Five Best Monday Columns

Charles Koch on corporate cronyism, John Fund on "none of the above," Gerard Lemos on anxiety in China, Nate Silver on polling without all the data, and Jim Cooper and Alan I. Leshner on the seriousness of science.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Charles Koch in Wall Street Journal on corporate cronyism "Cronyism," where businesses curry favor with the government, "threatens the economic foundations that have made this the most prosperous country in the world," writes the CEO of Koch Industries. Businesses that get subsidies and mandates can drive out legitimate competitors and are uncompetitive in the long term. "By addressing corporate welfare as well as other forms of welfare, we would add a whole new level of understanding to the notion of entitlement reform."

John Fund in National Review on choosing "none of the above" An option for choosing "none of the above" candidates gets little respect and is only available in Nevada. But if NOTA were an option in more elections, it could move beyond symbolism and actually offer voters more power. Incumbents would have more to fear. "Disenchanted people could use NOTA to say, 'Give me a better choice.' Isn’t that one of the things American democracy should be all about?"

Gerard Lemos in The New York Times on the anxiety of the Chinese Lemos has been trying to figure out what ordinary Chinese people think by putting up "wish trees" for people to tie up their wishes and worries. His findings: from adults worried about income and health care to schoolboys concerned about finding a wife, "people had lost their optimism and were yearning for security and freedom from anxiety."

Nate Silver in The New York Times on polling without all the data Post-convention polls can be volatile, but suggestions to "wait for more data" misses the point of political forecasting The idea is to make predictions "when the information is murkier — either by (correctly) discerning a trend a few days before other methods do, or (just as importantly) by avoiding attaching too much significance to one based on flimsy evidence."

Jim Cooper and Alan I. Leshner in The Washington Post on the seriousness of science Politicians like to make fun of research projects that sound silly, but the truth is those "wacko" projects can actually improve quality of life. Cooper, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee, and Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, point out how research on jellyfish nervous systems, for example, led to increased understanding in Alzheimer's and cancer "Let’s honor our modern-day explorers," they write. "We need more of them. They deserve the last laugh."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.