More than seven billion people now populate Earth, including six billion who live in developing economies. After having already quadrupled in the past century, the world’s population could reach near 9 billion by 2050, according to projections by the United Nations. Half of that growth will come from Africa, which will increase its percentage of world population from 13 to 20 percent.
Penn Jillette, the world-famous magician (and fellow of the Cato Institute), has a saying: “Everybody got a gris-gris.” By that, Jillette means everyone has some irrational belief or superstition, something one believes even when knowing it is an unreasonable. We carry these superstitions through life like talismans, and we defend them when confronted with the cold light of reason. My gris-gris is NASA.
Ezra Klein recently released a 2-minute clip explaining the need for individual mandates under Obamacare. Man, does that guy talk fast!
Mr. Klein gets most of his explanation about right, with one big exception. He says that a family making $80,000 a year will (eventually) be penalized $2,000 for failing to buy coverage — “less money than health insurance will usually cost you, but you don’t get anything for that money,” he says. Uh, that’s understating things quite a bit. A family insurance policy costs $16,351 according to the most recent employer benefits survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The TSA does not make us perfectly safe. I don’t care much about being x-rayed and patted down, but it is not much more helpful than the old, discarded “security” question about whether I packed my own bag. The U.S. could learn from the Israelis and focus on behavior and likely terrorists.
Following incidents in Washington state, Mexico and Tennessee, theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would probe fires that occurred recently over a six week period inTesla Motors’ electric Model S. And this week, as revealed in aDetroit News story, the NHTSA looks like they’re serious – at least more serious than Germany’s transportation safety authority.
This time of the year, whether in good economic times or bad, is when Americans gather with their families and friends and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. It marks a remembrance of those early Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the uncharted ocean from Europe to make a new start in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is less appreciated is that Thanksgiving also is a celebration of the birth of free enterprise in America.
Crain’s recently published“Pullman inching closer to national park status,” an article detailing plans by Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Rep. Robin Kelly of Chicago to introduce a bill to make Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood a national park. They and local supporters say a national park designation could “bring much-needed funds and development to the neighborhood.”