Today’s Links: June 15, 2012


JAMES DeLONG: “It’s Not a Welfare State, It’s a Special Interest State
“The problem is that the concept of ‘welfare’ has become an open, bottomless vessel into which every desire can be poured: Government takeover of the entire health and retirement systems; detailed regulation of employment; manipulation of money; subsidies for housing, education, energy, food; or anything else that strikes the fancy of some segment of the public.”

ROSS ANDERSON: “An Eye Without an ‘I’: Justice and the Rise of Automated Surveillance
“[M]achines really are watching us, and they have their own way of seeing; they make mistakes that humans don’t. Before automated surveillance reaches a critical mass, we are going to have to think carefully about whether we think its security benefits are worth the human costs it imposes. The ethical issues go beyond just video; think about data surveillance, about algorithms that can mine your financial history or your internet searches for patterns that could suggest you’re an aspiring terrorist. You’d want to be sure that a technology like that was accurate.”

THE ECONOMIST’S SCHUMPETER BLOG: “The Rajat Gupta Trial: An Unlucky Man
“FOLLOWING nearly a month of testimony and lengthy instruction by Judge Jed Rakoff, eight women and four men filed out of the 14th floor courtroom of a lower Manhattan courthouse on the morning of June 14th to begin deliberating six charges tied to insider trading against Rajat Gupta, a man who stood at the centre of the business world.”


UK – Osborne Unveils £140bn Scheme to Kick-Start Stagnant Economy
“The Bank of England is to offer money to high-street banks to kick-start mortgage and small business lending to prevent loans being rationed for many families and entrepreneurs, the Chancellor announced.”

ENVIRONMENT – EPA Proposes Stricter Standards for Soot Pollution
“Risking an election-year backlash from Republicans, the Obama administration is proposing new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot that can be released into the air.”

IMMIGRATION – U.S. Relaxes Deportation Rules for Young People
“The Obama administration announced on Friday it would relax enforcement of deportation rules for young people brought to the United States without legal status, a shift in immigration policy that could be designed to appeal to Hispanics in an election year.”