Monday, May 14, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Sian Phillips, 79. 

And for the good stuff:

1. The director of the Census Bureau on why the American Community Survey is important. Shani Hilton has more.

2. Jeff Flake defends defunding political science -- and John Sides and commenters respond.

3. Matthew Dickinson agreed last week with several of us that Barack Obama's endorsement of marriage equality won't have a major electoral effect one way or another, so you probably don't need more of that, but be sure to read how he uses this episode as an  examploe of how presidential power works in the last two paragraphs.

4. And a rant from Brad DeLong.


  1. We recently went through a similar process to eliminating the ACS here in Canada, our Long-Form Census, which has been made optional instead of mandatory for those chosen to complete it. It has actually become a significant political issue, with conservatives lining up behind the move and everyone else (especially anyone who works with data) firmly opposed.

  2. DeLong:

    "Thus in this sense the electorate gets the government it deserves."

    There is no "electorate." There is no "we." The bigger the population over which a government presides and the greater the government's sphere of influence, the more the individuals within the country are coerced. No matter the mechanism for choosing who rules them, 300 million people will chafe endlessly at national compromises. American voters who elect for more dominant national government immiserate everyone because they make escape more difficult. Moving to different states becomes less meaningful because more important decisions are made further away. Individuals who live under local rule find their governments to be more tolerable.

  3. Put all social science funding toward research into energy production. Wealth generated by cheaper and cleaner energy improves all outcomes. Most social science employs the liberal consensus brigade which only helps liberal scholars.


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