What I’m Reading: November 3rd, 2016

  • The Chicago Cubs are World Series Champs after 108 years! I feel a bit spoiled, having only lived in Chicago for 4 months or so, but I’m still as thrilled as can be, particularly for so many old and new friends here in the city. Congrats to the Cubs and congrats to Chicago!

  • A British Court has ruled that the House of Commons must vote on envoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the process of leaving the European Union, not withstanding the nation’s referendum vote to leave the EU—coverage from the NYTimes and WSJ. The UK’s highest court is set for expedited review of the ruling early next month. This greatly complicates Tory Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for a so-called “hard Brexit.”Currency markets responded favorably to the ruling, as displayed below (data via Bloomberg).

  • Tim Harford, author of the outstanding pop-economics book—The Undercover Economist and host of the BBC data and statistics podcast titled More or Less: Behind the Stats—has an interesting new book out titled Messy. It looks at the underappreciated importantce events of “messiness” in creativity and productive output. Tyler Cowen discusses it here. Elsewhere, Garcia Cardiff discusses the book with Harford at the Financial Times’ AlphaChatterbox podcast here. I look forward to reading it.
  • Fredrick Hess of AEI recently had a great post on a growing problem related to public education and collective bargain by public sector unions—unfunded pension liabilities. Irrespective of the method of assessment, this is a problem now ranging in the Trillions of Dollars, representing past retirement benefits promised and accrued, but not adequately funded in past fiscal years. I’ve discussed these problems in testimony to the Michigan Legislature and the Illinois Legislature previously.
  • Two interesting recent posts and associated graphics on automobile driving deaths—one from the WSJ and the other from The Economist. Graphics below:

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