Martin Wolf on the Legacy of Gordon Brown
Winston Churchill Liveblogs World War II: May 15, 1940

links for 2010-05-14

  • H: "In other words: the detainees, having been interrogated by people pretending to be lawyers, asked for proof that the attorneys assigned to represent them were who they said they were; the attorneys got this proof; and then the government both dragged its feet about clearing it and said that if the detainees didn't agree to be represented by these attorneys, with or without the proof, they would forfeit their right to counsel."
  • BB: "To be sure, the means by which revenues are raised is critical. Raising income tax rates more than already projected would be a bad idea, although new research by Anthony Atkinson and Andrew Leigh suggests that there is still a lot of potential revenue available from taxing the rich even accounting explicitly for Laffer Curve effects. The IMF suggests—and I agree—that it would nevertheless be preferable to raise additional revenue by taxing consumption. The best way of doing so would be by imposing a value-added tax. The IMF estimates that 10 percent VAT could raise revenues equal to 4.5 percent of GDP. If we don’t raise the additional revenue that is inevitably going to be raised in this way, it is a certainty that it will be raised in ways that will be far more debilitating to growth."
  • JG: "Apple is testing whether a tightly controlled and managed app console platform will succeed or fail based on its own merits, as determined by customers. There are different levels of competition. Apple has made its choice about how it wants to compete, and there’s nothing Adobe can do about it — other than proving Apple wrong by shipping compelling excellent software for Android."
  • MY: "Austerity not working out so well for Spain.... I don’t mean to deny the need for some governments to get their budget situations under control including, in the medium-term, the United States. But across the world, this only works if monetary authorities are taking vigorous measures to ensure growth.... I keep hearing that central banks are on the verge of losing their credibility as inflation fighters, but people should look at what’s actually going on. Nothing in the economy that would occur if there were inflation expectations is happening. Instead, you’re seeing the consequences of a belief that the future will hold anemic growth and flat-to-falling prices. US policy in this regard isn’t all it could be, but it’s much better than European or Japanese policy and consequently we’re going to do much better."
  • JG: "This is how the designers and engineers at Apple roll: They roll. They take something small, simple, and painstakingly well considered. They ruthlessly cut features to derive the absolute minimum core product they can start with. They polish those features to a shiny intensity. At an anticipated media event, Apple reveals this core product as its Next Big Thing, and explains—no, wait, it simply shows—how painstakingly thoughtful and well designed this core product is. The company releases the product for sale. Then everyone goes back to Cupertino and rolls. As in, they start with a few tightly packed snowballs and then roll them in more snow to pick up mass until they’ve got a snowman. That’s how Apple builds its platforms. It’s a slow and steady process of continuous iterative improvement—so slow, in fact, that the process is easy to overlook if you’re observing it in real time. Only in hindsight is it obvious just how remarkable Apple’s platform development process is."