Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

CNN’s Slavish Service to Trump

CNN’s Slavish Service to Trump I had to do a double-take when I saw this news item.  First came the headline, “Pence won’t let public health officials appear on CNN unless Trump’s disinfo briefings run in full”.  I thought, this is horrible: the administration is holding Fauci and Birx hostage to force CNN to cover not only […]

Lessons from the Pandemic

Lessons from the Pandemic First, all who produce things we need or want are “essential workers”.  Health care practitioners are essential, but so are the people who stock pharmacies and grocery and hardware stores or staff customer service phone lines.  Truck drivers are essential.  Farmworkers who pick the crops we plan on eating are too.  […]

Richard Epstein: Peak Dishonesty

Richard Epstein: Peak Dishonesty, Econospeak Epstein is the doyen of libertarian legal theorists. Larry Tisch Professor of law at NYU and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, he has vast influence throughout the conservative world, including the White House. His latest jag is calling for an early end to isolation policies to contain the […]

Congress and the Fed Could Ensure Universal Protection During the Pandemic

Congress and the Fed Could Ensure Universal Protection During the Pandemic No matter how well or poorly the federal government addresses the overall economic crisis, millions of vulnerable people will be left unprotected.  Homeless people, incarcerated people, immigrants, people in fringe, off-the-books employment like day labor—unless steps are taken that specifically target them, they are […]

AFL-CIO has a Plan

AFL-CIO has a Plan From the AFL-CIO website: PRIORITIES OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT TO ADDRESS THE CORONAVIRUS: PROTECT FRONT-LINE WORKERS Streamline approaches for allocating and distributing personal protective equipment to working people in greatest need. Issue a workplace safety standard to protect front-line workers and other at-risk workers from infectious diseases. Provide workplace controls, protocols, training […]

For a Universal Debt and Rental Moratorium

For a Universal Debt and Rental Moratorium Incomes are collapsing throughout the economy, and both businesses and individuals face a crisis in meeting fixed payments they can’t control.  The most direct step we can take is to temporarily suspend these payment obligations. Suppose the government were to announce that, starting immediately, all stipulated debt and […]

Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Coronavirus

Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Coronavirus We are in the middle of a flurry of decision-making on how to deal with COVID-19.  After much resistance, officials are now canceling public events, closing schools and discouraging other activities that put us in contact with each other.  Travel restrictions and possible shutdowns of workplaces, as we’ve seen in […]