Thursday, May 20, 2010

Linkism

Brad de Long surveys the chances for a V-shaped recession, finds them wanting.

A good video on high speed rail in America.

Apparently Tesla and Toyota are teaming up to build cars in NUMMI, but there are some doubts:
… it could just be a public relations exercise designed to distract attention from Toyota's rash of brake and accelerator-pedal problems and the merry-go-round of executive officer turnover at Tesla. The electric car future always seems to be waiting around just one more bend in the highway.

Following up on the incinerator story: Harrisburg has collapsed under the debt. We’ll likely see similar problems catch up with other cities (though not necessarily from incinerators, natch.)

A report on Craig Venter synthesizing life.

The tyranny of Washington D.C….the tyranny of NYC, literary edition (great video of David Simon, for the Wire completists in the audience.)

What if global warming increases the rate of infection of malaria? (We can barely stop it as-is, so cross your fingers no.)

How the Euro might collapse.

More Medicaid woes:

South Carolina says it has little choice but to cut funding for Medicaid. It faced a $563 million deficit for the current fiscal year, and like other states must have a balanced budget. Medicaid, the joint federal-state health-insurance program for the poor and disabled, already consumes about 20% of its $5 billion budget and is one of its fastest growing costs.

The health-care program is on course to consume 40% of the budget of South Carolina in five years, and leaves little for anything else, says Gov. Mark Sanford. "It could force legislators to either cut further into bone in the areas of education, law enforcement and economic development, or raise taxes. Neither option is palatable."
Federalize Medicaid.

Another Didier Drogba profile.

On Europe:
The Europeanists have gotten themselves into a strange fix. They have expanded their Union to the point of decision-making paralysis but would consider expanding still further. They cannot deepen the Union, lest residual memories of democratic accountability roil Europe’s individual national souls. But the Union may have to be deepened, for, as the Belgian politician Leo Tindemans noted in a famous report on the future of Europe more than thirty years ago—a house half finished will not last. As Greece (among others) has shown, economic union without considerably more political union will not work. The European Union has established new central offices but dare not staff them adequately. They have created a common currency and a bank to manage it but not the political counterpart to steady it in rough weather. The liberal immigration protocols they have enacted are stimulating a widespread anti-immigrant backlash, yet the demographic collapse of the native populations demand immigration to keep economies from collapsing as well. In nearly every sense, then, the European model, and the European promise with it, is locked in a “crisis of wishing.” The further the Europeanists try to go forward, the harder it is for them to move anywhere at all.

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