The real solution is growth: MIT economist points out that even a 1% increase in U.S. growth would obviate the need for spending cuts. "We should not take our eye off the really important ball: economic growth and the innovation process that underpins it." How to do it? Reform patents, attract highly skilled immigrants, and lure the smart kids away from finance. (Harvard Business Review)
Dictators' wives: what gives? Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the smart, educated, cosmopolitan women who "enthusiastically join the firm and at times become more avaricious and tyrannical than their men." "How does Asma now look at the face of her husband Bashar without wanting to spit at it? Yes, love can be blind to many faults -- an ugly nose, baldness, perhaps stupidity, greed too -- but to wholesale murder?" (The Independent)
Cincinnati: Long, thoughtful essay on Cincinnati, a great town no one ever thinks about. Reviews, among other things, the history of Cincinatti riots. "Every Cincinnatian my age can probably remember a social studies teacher or parent, flush with civic pride, saying “You know, the Russians pointed a missile at us too.” (n+1, which has a series on U.S. cities)
Where children sleep: Extraordinary photo project pairs portraits of children with photos of where they sleep; features kids from around the world, from New Jersey to the slums of Rio. A must-see. (via Kottke)
The red and the black: Chart shows which states pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal programs, and vice versa. Discover who's contributing and who's freeloading, and draw your own conclusions. (The Economist)
Pickup lines that went unnoticed: "Hi. My name is Gerald. I’ll be your waiter.” (McSweeney's Internet Tendency)
"We were not found wanting": Memo from the Administrator of Parkland Memorial Hospital, where JFK and Oswald died, to its staff. This is how you write a memo! (Letters of Note)
[Image: Eva Perón.]
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.