The editor’s opinion from Marketplace, Northeast Wisconsin’s business magazine. (Obligatory disclaimer: Most hyperlinks go to outside sites, and we’re not responsible for their content. And like fresh watermelon, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, tomatoes and sweet corn, hyperlinks can go bad after a while.)

July 14, 2008

Your Monday morning reader

Given our ridiculously short summers, Wisconsinites often indulge themselves in the long weekend, or the overstuffed weekend — to jam 10 pounds of events into a five-pound bag.

That's how I find myself after a weekend that included attending the Iola Old Car Show with a Costa Rican Episcopal priest and my 25th high school reunion. (In both cases, a good time was had by all. The first might represent my annual sole chance to get a Chevrolet Corvette thanks to the annual St. Anna Fire Department Corvette raffle. As for the latter, I awoke Sunday morning to the exquisite aroma of a special production of the reunion, whole bean coffee named … “Choy to the Max.” (Another contribution from the ’80s that I forgot to mention Friday.)

So this morning, I pass on reading you might not have gotten to this past weekend that is worth your attention, including:
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran 12 pieces Sunday in reaction to the comments of former comptroller general David Walker on our $53 trillion Social Security and Medicare fiscal hole, growing at the rate of $2 trillion to $3 trillion per year — two senators named Kohl and Feingold (what state are they from? And where are Wisconsin’s senators anyway?), Reps. Tom Petri (R–Fond du Lac) and Steve Kagen (D–Appleton), the latter of whom didn’t answer the question, and Wisconsin’s other representatives, including Paul Ryan (R–Janesville), who actually has a plan.
  • One perspective on former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm’s comments that the U.S. is in a “mental recession,” not an actual recession.
  • Investors Business Daily mostly agrees with Gramm.
  • No, Republicans do not have a monopoly on good ideas.
  • Economist Greg Mankiw in today’s New York Times on what presidential candidates trying to get the votes of economists should support. (You should support at least five of eight.)
  • The Economist’s Lexington on Barack Obama’s flip-flops, with this particular insight: “The vital question is not whether Mr Obama is changing his positions but whether he is changing them for better or worse.” (I would argue that the better question is which version of Obama is more believable … but you can wait to read about that in this space.)
  • Speaking of Obama, Wall Street Journal columnist Matt Miller on three non-liberal positions Obama must take to get elected president: (1) actual accountability for teachers, including better pay for good ones and pink slips for bad ones; (2) reducing our second-highest-in-the-world corporate income taxes; and (3) fixing the problem with health savings accounts’ high deductibles and copayments that “put undue burdens on the sick and the poor.”
  • One more on Obama: The relationship between Obama’s chances of getting elected president and the stock market.
  • In keeping with this being car show season, insight into why cars of today don't get the gas mileage of cars of 30 years ago.

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