"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" -JMK
- Paul Krugman argues that one of the problems Europe is facing is that it doesn't have a unified fiscal policy regime to match its unified monetary regime. Greg Mankiw offers the case of early America, which had a unified monetary regime but no unified fiscal authority. Paul Krugman responds that that didn't always work out so well. While they weren't in on this particular exchange, the folks over at Coordination Problem recently suggested that you don't want either.
- Scary thought about the prospect of authoritarian regimes making headway in Europe as a result of the debt crisis. For those of you not familiar with the "PIIGS" nomenclature, it stands for "Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain", the five most troubled countries in Europe right now.
- Jonathan Finegold Catalan offers a primer on Praxeology.
- Matthew Yglesias offers a primer on the European Central Bank.
- Not an enormous story, but this really struck me this morning. I recently finished reading Bertrand Russell's Freedom vs. Organization, and one of the things he highlights when he covers the period immediately following the Napoleonic Wars is how powerful the Catholic Church was in Europe, and what enormous sway it held over monarchs and emperors, even into the 19th century. Simply restricting ourselves to the secular role that the Church used to play, it's amazing to see the transformation wrought by Liberalism. Not two centuries ago the Church was one of the prime movers behind the greatest regime in Europe. Not to trivialize the issue, but would a bishop resign over having slapped around a few kids decades prior? It's an incredible change. Not too long ago, the Pope was a major influence on the movement of armies that shaped the face of Europe. Now, officials are resigning essentially over past administration of corporal punishment. It's easy to turn that hierarchy into something monstrous given the recent sex abuse scandals. But when I look at it from another angle, all I can think is "oh how the mighy have fallen".
- Neat pictures from Europe's new deep-space telescope.
Nothing to see here, move along!
15 minutes ago