robertogreco + spending   26

Considerations On Cost Disease | Slate Star Codex
[via: https://meaningness.com/metablog/post-apocalyptic-health-care ]

"IV.

I mentioned politics briefly above, but they probably deserve more space here. Libertarian-minded people keep talking about how there’s too much red tape and the economy is being throttled. And less libertarian-minded people keep interpreting it as not caring about the poor, or not understanding that government has an important role in a civilized society, or as a “dog whistle” for racism, or whatever. I don’t know why more people don’t just come out and say “LOOK, REALLY OUR MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS COST TEN TIMES AS MUCH AS THEY USED TO FOR NO REASON, PLUS THEY SEEM TO BE GOING DOWN IN QUALITY, AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY, AND WE’RE MOSTLY JUST DESPERATELY FLAILING AROUND LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS HERE.” State that clearly, and a lot of political debates take on a different light.

For example: some people promote free universal college education, remembering a time when it was easy for middle class people to afford college if they wanted it. Other people oppose the policy, remembering a time when people didn’t depend on government handouts. Both are true! My uncle paid for his tuition at a really good college just by working a pretty easy summer job – not so hard when college cost a tenth of what it did now. The modern conflict between opponents and proponents of free college education is over how to distribute our losses. In the old days, we could combine low taxes with widely available education. Now we can’t, and we have to argue about which value to sacrifice.

Or: some people get upset about teachers’ unions, saying they must be sucking the “dynamism” out of education because of increasing costs. Others people fiercely defend them, saying teachers are underpaid and overworked. Once again, in the context of cost disease, both are obviously true. The taxpayers are just trying to protect their right to get education as cheaply as they used to. The teachers are trying to protect their right to make as much money as they used to. The conflict between the taxpayers and the teachers’ unions is about how to distribute losses; somebody is going to have to be worse off than they were a generation ago, so who should it be?

And the same is true to greater or lesser degrees in the various debates over health care, public housing, et cetera.

Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?

I think this is the basic intuition behind so many people, even those who genuinely want to help the poor, are afraid of “tax and spend” policies. In the context of cost disease, these look like industries constantly doubling, tripling, or dectupling their price, and the government saying “Okay, fine,” and increasing taxes however much it costs to pay for whatever they’re demanding now.

If we give everyone free college education, that solves a big social problem. It also locks in a price which is ten times too high for no reason. This isn’t fair to the government, which has to pay ten times more than it should. It’s not fair to the poor people, who have to face the stigma of accepting handouts for something they could easily have afforded themselves if it was at its proper price. And it’s not fair to future generations if colleges take this opportunity to increase the cost by twenty times, and then our children have to subsidize that.

I’m not sure how many people currently opposed to paying for free health care, or free college, or whatever, would be happy to pay for health care that cost less, that was less wasteful and more efficient, and whose price we expected to go down rather than up with every passing year. I expect it would be a lot.

And if it isn’t, who cares? The people who want to help the poor have enough political capital to spend eg $500 billion on Medicaid; if that were to go ten times further, then everyone could get the health care they need without any more political action needed. If some government program found a way to give poor people good health insurance for a few hundred dollars a year, college tuition for about a thousand, and housing for only two-thirds what it costs now, that would be the greatest anti-poverty advance in history. That program is called “having things be as efficient as they were a few decades ago”.

V.

In 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandchildrens’ generation would have a 15 hour work week. At the time, it made sense. GDP was rising so quickly that anyone who could draw a line on a graph could tell that our generation would be four or five times richer than his. And the average middle-class person in his generation felt like they were doing pretty well and had most of what they needed. Why wouldn’t they decide to take some time off and settle for a lifestyle merely twice as luxurious as Keynes’ own?

Keynes was sort of right. GDP per capita is 4-5x greater today than in his time. Yet we still work forty hour weeks, and some large-but-inconsistently-reported percent of Americans (76? 55? 47?) still live paycheck to paycheck.

And yes, part of this is because inequality is increasing and most of the gains are going to the rich. But this alone wouldn’t be a disaster; we’d get to Keynes’ utopia a little slower than we might otherwise, but eventually we’d get there. Most gains going to the rich means at least some gains are going to the poor. And at least there’s a lot of mainstream awareness of the problem.

I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
scottalexander  economics  education  history  politics  policy  prices  inflation  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  bureaucracy  costdisease  healthcare  spending  us  government  medicine  lifeexpectancy  salaries  teachers  teaching  schools  regulation  tylercowen  poverty  inequality  litigation  litigiousness  labor  housing  rent  homes  subways  transportation  health 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Taylor & Francis Online :: The preference for experiences over possessions: Measurement and construct validation of the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale - The Journal of Positive Psychology - Volume 7, Issue 1
"There is growing support that money spent on experiential items increases an individual's happiness. However, there is minimal research on the causes and long-term consequences of the tendency to make experiential purchases. Given the importance of experiential buying for improving well-being, an understanding of the preference for experiential purchasing is imperative. Thus, we developed the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale (EBTS) to measure habitual experiential purchasing. Across eight samples (n = 9634), the EBTS was developed, and shown to be reliable, valid, and predictive of consumer behavior and psychological well-being. An experiential purchasing tendency was related to higher extraversion, openness, empathic concern, and reward seeking. Further, non-materialistic values predicted a preference for experiential purchasing, which led to increased psychological need satisfaction, and, ultimately, increased subjective well-being. The discussion proposes that experiential…"
purchases  openness  extraversion  rewardseeking  empathicconcern  empathy  rewards  delayedgratification  appreciation  ebts  emotions  cv  experiences  2011  raviiyer  paulinapchelin  ryanhowell  spending  money  materialsm  via:aaronbell  consumerism  consumption  well-being  happiness  experientialliving  experiential 
september 2012 by robertogreco
After September 11: What We Still Don’t Know by David Cole | The New York Review of Books
"How much are we spending on counterterrorism efforts? According to Admiral (Ret.) Dennis Blair, who served as director of national intelligence under both Bush and Obama, the United States today spends about $80 billion a year, not including expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan (which of course dwarf that sum).1 Generous estimates of the strength of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Blair reports, put them at between three thousand and five thousand men. That means we are spending between $16 million and $27 million per year on each potential terrorist. As several administration officials have told me, one consequence is that in government meetings, the people representing security interests vastly outnumber those who might speak for protecting individual liberties. As a result, civil liberties will continue to be at risk for a long time to come…"

"The rule of law may be tenacious when it is supported, but violations of it that go unaccounted corrode its very foundation."
9/11  waronterror  priorities  policy  civilliberties  us  georgewbush  politics  economics  money  spending  barackobama  torture  democracy  constitution  resistance  ruleoflaw  liberty  law  freedom  citizenship  equality  dueprocess  fairprocess  justice  margaretmead  history  dignity  terrorism  learnedhand  guantanamo  security  military  patriotact  nsa  cia  lawenforcement  lawlessness  war  iraq  afghanistan  alqaeda  2011  via:preoccupations  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Does Money Make You Unhappy? | Wired Science | Wired.com
"I’m genuinely puzzled by our failure to spend money properly. In general, human intuition improves with experience – it gets better as we put in those 10,000 hours of practice, so to speak. And yet, this doesn’t appear to be true when it comes to our intuitions about the pursuit of happiness. After all, we’ve all got extensive experience with pleasure. We know exactly what we enjoy. Nevertheless, this abundance of experience doesn’t lead to better purchases over time. Either psychologists can’t measure happiness or human beings with disposable income are very confused."
economics  psychology  money  happiness  wealth  2011  jonahlehrer  spending  decisionmaking  well-being  paradox  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Discussion: The Edupunks' Guide [See the rest of the thread, which is likely to continue expanding.]
"When I read the title of the book, I immediately thought this was yet another example of how (formerly radical) subcultures are put to work to valorize and bring the practices of everyday life under capital.

It would be interesting to know whether and how the author of this book addresses this potential contradiction. Personally, I see punk and other oppositional subcultures as expressing and disclosing forms of life and self-learning that are powerful precisely because they are informal, uncodified and untranslatable into student credits.

In this case, there is also the additional risk that the DIY attitude may be mobilized as a form of endorsement "from below" of the rising online education industry sponsored by Republican governors such as Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry. Or even worst to justify government cuts to spending in lower and higher education. After all, if we no longer need schools to learn why should we use taxpayers money for education?…"
anyakamenetz  edupunk  reform  policy  politics  stephendownes  jimgroom  marcodeseriis  mikecaufield  2011  appropriation  punk  radicalism  radicals  valorization  monetization  capitalism  capital  contradiction  subcultures  self-directedlearning  self-learning  unschooling  deschooling  spending  education  informal  informallearning  highereducation  highered  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
A Tax Day Celebration: Taxes Pay For Necessary Government Services And Make Capitalism Workable. | The New Republic
"The Nordic countries are far more homogenous than the U.S. and it’s an open question whether a society as diverse and unequal as ours would support such a high tax burden. (This is one of the points Douthat makes in his column.) But even if we do absolutely nothing but let current law stand--in other words, if we let the Bush tax cuts expire, allow the alternative minimum tax to remain in place, allow scheduled reductions in physician fees to take effect, and limit the control of health care costs only to the official projections for the Affordable Care Act--it seems likely that our tax burden would still not exceed what the Nordic countries face today, at least not for another 50 years.*"
taxes  us  policy  medicine  healthcare  scandinavia  comparison  2011  education  spending  austerity  austeritymeasures  busherataxcuts  government  nordiccountries  society  via:cburell  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Economist’s Plan to Improve Schools Begins Before Kindergarten - NYTimes.com
"James J. Heckman, Nobel in economic science…

…marshals ample data to suggest that better teaching, higher standards, smaller classrooms & more Internet access “have less impact than we think…To focus as intently as we do on K-12 years misses how “accident of birth is greatest source of inequality”…

…urges more effectively educating children before they step into classroom where…they often are clueless about letters, numbers & colors — & lack attentiveness & persistence to ever catch up…

…contends that high-quality programs focused on birth to age 5 produce a higher per-$ return than K-12 schooling & later job training…reduce deficits by reducing need for special education & remediation, & by cutting juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy & dropout rates.

…families matter & attributed widening gap btwn advantaged & disadvantaged…

Test scores may measure smarts, not character that turns knowledge into know-how. “Socio-emotional skills”…are critical…"
jamesheckman  education  policy  schools  earlychildhood  poverty  cv  gettingtotheheartofthematter  families  children  parenting  deficit  us  politics  economics  schooling  training  inequality  accidentofbirth  luck  disparity  achievementgap  socialemotionallearning  disadvantages  advantages  delinquency  crime  remediation  learning  money  spending  unschooling  deschooling  socialemotional  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
The Big (Military) Taboo - NYTimes.com
"Eisenhower gave strongest warning: “Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, …theft from those who hunger, those who are not clothed.” …Robert Gates has argued military spending…should expect closer, harsher scrutiny…& for more investment in diplomacy & development aid.<br />
…troops in Afghanistan are strongest advocates of investing more in schools…see firsthand that education fights extremism far more effectively than bombs.…cost of 1 US soldier in Afghanistan for 1 year = ~20 schools.<br />
… a few signs of hope…Simpson-Bowles deficit commission proposes cutting money for armaments, along w/ other spending…Hillary Clinton unveiled signature project…calls for more emphasis on aid & diplomacy…<br />
[Republicans] should remind themselves that in 21st century, our government can protect its citizens in many ways: financing research against disease, early childhood programs that reduce crime later, support for community colleges, diplomacy that prevents costly wars."
2010  spending  nicholaskristof  us  policy  foreignpolicy  education  diplomacy  militaryindustrialcomplex  war  politics  growth  military  afghanistan  security  simpson-bowles  deficit  hillaryclinton  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Are Old People Bankrupting America? | The Atlantic Wire
"As health care costs balloon, swelling the budget and the deficit, elderly Americans are consistently the biggest consumers. This isn't their fault. They simply require more--and more expensive--treatments. These treatments are billed to Medicare, which hands the bill to the federal government, which needs tax revenue to pay it.
healthcare  us  taxes  age  seniorcitizens  politics  voting  debt  society  generations  selfishness  gotminsoscrewyou  money  policy  spending 
february 2010 by robertogreco
NGM Blog Central - The Cost of Care - National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com
"The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.”"
politics  visualization  health  infographics  healthcare  insurance  graphic  infographic  us  cost  costs  reform  spending  via:kottke 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The California Institute: A Resource For Information Regarding Federal Policy and California - Home Page
"The California Institute is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation [view our IRS Determination Letter confirming this], conceived by the state's bipartisan elected leaders, but sustained with the advice and support of the business, labor, and academic communities. The Institute's mission is to identify issues critical to the economic health of California, to coordinate the development of research data pertaining to these issues, and to communicate this policy research information to the California Congressional delegation in a manner which ensures their ability to address these issues in a bipartisan fashion consistent with the best interests of California."
politics  economics  thinktank  government  california  federal  state  research  policy  resources  spending  via:javierarbona 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Big-Spending, High-Taxing, Lousy-Services Paradigm by William Voegeli, City Journal Autumn 2009
"California taxpayers don’t get much bang for their bucks. ... For California’s governmental-industrial complex, a new liberal administration and Congress in Washington offer plausible hope for a happy Hollywood ending. Federal aid will replace the dollars that California’s taxpayers, fed up with the state’s lousy benefits and high taxes, refuse to provide. Americans will continue to vote with their feet, either by leaving California or disdaining relocation there, but their votes won’t matter, at least in the short term. Under the coming bailout, the new 49ers—Americans in the other 49 states, that is—will be extended the privilege of paying California’s taxes. At least they won’t have to put up with its public services."
california  government  economics  politics  education  texas  taxes  libertarian  democrats  socialism  liberalism  spending  federalism 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Can Money Buy Happiness? | The Institute For The Future
"Can money buy happiness?...it depends...as social psychology professor Elizabeth Dunn puts it, "Just because money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t mean money cannot buy happiness.”...she means...that the ways that most people currently spend money--plowing discretionary income into consumer goods-doesn't buy happiness. But that other types of spending can. As Drake Bennett writes in the Globe: "Beyond the point at which people have enough to comfortably feed, clothe, & house themselves, having more money - even a lot more money - makes them only a little bit happier...But starting to emerge now is a different answer to that age-old question. A few researchers are looking again at whether happiness can be bought, & they are discovering that quite possibly it can - it’s just that some strategies are a lot better than others. Taking a friend to lunch...makes us happier than buying a new outfit. Splurging on a vacation makes us happy in a way that splurging on a car may not."
happiness  money  sharing  generosity  experience  materialism  travel  social  people  behavior  consumerism  spending  well-being 
august 2009 by robertogreco
USAspending.gov
"The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act) requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:
politics  economics  us  policy  data  database  statistics  api  taxes  accountability  finance  congress  spending  budget  transparency  government  money 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Features: 'A narrower Atlantic' by Peter Baldwin | Prospect Magazine May 2009 issue 158
"Despite America’s move to the left under Obama, it’s still assumed that Europe & America are fundamentally different—in their economies, societies & values. But this is a myth...If we compare 4 areas: economy, social policy, environment & religion & cultural attitudes, the evidence in each case allows 2 conclusions. First, Europe is not a coherent or unified continent. The spectrum of difference within even the 16 countries of western Europe is far broader than normally appreciated. Second, with a few exceptions, the US fits into this spectrum...If there is anything that most separates American society from Europe, it is the continuing presence of an ethnically distinct underclass...No one is arguing that America is Sweden. But nor is Britain, Italy, or even France. And since when does Sweden represent “Europe”—at least anymore than the ethnically homogenous, socially liberal state of Vermont does America? Europe is not the continent alone & certainly not just its northern regions."
us  europe  culture  society  statistics  demographics  crime  poverty  literacy  education  socialism  nationalism  comparison  politics  similarities  differences  income  policy  socialpolicy  spending  perception  oil  environment  recycling  consumption  books  reading  energy  religion  govenment  science  barackobama  georgewbush  stereotypes  taxes  economics  evolution  health  families  healthcare  agriculture  secularism  healthinsurance  values 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Colby Cosh: Watching boomers in turmoil is worth a recession - Full Comment
"For the children of the Baby Boomers, there is a special delight in watching the world economy shake itself to pieces like a two-dollar pram at this particular moment. Our elders, who bought prosperity and nice pensions at our expense and pulled the ripcords on their “Freedom 55” parachutes without leaving any behind in the passenger cabin, are getting it in the neck just when they thought a secure old age, with money for travel and expensive pastimes, was a safe bet. I’m willing to watch my meagre savings suffer from market turmoil in exchange for contemplating the dilemma of those who are now between 55 and 65."
babyboomers  generations  generationx  genx  crisis  collapse  frugality  spending  millennials  geny  generationy  canada  retirement  recession  culture  society  boomers 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: The economic collapse of Japan and the Phoenix Suns
"The Suns have been spending lots in recent years toward the goal of ever-rising prices for season tickets and corporate boxes. Does that strategy sound familiar?" Replace "The Suns" with "many independent schools" and insert "tuition" for "prices for season tickets and corporate boxes" and you have the predicament of many NAIS schools.
tylercowen  economics  money  finance  sports  bailout  management  property  nba  nais  bubbles  tuition  leadership  spending  administration  gamechanging  waste  cv  tcsnmy 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Can more spending revive the American dream? Why any new stimulus plan should boost spending on infrastructure and education. | csmonitor.com
"Pew's research indicates that the "American dream" may not be a myth, but it is rather a weak reality. On average, poor people and their sons and daughters have difficulty in rising up the income ladder to the middle class or becoming rich. Certainly the poor in Canada, France, Germany, and the Scandinavian nations have a better chance of rising from the bottom rung than in the US...Traditionally, Americans have had extraordinarily optimistic views of the economic prospects for themselves and their children. This may be one reason they have tolerated in the past 30 years a major redistribution of income in the nation to the top 1 or 2 percent of its citizens from those with lower incomes. The gap between the rich and those below has not been so great since 1928."
us  crisis  spending  government  policy  education  infrastructure  poverty  wealth  socialmobility  disparity  2008 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Interfluidity :: Financial system failure and the paradox of thrift
"Our financial system is failing spectacularly because it erred grievously. It built homes and roads and sewers that oughtn't have been built, it "invested" in vacations and plasma televisions, and it paid itself handsomely for doing so. That's not a problem we can spend our way out of. To fix the financial system we have to change it, not rally to its support. We will know we've put things right when thrift is something we can celebrate, when we save because we are excited about what we are creating rather than frightened by what we might lose."
economics  spending  money  thrift  change  reform  crisis  finance 
august 2008 by robertogreco
One Room Schools for the 21st Century | Explorations
"I wrote it originally as a sort of reductio argument to show that lack of money wasn’t the schools’ major problem, at least as far as educating kids was concerned, but as I’ve thought about it, it seems more and more like it might just work."
economics  education  schools  us  money  teaching  administration  bloat  waste  lcproject  schooldesign  government  history  learning  children  spending  bureaucracy  leadership  oneroomschoolhouse 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Pajamas Media » A One-Room Schoolhouse for the 21st Century [via: http://joannejacobs.com/2008/06/02/back-to-the-one-room-schoolhouse/]
"This back-to-basics educational venue, made famous during the 1800s, is surprisingly feasible today — even in the center of Manhattan. Could it get students learning again?"
economics  education  schools  us  money  teaching  administration  bloat  waste  lcproject  schooldesign  government  history  learning  children  spending  bureaucracy  leadership 
june 2008 by robertogreco
A Modest Proposal for Saving Our Schools
"The school I have just described is the school we’re paying for. Maybe it’s time to ask why it’s not the school we’re getting. Other, wiser, governors have made the prudent decision not to ask such embarrassing questions of the education-industri
education  spending  money  government  schools  administration  management  waste  bloat  bureaucracy  schooldesign  lcproject  economics  leadership  corruption 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The CORS Project: A Modest Proposal | Explorations [been thinking aout this for years]
"This is a business proposal for a new model for public schools...revival of...one-room school house...The original idea of this exploration and proposal was to ask the question “what do public schools pay for?” by looking at a different school model.
economics  education  schools  us  money  teaching  administration  bloat  waste  lcproject  schooldesign  government  history  learning  children  spending  bureaucracy  leadership 
june 2008 by robertogreco
You Are What You Spend - New York Times
"Looking at household consumption — indicates that the gap between rich and poor is far less than most assume, and that the abstract, income-based way in which we measure the so-called poverty rate no longer applies to our society."
economics  us  wealth  consumption  statistics  infographics  poverty  markets  money  trends  spending  society 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Now on Google Earth: Map where Congress spends your tax dollars | Tech news blog - CNET News.com
"The Sunlight Foundation on Tuesday released a downloadable Google Earth layer that plots what it says are some 1,500 earmarks attached to a proposed U.S. House of Representatives defense spending bill."
maps  money  politics  government  defense  military  spending  taxes  googlemaps  googleearth  google  mapping  geography 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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