Andy Kessler writes in the Journal today about how a commercial arrangement between companies producing complementary products (wireless service and wireless handsets) can shut out an innovative competitor which requires access to established infrastructure to provide a competing service.
One can’t really expect Goliath to feed David knowing full well what will happen in battle, but this reminds me of a paper I wrote while at NYU in 1996 about the impact packet switching technology would have on prices for long-distance telephone service. The paper looks sort of prescient after 12 years, since it predicted a sharp fall in prices and furious lobbying by wireline providers to restrict alternate voice providers access to call completion (i.e. the last mile).
Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post today about the similarities between Sarah Palin and Joe McCarthy. Cohen touches on the frequent and casual lying, the demagoguery and the constant demeaning of knowledge. It’s a comparison that occurred to me while reading Robert Caro’s excellent third volume on LBJ, which has a couple of chapters on Joe McCarthy.
Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn write in the NY Times about the impact the women’s rights and equality movement has had, and the long road ahead. Along the way they discuss female infanticide and the economic multiplier effect of educating girls. It’s a moving article, definitely worth a read.
Paul Krugman writes in today’s NY Times about the administration’s proposed health-care reform and how the insurance proposals mimic the Swiss system much more closely than they do the French or British.
The NY Times writes on the threat climate change may pose to Bombay, and the impact unrestrained development is having on the local ecology.
The WSJ has an article by Thomas Sugrue about America’s long fascination with home-ownership. It’s an illuminating piece and a good overview of the history of government supported home-ownership programs in the 20th century in the US, including some commentary on how certain populations were discriminated against. One aspect the article does not explore is how home-ownership reduces labor mobility and tends to increase commuting times, the Economist wrote on this subject not too long ago.
Jon Stewart takes on Glenn Beck’s inconsistencies. It’s the funniest bit you’ll see this month about the hypocritical posturing that some commentators have engaged in over health-care reform.
The NY Times Prescriptions blog writes on the brouhaha created when Investor’s Business Daily claimed Stephen Hawking (the disabled physicist) would have been uncared for under the British health-care system. Of course, Stephen Hawking is British and he had something to say about the NHS.
Atul Gawande and fellow contributors write about ten hospital systems in the US who consistently deliver better patient outcomes than their peers, and how their experience can help improve the delivery of health-care across the country.
It seems the Swiss decided to dump large quantities of ordinance into various alpine lakes after the end of World War II. The NY Times writes about how a fisherman will, every once in a while, snare a hand-grenade.