Links: New Cowen book, Brexit blues, the horror of public sector unions, cures for cancer, the state of the union and more!

* A new Tyler Cowen book is coming out in February; the link goes to the post describing the book (and how to get a free book) and here is a direct Amazon link to The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

* “Brexit Blues,” the best piece on this topic I’ve read, and one of the better for describing Trump. It reminds me of the saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Ignorance is expensive in voters round the globe right now.

* “It takes way too long to build new housing in expensive cities.”

* This is why people in the know vehemently opposed public-sector unions: “A Metro worker blamed for falsifying records about the tunnel fans that failed during last year’s deadly smoke incident near L’Enfant Plaza has been granted his job back by an arbitration panel — and Metro’s largest union has just filed a lawsuit against Metro because the worker hasn’t been reinstated yet.” Or see “How police unions actually hurt police officers.” Unfortunately, it looks like the Supreme Court will not save us. Still, it is odd that the left favors public sector unions, since those very unions make the public sector less efficient and more prone to right-wing attacks.

* “How The Cures For Cancer Snuck Up On Us,” good news all round.

* “A Republican intellectual explains why the Republican Party is going to die;” it is hard to say whether the consequences will be very bad, very good, or somewhere in between. The current Republican Party is bad for democracy, the U.S., and itself.

* “How The West Was Won,” which is actually about how and why “Western” culture took over the world because a) it’s popular and b) it’s not so much Western per se as the result of technologically oriented development.

* The pre-order page for Tom Wolfe’s new novel, The Kingdom of Speech. If Wolfe writes it you ought to read it.

* “Apple’s China Problem Is That Local Phones are Good — and Cheap.” I’d expect this to become more of a “problem” for manufacturers and good news for phone users over time, as the market saturates.

* “Why Police Cannot Be Trusted to Police Themselves,” a point that seems increasingly obvious.

* “A Conversation with Michael Orthofer” is the latest conversation with Tyler, and as always it is excellent. This describes me: “A lot of people come away from travel alienated. They don’t always enjoy travel. They may vaguely feel it was good for them. They had to make too many decisions, and they argue with each other.” I think few people who live in big interesting cities know their homes well, and I also think that loneliness / disconnection / anomie is a bigger problem for most people than the marginal trip / vacation, especially now that U.S. airport security theater is so bad.

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