Blaming China for global cooling.
How much did the Marshal Plan cost?: "Roughly $13bn was paid out in the European Recovery Program (the Marshall plan's official name) and this proved indispensable in laying the foundations for the "miracle" of sustained economic growth in the decade that followed. This $13bn amounted to some 5% of America's national income in 1948. (The equivalent sum for the EU today would be in excess of $800bn.) The US wrote off prewar French debts; everyone wrote down Berlin's a few years later, even though they had just struggled through a war started by the Germans."
Unemployment fraud: "In the 12 months through March, the overpayment rate was 11.6% — more than $1 for every $9 paid out, Labor Department figures show."
Wealthy colleges (charging you more).
The costs of disclosing political activity.
10 years of drug decriminalization in Portugal (amazing): The number of addicts considered "problematic" -- those who repeatedly use "hard" drugs and intravenous users -- had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.
China vs. Taiwan: "The Chinese people do not need communist rule to prosper. We can see that plainly enough 112 miles across the Taiwan Strait. Under the rule of the Nationalist Party, the 23 million people of Taiwan made the transition from military rule to a lively, multiparty democracy with freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. Behind liberal economic reforms dating back to the 1960s, the Taiwanese people have achieved a per capita gross domestic product (at purchasing power parity) that is four and a half times greater than on the mainland—$35,700 vs. $7,600."
The rest of this is a great article about the muni pension crisis, but this is what I found most useful: "Compensation, including wages and benefits, accounts for just 30 percent of state general-fund expenditures, the National Governors Association reports—which makes sense, since states also spend money on programs in which worker pay isn’t the main expense, such as Medicaid."