Economics: Repeating Rhymes

February 13, 2012

 Harpers Weekly,  1871 As Mark Twain famously didn’t say: “History may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes.”  There is something unfortunately close to doggerel here, when considering the nostrum that tax cuts and bailing out the wealthy improves the economy. Reviewing the Bush tax cuts and the current Republican candidate’s positions, recall Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s […]

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The Tea Party Gets it Right (Well…sort of….)

September 8, 2011

    Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder   Much is correct in the Tea Party’s position, but it lacks historical perspective. To clarify, consider the name of Wilkes-Barre, the Pennsylvania town, founded 1769. The name comes not from its founders but rather honors two men who fiercely supported the rights of Americans (who were then Englishmen) […]

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Dam the Economists!

August 17, 2011

  John Cochrane, meet the Hoover Dam I wonder if some economists, like some meteorologists, ever look out the window at the real world. Most of the time, there’s a lot of saltwater-vs.-freshwater-school-of-economics sniping going on, especially in the current crisis. Not much practical work is being done and the Chicago/freshwater economist folks are particularly […]

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Republicans raise taxes, increase spending and create thousands of jobs

June 13, 2011

I’m going to turn over most of this commentary to President Reagan.    I’d previously suggested that we need a government agency to protect historical integrity, but many members of Congress have gone too far in their obsession with deficits with total disregard for job creation, let alone maintaining national infrastructure.   In the current […]

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The Light in Rand Paul’s Bathroom

April 16, 2011

At a recent Department of Energy hearing, Rand Paul trashed fluorescent light bulbs and low-flush toilets. This provoked widespread media coverage, mostly ‘cute’ rather than analytical, as in a NY Times op-ed “Rand Paul Blames Energy Department for Faulty Toilets, Amongst Other Things.” Congressman Paul’s comments establish him as a leader among the ill-informed and […]

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Our half of the deal

March 4, 2011

The current budget debate is stunning: we, as a nation, are negotiating only one side of the transaction. Everything is to be ‘balanced’ on the backs of individual citizens, while the plutocracy, Wall Street and private equity sit across the table, expecting to buy at foreclosure-sale prices the remaining 20% of the country they don’t […]

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Politicians, perspicacity and paintball

January 26, 2011

Picking a logical path through the uplifting but unfundable State of the Union speech,  followed by the economic meadow muffins scattered in rebutting Republican Ryan’s Roadmap for America, perhaps more appropriately entitled Roadblock for Americans,  a scientist can only hope that politicians will eventually back themselves into a corner were it becomes possible to perform […]

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Wrapping Up the Year

December 24, 2010

Wrapping up the Year ‘Tis the season for journalists, pundits and TV hosts to serenade us with their solipsistic summary of the year’s events.  These annual wrap-ups have much in common with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; the opinionator serving the role of Marley’s Ghost, leading the audience through that which has been lost from […]

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An Elementary Federal Budget Planner

November 11, 2010

There’s been so much talk about deficits and the budget, I’ve decided to come up with a visual Federal Budget Planner, using basic stuff you can find around the house so that children and students can understand what the grownups, especially those people who wear tea bags and tri-cornered hats, are so upset about. It […]

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Contempt at the Speed of Light

October 18, 2010

High speed trading, the foreclosure mess, derivatives and deleveraging Will we all walk away this time?  A deleveraged Airbus in the Hudson. In a business transaction, which is more important; selling your deal, or delivering on what the deal promised?  Wall Street has made its position clear.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent […]

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