Today’s Links: October 4, 2011


JOHN F. COGAN and JOHN B. TAYLOR: “Stimulus Has Been a Washington Job Killer
“Temporary, targeted tax reductions and increases in government spending are not good economics. They have repeatedly failed to increase economic growth on a sustainable basis. What may come as a surprise is that such policies are not good politics either. Their inability to deliver promised economic benefits has invariably led disappointed voters to turn against those politicians, Democratic and Republican, who have supported them.”

MARK SCHNEIDER and JORGE KLOR de ALVA: “Cheap for Whom?”
“Most people recognize that the price of public universities is underwritten by subsidies that they receive through direct government appropriations, but information on the size and distribution of those subsidies across schools is usually buried in obscure data and reports. Most private institutions also receive government subsidies, especially through their tax-exempt status. For the best-known—and best-endowed—not-for-profit colleges and universities, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, these tax subsidies can be substantial.”

RICHARD RAHN: “Thoughts on Liberty
“How free is Turkey? Turkey is almost entirely Muslim but lacks most of the repressive characteristics of many of the Arab Muslim countries. It has a largely free market with a high rate of economic growth. But it ranks in the middle among other countries in terms of economic freedom and per capita income. It also has less religious freedom and freedom of speech than is common in most of Europe and the United States and, thus, less liberty.”


PRIVACY – California’s Reader Privacy Act Signed Into Law
“California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Reader Privacy Act, updating reader privacy law to cover new technologies like electronic books and online book services as well as local bookstores. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) were sponsors of the bill, authored by California State Senator Leland Yee. It had support from Google, TechNet and the Consumer Federation of California, along with the Internet Archive, City Lights Bookstore, and award-winning authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. The Reader Privacy Act will become law on January 1, and will establish privacy protections for book purchases similar to long-established privacy laws for library records.”

SPENDING – House Sends White House a Short Term Spending Bill
“The House passed a spending bill Tuesday to fund the government for six weeks, giving Congress and President Barack Obama more time to iron out their differences on a $1 trillion-plus pile of unfinished budget work.”