Gongol.com Archives: June 2017

Brian Gongol

June 29, 2017

Threats and Hazards Federal government requests voter rolls from states

Proceed with caution: States are in charge of their own elections for good reason, except in those cases where they've proven themselves incapable of handling the job responsibly. The default answer to a request like this should roughly be: "Show me a court order."

News Debt is heading in the wrong direction

The CBO's latest estimates show the Federal debt on the rise to about 90% of GDP over the next ten years. As a country, we are on track to borrow an additional $3,000 per person per year over the next ten years, because we fail to arrange our spending priorities and raise the appropriate revenues to pay for the ones that matter. And with an economy that doesn't know how to grow faster than 2% a year, we'd better take seriously the need to restrain our spending habits.

News Estonia takes over presidency of the EU Council

And at a very timely moment for the EU to place a focus on the Baltic states -- as well as cybersecurity, which is a priority for those countries as well

The United States of America Anniversary of the creation of the Interstate highway system

Though government should always be limited, it probably has harmed our national character that we haven't had a big, constructive nationwide goal since the 1960s. Americans haven't really forged anything together (in the sense of a binding national identity) since the Interstate system and the Apollo missions.

News MLB umpire saves suicidal woman in Pittsburgh before game

A timely reminder that most people are trying to do the right thing most of the time. We should amplify that fact.

Business and Finance Big banks plan big dividends and share buybacks

Noted in the Marketwatch report on the "stress test" results: "[T]hey'll be paying out close to 100% of projected net income over the coming four quarters, compared to 65% last year."

Health Don't make unnecessary decisions

Decision fatigue is one of the most useful concepts from behavioral economics that just hasn't quite made the leap into mainstream culture.

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