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What We’re Reading | November 2, 2012

Article by Jacqueline Lowe February 1, 2013 //   4 minute read
China Blocks Web Access to Times After Article The New York Times reported this week that the Chinese government blocked access in both English and Chinese to a web article concerning the wealth accumulated by the prime minister. According to the New York Times, “China maintains the world’s most extensive and sophisticated system for Internet censorship, employing tens of thousands of people to monitor what is said, delete entries that contravene the country’s extensive and unpublished regulations and even write new entries that are favorable to the government.” The Times joins other sites such as Bloomberg and Google in being censored by the Chinese government, who had no comment regarding the blocked article. “Publication of the article about Mr. Wen and his family comes at a delicate time in Chinese politics, during a year in which factional rivalries and the personal lives of Chinese leaders have come into public view to a rare extent and drawn unprecedented international interest.” Read more here. Why Keynesian Economics Died Ike Brannon writes for the 4% Growth Project that “The Keynesian model seemed to work marvelously in the 1950s and 1960s, and economists at the time believed that judicious use of fiscal and monetary policy would put an end to the business cycle…by the 1970s the Keynesian model ceased being able to explain the macro economy.” Brannon points out “Rather than trying to stimulate aggregate demand to smooth out the business cycle — a focus of macroeconomists since the great depression — economists started thinking about what the government can do to stimulate aggregate supply and encourage long-term economic growth.” Read more about how Keynesian economics died and who predicted its demise from Brannon here. Disasters Create Bigger, Not Better, Government In her latest Bloomberg column, 4% Project Director Amity Shlaes takes a look at the role the federal government has played in infrastructure and disaster relief. Shlaes shows the large role of private industry and local authorities in past disasters and the creation or improvement of infrastructure, specifically the building of the Holland Tunnel. Shlaes points out, “It’s important, though, to remember that the only reason voters or politicians place so much faith in Washington is that they can scarcely remember a time when the federal government wasn’t the rescuer. And that doesn’t mean the past never happened, even in the Holland Tunnel.” Bush Center In the News Both the Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press talked with Mrs. Bush this week about the landscaping at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  “A 15-acre park at the upcoming George W. Bush Presidential Center will recreate a Texas prairie, complete with a wildflower meadow, a new blend of native grasses and even trees transplanted from the former president's ranch.” Read more from Mrs. Bush about the grounds of the Bush Center, set to open this spring. She told the reporters, “We wanted to have this fit into a Dallas landscape, into a Texas landscape.”