Some interesting articles

January 4, 2004


Have done lots of reading in the last couple of days. Some interesting articles;

Article in the New York Times about a program in Brazil, Mexico and other countries whereby parents are paid by the Government to have their kids go to school. The program seems to be a success. Venezuela had a program called “la beca escolar” but it was tied to the kid being registered to school not actually for attending, like in these programs. This program was created in 1990 and eliminated by Hugo Chavez for reasons that nobody really understands.


Two great speeches by Michael Crichton which I learn about via Instapundit. The first one is extremely good and is called “Aliens cause Global Warming” and it is about how bad science or science that is not proven get a lot of play if properly “sold” for political reasons and many become standard fare in the media. The second one is about the amount of unsubstantiated speculation in the media which is useless and unjustified. Reading the first article made me realize that if bad science can get so much play because of political interests, then there is very little hope that good economics will get the required attention from politicians that are just trying to get their hands on power. I find politicians here (Pro and against Chavez) have or have had very little interest in economics. To most of them economics is not even in the top five of their priorities and most of them truly believe that they can improvise economic policy and that economics is closer to art than science. In any case, Mr. Crichton proves that he is not only a great fiction writer, but also a thinker. Enjoy!


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