Links for 2010-01-04

in Links of the day
  • Lavoce.info – ARTICOLI – ITALIA 2020: LA RICETTA DEL GOVERNO E’ IL FAMILISMO – Sul documento governativo Italia 2020: «Il documento è quindi in linea con quello che gli studiosi chiamano il modello del familismo per default. Tradotto, significa che si prevedono obblighi formali per le famiglie di assistere i soggetti che necessitano cura, senza però dare loro un sostegno adeguato. Non v’è traccia dell’intenzione di fare ciò che la grande maggioranza dei nostri vicini europei ha fatto già negli anni Novanta (e anche la Spagna c’è arrivata in anni recenti), ovvero di sviluppare un sistema di protezione sociale che copra le necessità di cura di lungo termine di una popolazione che va invecchiando rapidamente»;
  • A critique of Ron Paul’s ‘End the Fed’ – The Curious Capitalist – TIME.com – «(…) banks are naturally unstable, because they borrow on a short-term basis from depositors and turn around and hand most of that money back out as longer-term loans. Paul nods to this in a brief discussion of the evils of fractional-reserve banking, but fails to acknowledge that fractional-reserve banking predated the Fed and is both a product of and enabler of free-market capitalism. Banning it would thus represent a pretty severe encroachment on the economic liberty he so cherishes. It would probably also be a serious economic downer»;
  • Mortgage Modifications Are Seen as Adding to Housing Woes – NYTimes.com – «The Obama administration’s $75 billion program to protect homeowners from foreclosure has been widely pronounced a disappointment, and some economists and real estate experts now contend it has done more harm than good (…) Critics increasingly argue that the program, Making Home Affordable, has raised false hopes among people who simply cannot afford their homes. As a result, desperate homeowners have sent payments to banks in often-futile efforts to keep their homes, which some see as wasting dollars they could have saved in preparation for moving to cheaper rental residence»;
  • Dissent Of The Day – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – «We are not the first invaders to try to get Iraq’s factions to cooperate and run the country. The Brits tried for decades, and largely failed. The question is simply if this new vulnerable order will survive when US troops leave (if they leave); if the massive fiscal and human costs will have been worth it even if it does survive; and if the consequence has mainly been a terrible blow to US moral standing, to the reputation of US military invincibility, and to the credibility of of US intelligence. It is also quite possible that al Qaeda, which was scarcely in Iraq before the invasion, will return to dominate alienated Sunni regions, whose militias are still not integrated into the national army. I fear they will, and we will have another sectarian civil war before too long, and the deserts full of the decapitated heads of Awakening leaders»;