Links for 7-13-2015

  • Scott Walker finally announced that he’s a candidate for president. He needs to get his campaign operatives under control, though – one anonymously told National Journal, “You start in Iowa and lock up conservatives, because if you don’t do that, none of the rest matters. It’s much easier to move from being a conservative to being a middle-of-the-road moderate later on.” This campaign operative seems unaware that conservatives could be a wee bit suspicious of yet another bait and switch maneuver by a Republican candidate.

  • Hillary Clinton delivered an economic policy speech at the New School in New York City that essentially denies the existence of the modern economy, and Ben Domenech lets her have it:

    Hillary Clinton plans to take the stage at the New School in New York City today, open her mouth, and let loose with the economic policy equivalent of the AOL dialup screech.

    “Clinton’s aide said she will discuss some of the structural forces conspiring against sustainable wage growth, such as globalization, automation, and even consumer-friendly “sharing economy” firms like Uber and Airbnb that are creating new relationships between management and labor (and which now employ many Obama administration alumni). But she will argue that policy choices have contributed to the problem, and that she can fix it.”

    And how will she fix it? “Mrs. Clinton will call for raising the minimum wage, increasing taxes on the wealthy, boosting the power of unions and reducing health-care costs.” Wow, such innovation, so advance, much new.


    We’re at a juncture in American politics where the existing political hierarchy, bureaucratic problems, and entrenched interests prevent sensible, reasonable, growth-inducing reforms from being achieved. You see this across all sorts of different areas – not just in the realm of technology, but health care, energy, school choice, welfare, criminal justice, and more. The nonsensical regulatory steps of the administrative state are again and again the barrier to reforms that allow for competition and creative disruption.

  • Transgender members of the military will be allowed to serve openly starting next year.

  • The son of a Boston police captain, Adam Ciccolo, was arrested for plotting ISIS-inspiried terrorism. Ciccolo is a recent convert to Islam who purchased four guns from an undercover FBI agent. Authorities also found bomb making equipment in his apartment.

  • Joy Pullmann writes that more parents are figuring out that college is a scam:

    As for normal folks, in May I attended a classical education conference in Seattle. The concluding session was a panel that included a college professor, homeschool mother and author, K–12 headmaster and author, and K–12 school founder, school startup advisor, and curriculum author (these last three descriptions being united in one person). One of the inevitable audience questions was, “How do I prepare my child for college?” And the general consensus among the panel was, “Maybe you shouldn’t consider college at all. In fact, if your child does go, best if he takes a year or several off first. And then there are only about a dozen colleges worth the time and money.”

    I’ve been attending education conferences for something like 15 years. Some parent always asks the college question. Only in about the past year or two have I seen the answer from “expert observers” change. It’s not just conferences, either. There’s something in the water. I continually meet more and more middle-class parents, average American types, who don’t envision college as the presumptive next step for their children after high school. If this takes off, it would be a massive culture shift. And there are signs it might.

  • Puerto Rico’s government followed progressive policies to the letter and for some reason it suffers from high inequality and unemployment and it’s bankrupt. Huh.

  • A private equity firm backed by the Chinese government, Tsinghua Unigroup, offered to buy American memory chip manufacturer Micron for $23 billion. If the deal closes, it would be the largest Chinese takeover of an American company.

  • A well known Tibetan monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, died in a Chinese prison. He was serving a 20 year sentence for “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism.”

  • Human Rights Watch says Tibetans and Uighurs face severe discrimination when applying for Chinese passports.

  • Russia is prosecuting soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine and deserted their bases.

  • Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the government will continue building military outposts, roads, and dams in the southeastern part of the country where many Kurds live. Some Kurdish rebels have declared the construction projects a violation of the two year old ceasefire with the government.