Here are a few links from my catch-up reading this morning, from bloggers who were more productive than I was on Independence Day. You’ll see that the common theme is public spending.
- More mind-boggling infrastructure spending in China – a shopping mall and indoor entertainment complex that’s three times as large as the Pentagon (h/t Marginal Revolution). Here’s a YouTube tour for more (source of the picture above). As a reminder, the last building billed as the “Great Mall of China” remains 99% vacant.
- Do elected officials have the right to use public funds for charitable purposes? Here’s an oft-shared perspective from Davy Crockett and Horatio Bunce. It may not be 100% accurate, but it’s a great story.
- James Hamilton put together the broadest estimate of our government’s off-balance sheet liabilities that I’ve seen. In addition to the commonly-estimated Social Security and Medicare liabilities, he adds up financial commitments for mortgage programs, student loans, deposit insurance, the Federal Reserve Bank, civil service/military retirement benefits and veterans’ medical benefits.
- Health care spending folly in Quebec. (Access to the full paper requires a payment or NBER account but I include anyway for those interested in the ADHD/Ritalin controversy.)