How much of a difference does it make to a country to have a more productive workforce, good technology, good financing and low corruption? European surveys show that Greeks are considered the least hardworking people in the other European countries, but the Greeks actually work longer hours. The analysis suggests that shorter work hours correlate with other things that lead to higher prosperity.

  • Radley Balko has a story that shows (once again) the problems that develop when police are militarized and given free rein to use SWAT teams with no cause. Four years ago, a Connecticut police chief wanted to raid a man’s home. He got a tip — with a woman using a fake name — that there was cocaine use going on in the man’s house. The SWAT team hit the home, complete with flash-bang grenades and all of their usual toys. One of their own grenades struck one of the raiding officers, so he yelled that he was hit — causing all the other officers to shoot to death the unarmed man inside. The story will make you angry if you care anything about rights.
  • There’s a new study from Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute arguing that if Canada could cut government spending, the U.S. government can do the same. (PDF) We’re skeptical it’s political possible here, but the paper reviews Canada’s reforms since the 1980s, including free trade, privatization, spending cuts, sound money, corporate tax cuts, balanced federal budgets, block grants and decentralization in government.

  • The U.S. military is deploying fake rocks as weapons in Afghanistan. Well, sort of. The military is hiding thousands of sensors around the country, some of which are disguised as rocks. Many of these sensors will have small solar panels that are supposed to keep them operational without being attended for a couple of decades
  • If it makes you feel any better about the financial situation of you and your friends, the current bad economic times are also hitting high-powered lawyers. One of the biggest law firms in the country filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, bringing down a New York City firm which once employed about 1,000 attorneys worldwide.
  • A missing 99-cent taco is going to cost an Ohio man some big money. The 23-year-old went through Taco Bell’s drive-through early Tuesday morning, but discovered after he pulled away from the window that he was missing a taco. So he did what any reasonable crazed lunatic would do. He rammed his truck into the front of the store to vent his anger. Police followed a trail of leaking auto fluids to find the man.