Links for 8/20/10

About that withdrawal from Iraq

An economically sensible take on local food on the NYT op/ed page? It’s true. Stephen Budiansky suggests that the energy used in transporting food should be the least of our worries.

Conor Friedersdorf loses faith that conservatives will ever do anything to meaningfully shrink government, feels more at home with the pragmatic libertarianism of Reason and Cato.

Steven Pearlstein does some back-of-the-envelope math to show that privatizing liquor could make fiscal sense for Virginia.

More smoking ban regret: 42% of Michigan restaurants report reduced sales since the statewide ban took effect.

Cigar smokers are finding new enclaves in London. British Airways tells you where to light up in luxury.

A poem written by a bear.


2 thoughts on “Links for 8/20/10”

  1. Wait, sales are declining during a recession in Michigan? Stop the presses!

    Seriously, though, I’m not sure the data support blaming the drying up of sales on the smoking ban. There are too many other factors that could be blamed, especially in that part of the country. You’d be better off looking at Northern VA since its smoking ban, since the region as a whole has generally been growing ever since.

  2. @Jeff: I agree that it’s not definitive proof, but it is suggestive. I think the best measure is not to look at regions as a whole at all, but rather at differentials in different kinds of establishments (food-oriented restaurants vs. drink-oriented bars, for example).

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