Copenhagen Consensus 2008 Results: Vitamin/Mineral Supplements Came Up As Top Priority.

I previously posted about the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus process HERE.

The 2008 process is now complete and the panel
[which included 5 Nobel laureate members] considering various options to spend $75 Billion over a 4 year period came out with their list of the top 30 priorities. You can see the list of 2008 priorities they chose HERE; the logic for the top priority reads like this:

"Providing micronutrients for 80% of the 140 million children who lack essential vitamins in the form of vitamin A capsules and a course of zinc supplements would cost just $60 million per year, according to the analysis. More importantly, this action holds yearly benefits of more than $1 billion.

In effect, this means that each dollar spent on this program creates benefits (in the form of better health, fewer deaths, increased future earnings, etc) worth more than 17 dollars."


State Assertion of Copyright for Oregon Revised Statutes.

A battle simmering for the last couple of months looks like it will reach a new stage in June. The battle is over the State of Oregon's attempt to assert copyright over the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Complainants include Justia and PublicResource.Org, which also includes in their post on this topic a "Paper Trail" of many of the documents associated with this issue.

A summary of the battle to date can be found at Ars Technica HERE.

While a court filing is possible in early June, Oregon seems to be backing off a bit with a letter last week HERE, requesting that the complaintants present their objections to a legislative committee in mid June.


Copenhagen Consensus to Rank Cost/Benefits Of Solving Global Problems Next Week.

Interesting WSJ story HERE about effort to rank cost/benefits of solving a wide range of global problems. Effort is called Copenhagen Consensus; Wikipedia page about Copenhagen Consensus, with all of the usual caveats and a current focus on earlier conference held in 2004, is HERE.

Another story HERE reports on findings of one related study about cost/benefits on war on terrorism.

Copenhagen Consensus 2008 web site is HERE. (Appears that 2008 conclusions will be announced next week, look for additional news stories then).


GI Education Bill Benefit Now 54% Below Inflation Adjusted Vietnam Era Benefit.

As a strong supporter and prior user of the GI educational benefit, I have been interested in the growing political battle over the GI Bill, S.22. Senator McCain has opposed the expansion of benefits that this bill will provide while many other Congressional members support the expansion.

I went back and looked at the cost levels for S.22, as detailed by the Congressional Budget Office. Their estimate HERE is that the average benefit cost would be $90,000 for 36 months of benefits--4 years of college.

I then went back and constructed a table HERE showing what education benefits would be if Vietnam era benefit levels were adjusted, using the rate of college tuition inflation since 1970.

Three Conclusions:
  1. Current GI educational benefit levels are 54% below what they would be if they were at the same level of benefits available to Vietnam era veterans, after adjusting for tuition inflation.
  2. S. 22 benefits levels are somewhat more generous than called for by tuition inflation alone. Using CBO's benefit estimate of $90,000, the benefit provided by S.22 would be about 8% more--nearly $9,000 more- than what Vietnam era benefit levels would be adjusted through 2007 for tuition inflation.
  3. After inflation adjustments for 2008 are added, the proposed benefit levels in S. 22 are only marginally higher than they should be if they were adjusted only for tuition inflation since 1990.


Oregon Congressional Members Net Worth--Smith Net Worth 85 Times Wu's.

From Sunlight Foundation, new website shows net worth for Oregon congressional delegation HERE.

Gordon Smith is # 1 with net worth of more than $23 M.
David Wu is last with net worth of $272k.
Average families net worth $93k

Note: Sort of ALL members of Congress by net worth available HERE.

Highest net worth is by one of women members of Congress, Jane Harman from California, with a net worth of more than $409 million.