Thursday, September 26, 2013

20130926 Links: debt ceiling; noses; interview with Spain's PM; why do we work so much; the Sagrada Familia

1. Americans think that the raising the debt ceiling should not be unconditional, by Bloomberg (hat tip to Tyler Cowen at MR). I agree with Tyler: it's time to elect a new people.

2. Man gets a new nose grown on his forehead, from BBC news. His original nose was damaged, so surgeons grew a new one. It will be transplanted to its usual location soon.

3. Rare interview of Spain's prime minister Rajoy with the media. Sara Eisen from Bloomberg speaks with him about the economy and about the corruption scandal facing his party.

Here's Bloomberg's highlights of the interview, mostly about the economy. El País zeroes in his comments (in Spanish) about the Bárcenas case.

4. The Economist interviews the Skidelskys (father and son). (Skidelsky Sr. is an authority on John M. Keynes). They talk about Keynes' prediction that by 2030, given reasonable expectations for economic growth, we would be productive enough that we only would need to work 15 hours a week. Although 2030 is still quite a few years ago, most people would agree that his prediction will be quite a bit off the mark. Why do we work so much? The Skydelskys, who published a book on the subject, point out to concern for relative wealth, as well as the fact that, even though the average standard of living has risen a lot since Keynes' day, the standard of living of a lot of people is still rather low. in a large chunk of the income distribution has risen at lot less (i.e. inequality has increased).

5. What will the Sagrada Familia temple look like when it's finished? By 2026, and if the construction workers work longer hours than Keynes thought they would, it might look like this:

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