Links for 2008-10-05

  • Behind the Bluster, Russia Is Collapsing | washingtonpost.com – “Recent decades, most notably since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, have seen an appalling deterioration in the health of the Russian population, anchoring Russia not in the forefront of developed countries but among the most backward of nations. “
  • Zakaria: It’s the Age of Bloomberg, Not Thatcher | Newsweek Voices – “In America today we’re getting government wrong in a big way. We have a patchwork of bad regulations, subsidies, and ad hoc interventions. Policies are designed to pay off powerful constituents rather than generate long-term growth. We have the most expensive and inefficient health-care system in the industrialized world, the most wasteful energy usage, the lowest savings rate, the worst maintained infrastructure, a complex and corrupt tax code. We’ve gotten by despite all these problems because the overall system has been dynamic and the world looked to America as the place to put its savings and its faith. But the free ride is coming to an end. It’s time to get serious.”
  • FT.com | Republicans cannot spend their way out of crisis – Grover Norquist – “Under George W. Bush federal spending rose from $1,789bn in 2000 to an estimated $2,955bn for 2008; from 18.4 per cent of gross domestic product to 20.8 per cent. In 1996 Bill Clinton announced that the era of big government was over. Perhaps Mr Bush has, on behalf of the modern Republican party, raised the white flag in surrender to bigger government.”