* “Home is where the cartel is,” on the politics of housing, inequality, and many other topics of interest; perhaps I’ve been doing it all wrong for quite some time. This is likely the most important thing you can read and understand today if you’re working on income, poverty, job training, or education, all of which are tremendously affected by land-use issues. Yet this problem is largely under the radar of nonprofits, public agencies, and policy makers. It shouldn’t be.
* “The Financial Benefits of Buying What You Love,” a perhaps underrated point, but how often do you know what you’ll really love before you buy it?
* Afghanistan: ‘A Shocking Indictment’. It’s worse than you think.
* “Steve Radelet has a new book, The Great Surge, about why so many countries have risen out of poverty in the past half century. There are many good things about it, but most of all, it’s the best introduction to development I’ve seen for a lay audience, including students.” Expect a review shortly.
* Teen birthrates drop precipitously. Finally: Some good news!
* “The Marriages of Power Couples Reinforce Income Inequality,” which is, along with land-use controls, an incredibly underreported part of contemporary society and income distribution. Incidentally I contribute to the the power-couple problem while am part of the solution to the land-use-control problem.
* As Graduation Rates Rise, Experts Fear Diplomas Come Up Short. Let’s see… grad rates go up but grads can’t read or do math. Hmmm. Wonder what that means? Paging Bryan Caplan. See also “Almost No One Knows What Education Really Means, and Implications for the Department of Education’s Talent Search Program.”
* Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance.” Are you there to serve the individuals in government, or is government there to serve you?
* What’s happening in coffee, a fascinating and usually detailed three-part post.
* The refragmentation, by Paul Graham, and by definition any essay he writes is worth reading.
* “East Germany thrived on snitching lovers, fickle friends and envious schoolkids.” Read properly, this is also a plea for privacy in the information age.
* Unions may no longer be able to forcibly raid their members’ pockets, though the framing in the article itself is quite different.