The best article I’ve read on the US economy recently is, of all places, in the New York Review of Books. It’s a review of books by two Nobel laureates, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, by two younger academics whose book Winner-Take-All Politics is one of the best things I’ve read this year so far. Their review blends their own incisive structural understanding of how messed up US government is—how corrupted by money and filibusters and related deep flaws and the way all these things feed on and reinforce widening economic inequality—with the brilliant economic analysis of Krugman and Stiglitz.

The article is surprisingly easy to read but you may want to read it twice to let the implications sink in. If this article were a piece of music, it would be Brahms, not Beyonce: a deeply important and lasting work, but not an instant hit.

And a wonk’s fantasy of how a carbon tax might come to be in the United States.

Eric dP:

Charles Marohn—a small-town fiscal conservative against sprawl—got me thinking at different angles about land use policy. (Thanks, Brice.)

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  • Linda V. Mapes has a nice post on the one-year mark of the Elwha Dam removal. It comes complete with an amazing bird photograph.

    Harris Meyer has a good piece on the emergent William O. Douglas trail in eastern Washington. (If you want my opinion, people in the Northwest should spend a lot more time talking about Douglas. He would make a great subject for your next biography, Tim Egan.)

    Bethany Jean Clement gets it right about Ray’s, the well-known seafood place in Seattle.

    Lindy West and Paul Constant had me laughing out loud with their geography lesson.

    The American Prospect takes a rather amusing jab at Newsweek.

    Washington State wants you to weigh in about transportation planning. So you should.


    “No amount of legislation can ensure that mothers will love their babies,” says Hrdy, Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She goes on to say that being female is often seen as synonymous with having and nurturing as many children as possible. It turns out that not every woman wants, needs, or should be expected to be a mother. An interesting read.


    The sentence which forms the greatest threat to the whole of Western civilization.

    Think you’re smart?  You probably are.  But still, there’s a very good chance that you’re tying your shoelaces wrong.

    A lesson from Philadelphia: more bicyclists means fewer bike accidents.

    As the number of bicyclists on Philadelphia streets has risen, cyclists and city officials have seen a counterintuitive result: The number of bike crashes and deaths has declined.

    This “safety in numbers” phenomenon has been documented elsewhere, and safety experts believe it is because motorists become more alert to cyclists when there are more of them.

    In bee colony collapse news: mystery solved?  The latest research suggests that the culprit is neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides related to nicotine.

    Lastly: If you’re poor, moving to a wealthier neighborhood can make you happier…even if it doesn’t boost your earnings or your kids’ educations. And here’s a readable summary from the New York Times.


    Once you’re done with your digital reading, stroll over to a Little Free Library for some more weekend reading. If you don’t find one in your neighborhood, you can build your own with the plans and tips on the website. These micro-libraries are a way for neighbors to share books and build community.

    A profile about a library in my neighborhood described it as a place where neighbors meet for the first time. The steward, Stacy Wright, says, “The books inside have turned over four or five times” since it was installed this summer. “It’s really fun when neighbors, especially the kids, leave notes inside the books about why they enjoyed a particular title.” The library concept reminds me of our inspiring photo essay a year ago about neighborhood art.

    Eric H:

    When is a calorie not a calorie? Most of the time.

    And the Symphony of Science tackles climate change: