Today’s Links: January 27, 2012


ALEX TABARROK: “The Innovation Nation vs. the Warfare-Welfare State
“We like to think of ourselves as an innovation nation, but our government is a warfare/welfare state. To build an economy for the 21st century we need to increase the rate of innovation and to do that we need to put innovation at the center of our national vision. Innovation, however, is not a priority of our massive federal government. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. federal budget, $2.2 trillion annually, is spent on the four biggest warfare and welfare programs, Medicaid, Medicare, Defense and Social Security.”

A. BARTON HINKLE: “Virginia Should Fight the Federal Health Care Takeover
“State lawmakers across the country are debating whether, and how, to set up such exchanges, which are encouraged by the 2010 federal health-care overhaul, or let the feds do it for them. The exchanges will act as clearinghouses where consumers can compare health insurance policies, a bit like the way you can compare travel deals on Here in Virginia, legislators differ on whether the exchange should be an entity unto itself, or an arm of the State Corporation Commission. The correct answer is: neither. Virginia should not set up such an exchange at all. The commonwealth has nothing to gain by doing so, and a lot to lose.”

SEAN GALLAGHER: “The Fast, Fabulous, Allegedly Fradulent Life of Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom
“The man once known as Kim Schmitz (and as Kimble, and as Kim Tim Jim Vestor, and finally as Kim Dotcom), now awaiting extradition from New Zealand to face charges of conspiracy, money laundering and copyright crimes in the US, has enveloped his actual life in a cloud of hype and bluster that echo the worst of the dot-com bubble from which he took his new surname. In 2001, the Telegraph called Schmitz ‘a PR man’s nightmare and a journalist’s dream.'”


NORTH KOREA – North Korean Government Labels Cell Phones Users as War Criminals
“According to The Telegraph, anyone caught using a mobile phone or attempting to flee to China during the 100-day mourning period for late leader Kim Jong-il will be considered a war criminal and ‘punished accordingly.'”

DRUG PROHIBITION – Marijuana Push in Colorado Likens It to Alcohol
“Proponents of marijuana have argued for years that the drug is safer than alcohol, both to individuals and society. But a ballot proposal to legalize possession of marijuana in small amounts in Colorado, likely to be on the November ballot, is putting the two intoxicants back into the same sentence, urging voters to ‘regulate marijuana like alcohol,’ as the ballot proposition’s title puts it.”

SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS STORY- In the Era of Big Boxes, a Day For the Little Guy
“The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. ‘Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses,’ he wrote. “I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st.””