Monday Reading List

DeLong responding to Matt Y's look at the new New York Times series on class in America, with a dash of Orwell thrown in for flavor (Note to self: read Road to Wigan Pier).

The last five or so posts on the site whose name I try to avoid writing, though they appear to have given up on the name changing project, or at least moved it behind the scenes. With all the talk about China recently, the scenario I'm interested in but haven't seen anything about (though I haven't been looking all that hard): Chinese civil war not involving, or not primarily involving, an invasion of Taiwan. I'm wondering if China won't just have another one of its periodic upheavals at some point in the next twenty or so years. Maybe this is impossible because (I assume) the government has very tight control of who has access to weaponry, but even that wouldn't prevent a civil war if a couple of general split off. I'm quite a neophyte in this area, so people who know what they're talking about may well find this laughable.

Arlen Specter's Op-Ed on the Asbestos trust fund bill. It appears to be partially recycled from a similar op-ed he ran in the Washington Times in March, with the new portions addressing Dick Armey running ads against the bill. The bill looks surprisingly meritorious, though it's problematic that the fund won't pay out based on the liklihood of future illness, but rather only on actual existing harm. Since pay-outs based on potential can be used for medical monitoring and other preventative measures, it seems plausible to me that they would decrease the fund's total liability. Maybe the bill sponsors have ran the numbers on this and concluded otherwise. If so, I wish Specter had decided to mention that in the op-ed. I may write more about this issue if I find a good source of information other than the bill's primary proponent.