Economics

"When Lunatics Run the Asylum You Get Monty Python"

Steven Greenhut with still more on the lunacy of government pensions, particularly California's.

Related: "CalPERS says town defaulted on pension debt. What’s next for tiny Loyalton?"

The default means the CalPERS board can move to reduce retirees’ benefits in Loyalton by about 60 percent, according to a formula that takes into account the dollars the city has already paid into the pension system. That would mark the first time in state history that CalPERS has reduced retirees’ benefits because of a municipality’s failure to pay its pension bills.


"Is Our Economic Future Behind Us?"

Joel Mokyr, a distinguished economic historian--one of the very best--thinks probably not

The history of technology is full of examples of this feedback loop. The seventeenth-century scientific revolution was made possible partly by new, technologically advanced tools, such as telescopes, barometers, and vacuum pumps. One cannot discuss the emergence of germ theory in the 1870s without mentioning prior improvements in the microscope. The techniques of x-ray crystallography used by Rosalind Franklin were critical to the discovery of the structure of DNA, as well as to discoveries that led to over 20 Nobel prizes.

The instruments available to science today include modern versions of old tools that would have been unimaginable even a quarter-century ago.