 17, 2012

The United States of America We will live to rue the day we kept avoiding the inevitable payroll-tax increase
Congress approved extending the payroll-tax cuts today. Does a payroll-tax cut probably improve the employment situation? Yes. Is it nice for workers to have more take-home pay? Absolutely. Does a payroll-tax cut probably have a mildly stimulative effect on the economy in the short run? Most likely. But the fact of the matter is that payroll taxes are there to fund the Social Security and Medicare programs, and the longer we under-fund them (which was already a problem before we made it worse by cutting those payroll taxes), the more painful it's going to be in the future when the bills come due.

Business and Finance China's government continues to disregard intellectual property rights
The legal system is set up to reward "trademark squatters" -- people who file applications for ownership of product and company names that belong to others. That's not the way to ensure honest trade. Proper respect for intellectual property -- including trademarks as well as patents -- is absolutely necessary to ensuring honest business and fair competition.

Socialism Doesn't Work Are the Vikings worth a $1 billion stadium?
Some people love their sports too much -- like the guy who has a mascot or icon tattoo for every team in Major League Baseball. State and local government could be on the hook for half a billion dollars to build a replacement for the Metrodome in Minneapolis, if early reports are true.

Science and Technology Using religious arguments to justify politics
Stanford study says that, basically, liberals justify some of their arguments by convincing themselves that a modern-day Jesus would be even farther to the left than they are, and conservatives do the same justification dance by arguing that he'd be even farther right.

Iowa A look at the symbols behind China's vice-presidential visit to Iowa
There are deeper meanings to some of the things that were done and said

Iowa UNI faces more budget cuts

News Is it really appropriate to make flippant jokes about birth control?
When people who seek to influence national life -- including a very prominent backer of a Presidential candidate -- make absurdly out-of-touch comments dismissing serious issues like reproductive health, it's a very bad sign of things to come. We can't just reduce national political conversations to stupid one-liners and exaggerations.

Computers and the Internet People remember better what they read off a printed page than from a computer screen
The difference is estimated at 20% to 30% better recall from the printed page

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