Interesting Articles: Feb 28th-Mar 6th 2006

Real Estate:
* Endangered Species (New York Times). The freakonomics guys are at it again, this time exploring if being a real estate agent is as good as it seems given the large commissions and rising housing prices.
* Who Needs the Mortgage-Interest Deduction? (New York Times). An interesting to read history on the mortgage interest deduction. (In short, there is less intentionality behind it than what you thought, and it doesn't quite have the consequences you thought.) I'm slightly bothered by the article talking about larger mortgages get a larger deduction and claiming the tax is regressive without going into more details about it works on a percentage basis relative to mortgage or income size.
* Home Economics (New York Times). A article -clearly (as judging by the focus) was written by a humanities person and not a scientist- that explores the influencers to the supply side of the housing market (e.g., zoning restrictions).

* The End of Dollar Hegemony (speech by Congressional Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas)). An informative and interesting read, it provides a history of monetary policy, especially focusing on 20th century U.S. policy, and then attempts to relate the policy (in possibly questionable ways) to current international politics.

* Irreconcilable Differences (New York Times). A book review on a book that explores how genetics and the environment interact. I took a class that covered this in depth so this review is nothing new to me, but it was fun to read and think about it again.

* Schools Avoid Class Ranking, Vexing Colleges (New York Times). Despite this coming up repeatedly in everyone's (including my) academic life, I don't have a strong opinion on it. Do you?

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