Daily News Wire 7/19/12

  • Apparently, Canada overtook the US in average net household wealth for the first time in history. Granted, much of that has to do with the effect of the 2007/2008 recession, which struck the US much harder and has lingered for far longer. But does that mean the Canadians are on to something when they balance American-style capitalism with a European-style welfare state?  They even manage to rank higher in economic freedom, in spite of the higher taxes and larger state.
  • While we’re on the subject…all this talk about American decline and being outdone by other countries has lead to more doubts about our historically high sense of Exceptionalism. Is the United States an exceptional country?  If so, how so? Was American Exceptionalism once a historical fact, but now outdated? Or was it always a myth to begin with? Read the article and/or reflect on the questions yourselves.
  • Mitt Romney, for obvious reasons, seems keen on selling the idea that business experience is vital for the office of the presidency. Indeed, this isn’t just political posturing: he’s appealing to a widespread notion that working in the private sector can make you a better functionary in the public sector. But does that claim stand the test of empirical and historical evidence?
  • Meanwhile, Paul Krugman offers his own analysis of the claim that the financial industry is good for America. The evidence suggests that, at best, it does little to benefit the American economy, and at worse, the US has done worse since “financializing” it’s economy.
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