10/16/20 Power Five

1. China’s Qingdao Tests Nine Million in Five Days – After a small outbreak, China somehow deployed enough tests, public outreach, and logistics to test a whole city. Meanwhile in the U.S…

2. The Town That Went Feral – “This is the so-called Free Town Project, a venture wherein a group of libertarian activists attempted to take over a tiny New Hampshire town, Grafton, and transform it into a haven for libertarian ideals—part social experiment, part beacon to the faithful, Galt’s Gulch meets the New Jerusalem. These people had found one another largely over the internet, posting manifestos and engaging in utopian daydreaming on online message boards. While their various platforms and bugbears were inevitably idiosyncratic, certain beliefs united them: that the radical freedom of markets and the marketplace of ideas was an unalloyed good; that “statism” in the form of government interference (above all, taxes) was irredeemably bad. Left alone, they believed, free individuals would thrive and self-regulate, thanks to the sheer force of “logic,” “reason,” and efficiency.” Soon the town slowly eroded, and new neighbors moved in – black bears.

3. 401k Fees Are Eating Your Retirement – It’s a great time to be a middleman, not so great for the worker trying to plan for retirement. “With more than $5.5 trillion invested in 401(k) plans, cutting costs to savers by even 0.4% would add more than $20 billion annually to the nest eggs of American workers.

4. Constitutional Originalism – Written several years ago, this history remains extremely relevant with the latest Supreme Court appointee, Amy Coney Barrett. “No doubt historians investigate a plethora of historical meanings, often privileging exactly the kinds of subjective intents and understandings that public meaning originalists disparage—such as, for instance, the authorial intent that shaped a text’s production, the intellectual purposes that a text served, or the broader intellectual or cultural context from which a text emerged. But that choice is irrespective of knowing how to think historically. If the goal happens to be deciphering the public meaning of a historical text, then this foundational historical skill remains every bit as essential. The reason why is what originalists’ favored keyword searches (detailed above) fail to take into account: that, as Bernard Bailyn has put it, ‘the past is a different world.’”

5. After a 7-Month Wait, This Tourist Got Machu Picchu All to Himself – “Mr. Katayama’s original pass was scheduled for March 16, and he arrived two days before, at Aguas Calientes, a town at the foot of the mountain. But two days turned into weeks and then months. He rented a small apartment in the town and passed the time taking daily yoga classes, teaching local children how to box, and studying for various fitness and sports nutrition certification exams.”

The Economist