Not Lacking Links

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Reading miscellanea:

SECTION 215 OF THE PATRIOT ACT FAILS

I discussed this recently here, and while I am happy with last night's result, the reality is that there are multiple other tools at the disposal of the federal government for invasive surveillance.

Two articles from the WSJ on inequality-

Turns out economists can confirm economic inequality harms growth, but still have no clue why it does

Studies now verify the connection between economic inequality and sub-optimal economic growth, but mystery still surrounds the cause of this. Regressional analysis shows the causal relation to go in the direction of inequality THEN sub-optimal growth, but economists lack any real evidence to explain why this happens.

Real Time Economics blog on WSJ shows how inequality related discussions can be hugely skewed based on definitions

A study claimed normal Americans remain completely unaware of the state of inequality in the US, but the questionnaire used suffered from subjective interpretations. None of the pictures used to visualize income distributions represent (reasonably) the actual distribution of income...if that makes sense. Just read the article and you will understand the summary better. The reality that inequality is so poorly understood says a lot for how much farther the field of economics has to go.

Do not confuse the recent Amtrak crash with a failure of funding, says Veronique de Rugy of Mercatus

A researcher I really respect, de Rugy publishes tons of graphs and papers over at the Mercatus institute on government spending and programs. The base summary is that Amtrak has a lot going against it other than funding issues. From inefficient organization, politicized business, and competition from alternative modes of transportation, Amtrak finds itself in a market that does not necessarily need it.

Polls show Americans still do not trust government surveillance

Good.

Google hosted its IO conference, reveals tons of new programs, including a new photo organization software

Google, being Google, hosted a highly anticipated developers conference where they revealed several new programs/projects that the company has been working on. One of those services is Google Photos, which offers a new take to photo organization. I checked it out on Android and the program seems pretty promising, especially how it provides unlimited photo storage for your phone's photos.