Thursday, January 31, 2008

Update and a Book Review

State of the Union

I was pleased to hear the President continue his support for Health Savings Accounts. He’s a lame duck and the Democratic controlled Congress is likely to do nothing about them, but at least he’s keeping the concept in the public eye. I was also pleased that he made a stand on earmarks. I wrote recently about the corrupting influence of earmarks a few weeks ago. If, like me, you happened to send an e-mail through the link I gave voicing your support to the executive order to ignore the earmarks, take note that you may have made a small difference.

Book Review

I was planning to suggest a few books that I have read since Christmas, but 3 of 4 were not easy reads. For one of them, I have had to wear out and wikipedia to explain all the terms. However, I read Freedomnomics by Economist Dr. John Lott. This book was a pretty easy read and I found some of the information jaw dropping. His specialty is crime and punishment and Chapter 4, which focuses on that, just blew me away. It really showed how conventional wisdom is flat out wrong when you look at the data on crime.

On a personal note, I sent him an e-mail to ask a question about an op-ed he wrote for From time to time I write more famous people to ask them a question or send a rebuttal, but I never hear back. Well, Dr. Lott not only e-mailed me back, but took the time to further explain his position. Even more, I sent the e-mail late in the evening and he replied by 6:30 the next morning. Wow! I think it says a lot about Dr. Lott, given that he wrote a top selling book and op-eds to the biggest names in media, but still takes the time to answer questions from average people.

His book is available at, but I checked it out from my local library.

Read the book, and as always, let me know what you think.

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