Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quotes of the day

Women are gradually becoming more attractive in an evolutionary ‘beauty race’, according to scientific research. Beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts, and a higher proportion of those children are girls, a study claims. These daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so the pattern continues.--Lucy Ballinger

For the first time in 30 years, officials in the [China's] economic capital have urged eligible parents to plan for a second child. The move was prompted by the growing demographic imbalance in the city and fears that the younger generation will not be able to support the aging population. The one-child system, where all pregnancies are monitored and sometimes terminated by order, was enforced to control a population that is the largest in the world at more than 1.3 billion. --Jane Macartney

For all the talk this year about the Chinese refusing to buy U.S. bonds, the real story is about the People’s Republic of China’s failure to find buyers for the equivalent of $1.7 billion of its debt because too many investors showed no interest at auctions that would be considered disastrous if their outcomes were repeated on Wall Street.--Lilian Karunungan and Shanthy Nambiar

For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement. --Martin Feldstein

Once we've got a comprehensive national health care plan, what are the government's incentives? I think they're bad, for the same reason the TSA is bad. I'm afraid that instead of Security Theater, we'll get Health Care Theater, where the government goes to elaborate lengths to convince us that we're getting the best possible health care, without actually providing it. ... Now, maybe government institutions could be made to produce innovations; I certainly think it's worth trying Dean Baker's suggestion that we should let the government try to set up an alternate scheme for drug discovery. Prizes also seem promising. But I want to see them work first, not after we've permanently broken the system. The one industry where the government is the sole buyer, defense, does not have an encouraging record of cost-effective, innovative procurement. ... Living a fit, active life is correlated with being healthier. But then, as an economist recently pointed out to me, so is being religious, being married, and living in a small town; how come we don't have any programs to promote these "healthy lifestyles"? --Megan McArdle

They told me if I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, we’d get four more years of K Street lobbyists running in and out of the Oval Office — and they were right!--Stephen Green

We believe that there are important differences among the college majors in world views and overall philosophies of life....," they write. "[O]ur results suggest that postmodernism, rather than science, is the bĂȘte noir -- the strongest antagonist -- of religiosity.--Miles S. Kimball, Colter M. Mitchell, Arland D. Thornton, Linda C. Young-Demarco

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