Today’s Readings 1/5/2013

1. Gerrymandering in Michigan: Can this state get more ridiculous? (Mark Maynard)

2. We’re way overdue for an increase in the minimum wage. I know a lot of small businesses that pay well above it, but the Wal-Marts of the world need a kick in the pants (NYT)

3. Krugman at an economics convention and the problem of consensus among economists (NYT)

4. Winning legislation for same sex marriage is largely a matter of how the issue is framed to voters. It’s a loser as a rights issue, but a winner as an issue of personal happiness and fulfillment. (NYT)

5. The IMF admits that austerity measures in the wake of a financial crash not only don’t work, but also make matters needlessly worse. Duh. (Bloomberg) and here’s the paper, which says, explicitly “We find that, in advanced economies, stronger planned fiscal
consolidation has been associated with lower growth than expected, with the relation being
particularly strong, both statistically and economically, early in the crisis.”

6. Shinzo Abe’s plan to get Japan on track again. He shoots for 2% inflation, but Japan’s inflation rate was -0.3% in 2011 and 0% in 2012. (Bloomberg)

7. Shinzo Abe gives up on watering down Japan’s official statements of apology to China and Korea for WWII, vowing to “consult historians,” whatever that means. I’m confident that the LDP will cherry pick “historians” friendly to their right wing cause. (Japan Times)

8. Fuel shortages in Malawi were the last President’s undoing. He has sice died, the new President has barely had time to get her feet wet, and the shortages begin again. (Baobob)

9. 12 things which will be more expensive in 2013. Amazingly, they are the 12 things that got more expensive in 2012. (Fiscal Times)

10. The National Debt: The End of the World is not Near. (Fiscal Times)

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine

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