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Fiat currency stinks...

...and Bangladeshis are finding out the hard way.

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's currency notes have become so dirty that even fishmongers reckon they stink too much to use.

The central bank wants to replace the notes and is threatening to deny branch licenses to banks that refuse to cooperate.

Superintendent fails English test

The state of public school education never ceases to surprise me. Joanne Jacobs points to this article about school superintendent Wilfredo T. Laboy who gets paid over $150,000 a year but cannot seem to manage to pass a basic English literacy test when given three chances. Quoting the whole thing for posterity's sake:

August 03, 2003

Mass. School Superintendent Fails Test


Futile attempt at a meme-hack

You know you're doing something right when Nazis try to steal your identity.

Parents as evaluators of school quality

In response to a question posed by Arnold Kling on Econolog about the ability of parents to judge school quality, newish blogger Nublius gives the following answer:

"sufficiently qualified to judge school quality"?

Are they sufficiently qualified to judge the quality of a car engine, or a computer chip?

The neat thing about free markets is that they tend to reward success and punish failure.

Kobe Bryant never should have been a role model


When Charles Barkley said, "I am not a role model," I became his biggest fan. I had grown weary of parents, yes parents, complaining that people on television whom they had never met were not being a good example for their kids. How they imagined they could peer across the television screen into the souls of the athletes to truly know them as suitable candidates for their kids' adoration was beyond my understanding. Read more »

Economics comic books

Did you know that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York publishes comic books to teach kids economics?

The New York Fed started producing comic books in the late 1950s as a way to explain what the Federal Reserve is and how it functions. Over time, the concept has expanded to cover topics such as check writing, consumer credit, foreign trade and foreign exchange rates -- all issues related to Fed activities.

The pain-killer war

From the Modesto Bee:

If you oppose using your tax dollars to persecute doctors who, because of the bizarre fixations of our drug warriors, can legally prescribe morphine for minor surgical pain but cannot prescribe a much safer drug to relieve the agony of terminal cancer patients, let your elected representatives know. Of all the excesses and absurdities of the drug war, the federal government's persecution of medical marijuana is perhaps the most barbaric and indefensible.

Are we simply victims of hope and hype?

Scanning the Washington Post today, I ran across an opinion column by Shannon Brownlee on the manner in which medical information is conveyed to the public by the mainstream media. The piece is highly critical of the way journalists report so-called medical 'breakthroughs' giving false hope to patients.

The ads aren't selling a product; they're selling hope.

The culture at NASA

An investigator of the space shuttle Columbia disaster warns that the culture at NASA needs a dramatic change to prevent future tragedies.

The "same faulty reasoning" that led to the 1986 Challenger accident also led to Columbia, said Douglas Osheroff, one of the 13 board members wrapping up the report on the Columbia accident.

'Volunteer' program needs $100 million 'infusion'

How anyone can call a federal program that pays its 50,000 part-time employees $4725 per year and runs a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars taken by force from the American public a 'volunteer' program with a straight face is beyond my understanding. Read more »

Giving vs. sharing

The Mises Blog points to two additions to Walter Block's Libertarian Autobiographies Archive - one from Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard and the other from James V. Schall. I enjoyed the distinction between giving and sharing that Schall points out, the former being contingent on the existence of property rights, whereas the latter is contingent on their absence.

More on reimportation of drugs

The issue of drug reimportation is one that I have been trying to come to grips with. Ultimately, it boils down the question - How should one government, in this case the US government, if such a government acted ethically, respond to another government's tampering with the free market? I cannot help but conclude that more tampering is ultimately a bad idea.

Listening to the talking heads on television, it is clear that neither the left nor the right is framing the question this way. As Jude Blanchette states: Read more »

Cowen on gold

Marginal cost and price

James V. DeLong has a column up at TCS criticizing the ridiculous notion that the "price of a good should equal its marginal cost." Such a viewpoint completely ignores the underlying capital investment costs necessary for production to occur. [Found via The American Mind]

An end to easy-riders

Steve Verdon of Deinonychus antirrhopus has the low-down on effect of the new legislation that would allow the importation of price-capped drugs from overseas.

Sure if things don't change people will re-import the drugs at a lower price and the drug companies will lose money. So, they will do one of two things.

• Raise their prices in other countries.