This would be a head-scratcher anywhere but in California. Two years ago, state lawmakers passed legislation to expedite housing approval by exempting some projects from environmental lawsuits and zoning appeals. This legislation can cut the approval process by a decade or more and reduce costs enormously. So why is hardly anyone using it?
Until recently, data sets were small and costly, and computers were slow and expensive. So it is natural that as gains in computing power have dramatically reduced these impediments, economists have rushed to use big data and artificial intelligence to help them spot patterns in all sorts of activities and outcomes.
The picture above is of Bob Tollison. Steve Landsburg, true to form, has a provocative post in which he wonders if the increase in opioid deaths could be a good sign–a sign that people are celebrating their lives by using opioids. That’s not a hill I’m willing to die on–the argument or the opioids–but it’s an interesting point nevertheless.
Arye Carmon diagnoses the critical vulnerabilities at the heart of Israeli democracy and the obstacles to forming a sustainable national consciousness. The author merges touching narratives about his own life in Israel with insightful ruminations on the Jewish diaspora and the arc of Israel’s history, illuminating the conflicts between Jewish identities and between democratic values and the halacha—the collective body of Jewish religious laws.
Democrats have relied on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s coalition to control the White House and Congress for much of the past eight decades, with black voters being the most reliable bloc in the alliance.
One of the most remarkable things about China is how poorly understood it is, even by experts. By way of example, you probably think China has a president named Xi Jinping (習近平). Most people do. But actually, China doesn’t have a president. That title doesn’t exist in any official Chinese language documents or news reports.
The more things change, the French say, the more they remain the same. And in the case of the modern libo-progressive, that means when times are hard, when things aren’t turning out exactly the way you expected, when Adam Schiff really isn’t the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson, and Jerry Nadler doesn’t look much better, it’s time to return to that most familiar of security blankets, Mother Earth… in the form, of course, of climate change, né global warming, né bad weather.
Paytm wants to convert its payments bank into a small finance bank as that will allow it to lend to its consumers and build a more profitable growth model, the firm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma told TOI. This comes on the back of India Post Payments Bank waiting for the RBI approval to convert itself into a small finance bank, after finding the payments bank model unviable.