URLs du Jour

2019-09-14

[Amazon Link]

  • Peter Suderman is devoting much of his Reason time to noticing a certain candidate's prevarications and outright lies. And this is no exception: Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Want to Say How She’d Pay for Her Health Care Plan. She doesn't have a plan of her own, opting to support Bernie's "Medicare For All" instead. But:

    But despite endorsing Sanders' plan, Warren has repeatedly declined to say that middle-class taxes would have to go up. She dodged the question in earlier debates this year. And at the debate last night, she once again all but refused to answer the question directly.

    Instead, she offered a vague promise that "middle-class families are going to pay less" while insisting that "those at the very top—the richest individuals and the biggest corporations—are going to pay more."

    When a debate moderator pressed her specifically on the question of taxes, she still declined to offer a direct response. Families have to deal with "total cost," she said, reiterating her support for Medicare for All. "Costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals, and costs are going to go up for giant corporations. But for hard-working families across this country, costs are going to go down, and that's how it should work under Medicare for All in our health care system." The specific question—Would taxes rise for middle-class families?—remained unanswered. 

    When politicians start talking about "total cost", you know they're playing a shell game: of course your taxes will go up, and you'll get something, maybe, in exchange. Whether you consider that a good deal or not? That's irrelevant. You won't have a choice in the matter.


  • I bet you've been wondering whether more aid to education will make it more affordable. Maybe you're hoping that more aid to education will make it more affordable. Well, sorry. Veronique de Rugy and Jack Salmon, writing at the American Institute for Economic Research, have some bad (but not unexpected) news: More Aid to Education Will Not Make It More Affordable.

    In a recent study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, we reviewed the existing literature, as well as publicly available data, to determine whether more federal aid is the correct treatment for the problem of rising tuition prices. The evidence broadly suggests that colleges respond to increased federal funding by reducing institutional aid, so that for each dollar of additional federal aid students receive, they lose between 60 cents and 83 cents of institutional aid, depending on the type of aid and institution.

    Further, by subsidizing tuition through federal student aid, the government creates artificially high demand for college degrees, driving tuition prices higher and increasing overall costs for students and taxpayers. Policymakers’ solution to the issue of increasing costs has traditionally been to increase federal funding, which results in college getting ever more expensive over time. 

    You'd think that Democrats wouldn't bother with promises about spending vastly more money on education, since the teacher unions and the higher ed establishment are already in their pocket. Are they worried these constituencies won't stay bought?


  • In the Pun Salad "Billion? Oh, good, I thought you said 'million'" Department, this report from AP: Study finds the universe might be 2 billion years younger.

    The universe is looking younger every day, it seems.

    New calculations suggest the universe could be a couple billion years younger than scientists now estimate, and even younger than suggested by two other calculations published this year that trimmed hundreds of millions of years from the age of the cosmos.

    "Why you don't look a day over 10 billion!"


  • Speaking of old things, people of a Certain Age might be interested in How Eric Clapton Created the Classic Song "Layla".

    The story of Eric Clapton and “Layla” has always bothered me because to understand it is to understand how fallible and crazed any of us can be when it comes to love. We understand that our rock gods are human, but there’s something about Clapton falling in love with the wife (Pattie Boyd) of one of his best mates (George Harrison, a freakin’ Beatle, man!) and then writing a whole album about it, that is just unsettling. Is this something tawdry writ epic? Or is this something epic that has the wafting aroma of tawdriness?

    Polyphonic takes on the behind the scenes story of this rock masterpiece and rewinds several centuries to the source of Layla’s name: “Layla and Majnun,” a romantic poem from 12th century Persian poet Niẓāmi Ganjavi based on an actual woman from the 6th Century who drove her poet paramour mad. Lord Byron called the tragic poem “The Romeo and Juliet of the East,” as unrequited love leaves both Majnun and Layla dead after the latter’s father forbids her to be with the poet.

    Originally imagined as a ballad, but then … Duane Allman happened. Also Jim Gordon.


  • And the Google LFOD alert rang for some big shoe news: Concepts x Timberland LFOD 6” Boot Drop.

    Concepts and Timberland have reunited for a new 6” Boot collaboration, this time focusing on an all-weather style that will last through the winter months. The Concepts x Timberland 6” “LFOD” boot is specifically built to withstand urban terrain and is well-prepared for inclement weather in rougher seasons.

    Featuring a textured GORE-TEX®️ black-suede upper, the boots also pay tribute to New England, the original home of both brands. The boots are decorated with bold white embroidery that reads “LIBERUM VIVERE AUT MORI” across a black corduroy collar in all caps, which loosely translates to New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live Free or Die” (LFOD). As a cherry on top of its New England inspiration, the boot also features tartan sock liners. Finally, a soft seafoam green leather patch with a purple Concepts logo completes the shoe.

    A pair will set you back $240. Tempting, but…

    Bright idea: the state should offer Latin-version plates for a modest extra fee, with "Liberum Vivere aut Mori" replacing "Live Free or Die". For people who want to add a certain highbrow seasoning to their in-your-face revolutionary attitudes.


Last Modified 2019-09-15 5:01 AM EDT