In headcold hell today, but am starting to go stir crazy to do *something* despite my thickheadedness. Thus for your enjoyment here are some links without the big insightful posts I’d intended to write (for weeks now, alas).
Economic news to make you gnash your teeth: Bush tax cuts make balancing budget impossible in 2007 through 2010. The trend beyond 2010 is even more scary, particularly when you look at the comparison between that lost revenue and benefits through Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. I am still rather unclear on what exactly these "conservatives" are supposed to be conserving; smells like bad fiscal management to me.
More pleasing economic historical analysis from Nicholas Wade, "In Dusty Archives, a Theory of Affluence" which anyone interested in the transition from traditional economies to industrial ones will find thought-provoking.