Book review of "How Big Things Get Done The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project, from Home Renovations to Space Exploration and Everything in Between"


Flyvbjerg’s database of more than 16,000 big projects shows that only 8.5 percent are on-budget and on-time and that only 0.5 percent are on-budget, on-time, and deliver the promised benefits—and these numbers make no allowance for budget padding.

"America’s Top 1% Don’t Make as Much as You Might Think"

Tyler Cowen:

Can a single self-published paper really refute decades of work by three famous economists? If the paper is the modestly titled “Income Inequality in the United States: Using Tax Data to Measure Long-Term Trends,” then the answer — with qualifications — is yes. . . .

More concretely, looking at pre-tax income, the share of the top 1% has gone up only 2.6 percentage points since the early 1960s. For after-tax income, top income shares haven’t changed much at all.

"FDR’s Campaign of Intimidation"

Very favorable review of a new book, The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights: The Untold Story of FDR’s Concentration Camps, Censorship, and Mass Surveillance.

The book is yet another strike against the reputation of FDR. But I don't anticipate it will change the minds of any of the people who revere him. (I once had a brief discussion with my late father-in-law about the research showing that FDR didn't really get the country out of the Great Depression. My father-in-law wasn't having it: you don't understand, he said, FDR got the apple sellers off the streets! It was an early introduction to Liberal reasoning.)

"The Big Fail"

Alex Tabarrok favorably reviews the The Big Fail by Joseph Nocera and Bethany McLean.

[The Big Fail] is an angry book. Rightly so. It decries the way the bien pensant, the self-righteously conventional, were able to sideline, suppress and belittle other voices as unscientific, fraudulent purveyors of misinformation. The Big Fail gives the other voices their hearing— Martin Kulldorff, Sunetra Gupta, Jay Bhattacharya and Emily Oster are recast not as villains but as heroes; as is Ron DeSantis who is given credit for bucking the conventional during the pandemic