Volume 2.30 (July 22-28)

Picks of the Week— Can’t decide this week between these first two.

The Charitable-Industrial Complex (Peter Buffett, NYT)– Warren Buffett’s son just decides to burn the whole thing down.

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters (David Leonhardt, NYT)


The Last Days of Big Law (Noam Scheiber, The New Republic)– I was a summer associate during the last awesome and insanely expensive summer for big law firms.  It’s been a hard and fast fall.

Cities need to weigh costs of private partnerships (Donald Cohen, NYT Dealbook)

Fighting Back Against Wretched Wages (Steven Greenhouse, NYT)

Status and Stress (Moises Velasquez-Manoff, NYT)


Run, Women, Run! (Jamie Fuller, The American Prospect)

Health Care

Slow Ideas (Atul Gawande, The New Yorker)– Gawande probably has three of the most influential columns (and associated books) of the past three years.  The guy’s productivity and consistent quality is incredible.

Getting Stuck: Uninsured Patients Slammed with Lawsuits by Not-for-Profit Hospital (Dianna Wray, Houston Press)– Despicable behavior by a “charity” here in Houston.

The royal birth cost $15,000.  The average American birth is billed at $30,000 (Sarah Kliff, Wonkblog)– Even after discounts and negotiated rates, the average private payment is still several thousand dollars over the most expensive birth in the UK.

Big Picture

Enjoy the Rules (Freddie DeBoer, The New Inquiry)– “What becomes of America when the social contract can no longer be fulfilled?….Our pathetic social safety net, even absent the contracting effect of austerity measures, can’t fill in the gaps caused by the demise of ubiquitous employment. Even the counterrevolution has no other idiom; the most common epithet directed toward Occupy protests, after all, was ‘Get a job!’ That the near impossibility of getting a job was the point for many who were protesting was too destabilizing a notion to be understood. In the short term, I have no doubt that the unemployment rate will fall. The question is the long-term structural dependability of a social contract built on mass employment.”

The True Origins of Prosperity (Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, Democracy Journal)– In defense of a “middle-out” economics in opposition to decades of failed “trickle down policy”

The liberal protest that would shock the Right: Moral Monday (Kristin Rawls, Salon)

‘Crack baby’ study ends with unexpected but clear result (Susan FitzGerald, Philly Inquirer)– “Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine.”

The Media

Nate Silver and Journalism’s Non-Overlapping Magisteria (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

End the White House Press Briefing! (Reid Cherlin, The New Republic)– It’s a point worth making (which the author never exactly does) that this is not a problem particular to the Obama White House.  It is the nature of modern bureaucracy (not exclusive to the executive branch) and the degraded position of the national political press.  Go back to Ari Fleischer in the first term of Bush II and you will see the exact same thing playing out.


Of Mormonish and Saintspeak (Phil Barlow, OUPBlog)

A New Age of Mormon Doubt (Trevor Luke, Worlds Without End)

Area Man Not Sure He Wants the Holy Ghost Coming Around Anymore (Mathew, By Common Consent)– Hilarious, but not that far off from the way I feel.

Reading as Response, An Introduction Courtesy of BYU Studies (John F., By Common Consent)

Is Mormon Faith Crisis for Men Only? (Joanna Brooks, FMH)– Following up on last week’s blockbuster NYT cover story, which apparently missed half the story (i.e. women)

An Information-Rich Gospel: Correlation and the Growth and Maturation of the Church (Ben Huff, Times and Seasons)– Explicitly posted without endorsement.  The post itself is interesting, even if I feel that BHodges and john f. have the better side of the argument(s) in the comments.


There’s No Formula for Fixing Detroit, and that’s a Good Thing (Justin Fox, Harvard Business Review)

Richard Florida Flip-Flops on Detroit (Alec MacGillis, The New Republic)


What to do with the Redundant Churches after the Demise of Religion? (Paul Troop, Practical Ethics)– Does not actually answer the question posed in the title, but a fascinating reflection nonetheless.


The Privilege of Whiteness (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

The Dubious Math Behind Stop and Frisk (Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic)


Strange Fruitvale (Wesley Morris, Grantland)

How Walter White Found His Inner Sociopath (A.O. Scott, NYT)

Bonjour, America! (Stephen R. Kelly, NYT)


How a trade fight with India could keep the next AIDS cure out of reach (Lydia DePIllis, Wonkblog)

Can an international agreement stop the global taxation shell game? (Lydia DePillis, Wonkblog)

The Danger of Human Rights Proliferation (Jacob Mchangama and Guglielmo Verdirame, Foreign Affairs)


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