Monday, May 04, 2009

Assorted thoughts: May 4, 2009

- Here is a bit on the updated corporate tax situation. Is it me, or are people making far too big of a deal of a tax modification that will generate $210B over ten years? Mind you, we're witnessing nearly trillion-dollar stimuli. Yes, decisions are made on the margin and it's a push in the wrong direction, but do we need something else to cry over now that swine flu hysteria has died down?

- Here is a bit on the upcoming Supreme Court selection and the type of person we should be looking for. Do you necessarily want someone with trial experience? Seems that it wouldn't hurt, but if there's a tradeoff between trial experience and some other experience that serves the job better, is trial experience what we want to maximize? It raises the larger question of what we look for in Supreme Court judges (as an aside, is this different than lower level judges?); I'd think you'd want to maximize "constitutional knowledge," but just about every judge/lawyer should have a solid grasp of this, right? Is there that much of a variation in constitutional knowledge across those that practice law, independent of ideology (or does ideology necessarily play a role?)? I guess I'm just having a hard time figuring the exact kind of public servant we'd want here, and that surprises me. I'd like to see the lawyer contingent's thought on this one. (Hi Dana!)

- Oh, the reciprocal nature of externalities.

- Here's a bit on the sleeping and eating habits of certain countries; the study itself is here. The article mentions Spaniards-- I've been to Spain a couple of times now and I don't know when anyone sleeps there; children are out well into the night and I think the siesta is a thing of the past (at least in the larger cities).

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