A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Betterargues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.
Maybe it's scientists that have more fun. The blog Out of Context Science suggests that, anyway; they post one short phrase that, without any explanation, just sounds more interesting than what the rest of us are doing. [via Miss Cellania]
As always, we hope you'll share an awesome link or two in the comments. No context required.
In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.
Cows and horses, you may finally have some relief from all those insects. A new report says a catnip oil-based repellant can keep 99 percent of bugs away... for three hours, at least. (The researchers are looking for a way to make the treatment last longer.)
In the Twitterverse it's not enough to find just the right word - with only 140 characters, you have to find just the right short word. As its name suggests, Thsrs is a site that'll help you swap out a word that's, um, protracted, with a shorter one.
And no, Thsrs doesn't give a three letter word for antidisestablishmentarianism, but I wouldn't hold that against it. [Presurfer]
Groupon – Well that didn’t go well. Groupon’s ads were apparently intended to poke fun at celebrities taking on causes, or something, but they came off as convoluted bordering on offensive and there was a huge backlash on Twitter. The goal here was to introduce Groupon to the mainstream, and unfortunately it’s not the best first impression they could have made.