Today’s Links: January 4, 2012


DAVE WEIGEL: “Rickrolled: Three Lessons From Iowa
Lesson Two: Money is speech, which means people can ignore it. Michael Li was the first to calculate how much the candidates spent for every vote. Santorum spent $1.65 per vote. Rick Perry spent $817. Santorum spent it better, buying radio ads for months, then counting on a Super PAC to introduce him in the final weeks. Perry went into details about issues he thought voters cared — those pesky gay soldiers! — and Santorum kept it calm and generic.”

PETER F. VALLONE Jr.: “Our Misfiring Gun Laws
“The City Council’s Public Safety Committee, and then the full council, are set to vote today to denounce a bill just passed by the US House of Representatives that would force every state to honor gun-carry permits issued by other states. The House is indeed off-base here — but New York City still needs to get its act together.”

HAROLD MEYERSON: “No Longer the Land of Opportunity

“The best way to measure a nation’s merit-based status is to look at its intergenerational economic mobility: Do children move up and down the economic ladder based on their own abilities, or does their economic standing simply replicate their parents’? Sadly, as the American middle class has thinned out over recent decades, the idea of America as the land of opportunity has become a farce.”


BLACK MARKET ECONOMICS – [California] Targeting Employers That Don’t Play By Rules
“California agencies are mobilizing to crack down on businesses paying cash under the table, saying the ‘underground economy’ costs the state $7 billion a year in lost tax revenue and hurts companies that abide by the law. It also puts workers at risk. Businesses paying cash wages skip getting workers’ compensation insurance. They also don’t withhold payroll taxes for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance.”

ADVERTISING – Vitaminwater Accused of Making Misleading Health Claims
“The Coca-Cola Company has recently come under fire from The Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) — an initiative that strives to improve children’s health through food education — for making false claims about its product, Vitaminwater. The company’s website stated, according to the Guardian, that Vitaminwater’s products are a mixture of ‘spring water with fruit juice.‘ ”

NANNY STATE – Study Finds Minimal Effects for Fast-Food Toy Ban
“A Santa Clara County law mandating health standards for children’s meals accompanied by free toys has had limited effects, according to a recent study by the School of Medicine.