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Today's Links: January 17, 2012

OPINION RALPH BRISTOL: "Capitalism Good, Too Many Capitalists Bad" "One of the biggest flaws of too many capitalists emerges when they have to decide whether to protect the capital under their care - or their friends.  When they choose their friends, they give capitalism a bad reputation and weaken its universally beneficial power. The capitalist’s allegiance is to the capital, so that the capital produces value for people, based on their respective value to each other. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, capitalism is a “capital centered” economic system. It works best for everyone when those in charge of business focus on how to make the capital produce more value." TYLER COWEN: "Can 'Education as Signaling' Models Explain Recent Changes in Labor Markets?" "The simplest model is that, because of information technology, employers demand more skills.  The job market responds accordingly, and eventually the education system responds too.  The major shifts are driven by changing productivities of human capital, and that is one reason why the human capital model of labor markets has proven so robust.  It accounts (mostly) for the big changes in labor market returns." GENE HEALY: "After 2008's Hope and Change, it's Sober and Sane for 2012" "Romney won't be able to replicate the adulation that surrounded Obama's 2008 campaign. No one, I'd wager, has ever swooned from a Romney hand-pinch or waxed rhapsodic over his smell (a mix of Scotchgard and Purell, if I had to guess). The man is so plain-vanilla and transparently insincere that it would be almost impossible to build a cult of personality around him. And that's a good thing. When Americans get swept up in the romance of Camelot, we usually wake up lighter in the wallet and hate ourselves in the morning." NEWS SOPA - Wikipedia Confirms Site Blackout to Protest SOPA Anti-Piracy Bill "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales confirmed today that the global encyclopedia will 'go offline' for 24 hours this coming Wednesday to protest the SOPA anti-piracy bill." TRANSPORTATION - Plans for High-Speed Rail Are Slowing Down "Critics began panning the first leg of California’s futuristic high-speed rail network as a 'train to nowhere' soon after officials decided to build it not in the major population centers of Los Angeles or San Francisco, but through the state’s Central Valley farming belt." INTERNATIONAL - Google, Facebook Battle Indian Criminal Charges "On Friday, the Indian government gave its sanction for the firms to be tried for serious crimes such as fomenting religious hatred and spreading social discord, offences that could land company directors in prison."