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What We're Reading
Around the Web in Six Clicks

Happy Friday from The American Interest! Here are a few links we think it’s worth taking the time to read this morning:

1. This story about guacamole will change everything

2. Everyone is getting into drones these days

3. No seriously, everyone

4. The politics of dog parks

5. Pike-killing tadpoles

6. Anne Applebaum: Russia’s Western Enablers

Remember to post your own links in the comments below.

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  • free_agent

    In regard to the Western financial system accepting Russian dirty money, hasn’t the historical pattern been that the financial system never cares where money comes from unless the government compels it to, and in those rare cases, it’s because the government wants to clamp down on some criminal activity that it genuinely cares about? As of a couple of weeks ago, Western governments (like their voters) didn’t really care about Russian kleptocracy.

    • victoria wilson – mn

      Not too long ago Via Media distinguished two types of poverty: poverty A concerned itself with material wellbeing such as paying rent and maintaining a car, whereas poverty B referred to social poverty, a lack of education, networks and so on. Perhaps this same structure is implied in the value of the Russian investment opportunities. There is value A in the pure monetary sense you describe. And then there is value B in the social implications of abetting known criminals. But how do we account for value B so it can be evaluated in the grand scheme of things?

      • Andrew Allison

        It’s called human nature, and you can’t account for it by pretending that it’s benign.

        • victoria wilson – mn

          You are absolutely right that it is in our nature to be greedy, but it is also in our nature to be gracious. I think it is easy to show where consumers forgo greed over grace. Products produced by child labor or in substandard factories that crumble are not always
          marketable. I think you can even account for people’s propensity to favor say a cleaner environment. Anyone who has vacationed at a Caribbean resort hotel has undoubtedly seen a little tent notecard on the bedroom pillow that appeals to environmentally conscious travelers. It asks to consider the
          effect of detergent in the water system when deciding if it is absolutely necessary to have clean bed sheets every day. As long as the consumer evaluates that they are not inconvenienced, then the hotel saves a cleaning expense. This savings is accountable in the traditional
          spreadsheet sense.

          • Andrew Allison

            Thank you for your thoughtful, and courteous response. I fear that I may be too old, and have seen to much, to accept that it is in the nature of most of us to be gracious. It’s not a question of whether consumers elect to forgo greed, but whether those who acquire power do so. Exhibit A: the fact that more than half our so-called “representatives” have become millionaires. Exhibit B: the excesses of the former President of Ukraine. Exhibit C: WalMart. Let’s not even get into the AGW scam. Need I continue? The sad truth is that power and it’s ability to deliver below-cost goods to those who enable it are corrupt.

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