An idea to simplify big economic numbers by using the idea of a nation-family: “For simplicity, the total money entering the [US] federal budget — call it “income” — has been scaled to be $100,000. Meanwhile…this hypothetical nation-family spends about $144,000 a year, exceeding the budget by about $44,000. Most of the expenditure goes to four big-ticket items: about $29,000 to pay for Social Security, $18,000 for Medicare, the same for Defense and around $14,000 for Medicaid.
NYT on historical fiction: “Part of the power of works of fiction set in our era comes from their familiarity. A present-day setting provides a recognizable foundation from which other less stable experiences might be productively explored: love, life, loss. But what happens when history emerges as the overwhelming force shaping the entire unstable narrative of now?”
Lord Acton: “Who are a free people? Not those over whom government is reasonably and equitably exercised; but those who live under a government so constitutionally checked and controlled that proper provision is made against its being otherwise exercised.” [via CafeHayek]