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Writing Worth Reading

Springtime Thoughts

Possibly the best short piece about racoons you will read today. “I have reviewed what other columnists and bloggers have written in the last few days on more frequent current political and economic personalities and subjects, and Henrietta and her cub are more interesting and more admirable. We would rather have them sheltering in or near our house than almost any contemporary political leader I can think of” (1,000 words)

Replace Obamacare

Doing healthcare differently: “Suppose we offer every adult an annual tax credit worth $2,500. People would get this subsidy so long as they obtained credible private health insurance, no matter where they obtained it. We could allow everyone, regardless of income, to enroll in Medicaid, and at the same time allow everyone on Medicaid to leave the program, claim the tax credit, and buy private insurance” (3,190 words)

The White Ghetto

Vivid reporting from Owsley County, Kentucky, the poorest place in America. “Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings on the hill, piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, and death” (4,600 words)

Thus Spake Obama

On the health-care fiasco. Ferocious and funny. “So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he’s not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he’s not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they’re in for. The country’s in the very best of hands” (1,305 words)

On Punctuality

It can be good to waste your own time. It’s always bad to waste someone else’s. “I am a puritan on the issue of punctuality: 15 minutes before the movies, 20 minutes before theater, two hours or more before a flight, 30 minutes before an intercity train, etc. I suspect that my libertarian sympathies have something to do with this. Libertarians tend to be very rule-oriented people, which is only a paradox if you do not think about it very much” (1,480 words)

Broken Justice

Fine polemic against the American justice and prison system, from a writer whom nobody could accuse of bleeding-heart liberalism, but whose sensibility has been sharpened by his own spell of prison time. “The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of its incarcerated people, and half of its academically qualified lawyers”

Broken Justice

Fine polemic against the American justice and prison system, from a writer whom nobody could accuse of bleeding-heart liberalism, but whose sensibility has been sharpened by his own spell of prison time. “The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of its incarcerated people, and half of its academically qualified lawyers”

The Cronkite Syndrome

On Douglas Brinkley’s biography. “This is an informative life of Walter Cronkite, but more importantly, a demonstration of the size and vigor of the virulent liberal aneurysm that still threatens the American political bloodstream”

But What Shall We Do Together?

View from the right, on the Obama campaign. “The president would like to imagine that he’s running against radical individualism, but he’s running against some fairly modest reform proposals to avert fiscal catastrophe”

Let Us Now Praise Private Equity

Sharp, well-argued defence of private equity. And, by extension, Romney and Bain Capital. “The difficult truth that virtually no politician is prepared to acknowledge is that the road to job creation runs through job destruction”

The End Of The Future

Superb essay arguing that progress in science and technology is stalling. “The technology slowdown threatens not just our financial markets, but the entire modern political order, which is predicated on easy and relentless growth”

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