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

Some Instant Thoughts on Super Tuesday

(Dan here…Late to AB posting…what a difference a day or two can make.  Elizabeth Warren has withdrawn from the election process and is not endorsing either Biden nor Sanders at the moment.  Peter weighs in speculating on what is next.) 1. Biden benefitted from a wave of (orchestrated) last minute endorsements. One effect of this wave […]

The Debate within Unions over Health Care is about the Nature of Unionism Itself

The Debate within Unions over Health Care is about the Nature of Unionism Itself Casual observers of the political scene got an insight into union politics when a small storm erupted over a flyer distributed by Nevada’s Culinary Union attacking Bernie Sanders and his Medicare for All proposal. Politico has a piece surveying similar disputes in other states […]

Bloomberg’s Plan for Reskilling America: The Quid without the Pro Quo

Bloomberg’s Plan for Reskilling America: The Quid without the Pro Quo The Intercept usefully preports Michael Bloomberg’s proposals for higher education, focusing on plans to upgrade workforce skills along the lines desired by employers.  Here’s the selection they excerpted that covers this, worth reading carefully: There’s a lot here that would be useful to businesses located […]

What to Do about Amazon

What to Do about Amazon I think Farhad Manjoo gets it right about Amazon: while the company’s sheer size, not to mention its often shady business practices, call out for public intervention, “Amazon is pushing a level of speed, convenience, and selection in shopping that millions of customers are integrating into their daily lives.” Breaking it up […]

Local Climate Policy Run Amok, Bellingham Edition

Local Climate Policy Run Amok, Bellingham Edition Earlier this month the New York Times ran a story about Bellingham, Washington, a picturesque town that looks out across Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands. Bellingham is home to Western Washington University, but rational thought is in short supply when it comes to climate activism. What […]

Small Town Support for Trump and “The Working Class”

Small Town Support for Trump and “The Working Class” Much has been written about voters, sometimes labeled the “white working class”, who live in small towns, have low incomes and supported Trump in 2016.  There are various hypotheses—not, despite the rhetoric, mutually exclusive—that have been proposed to explain this: never-ending latent racism galvanized by the […]

Two Can’t Miss Sessions in San Diego Next Week

Two Can’t Miss Sessions in San Diego Next Week Well, I can’t miss them because I’m in them.  You can, but why would you? Climate Crisis Mitigation: Implementing a Green New Deal and More Union for Radical Political Economics: Paper Session Friday, Jan. 3, 10:15am–12:15pm Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego – La Jolla B “Financial Bailout Spending […]

The Famous Baseball-Watching Equality-Equity Graphic, Scrutinized

The Famous Baseball-Watching Equality-Equity Graphic, Scrutinized Here’s the graphic, widely used to explain why equity outcomes require unequal treatment of different people. Benjamin Studebaker (hat tip Naked Capitalism) doesn’t like it at all: “I hate it so much.”  But his complaints, about the way the graphic elides classic debates in political theory, strike me as being too […]

A Nobel for the Randomistas

A Nobel for the Randomistas I don’t think anyone was surprised by this year’s “Nobel” prize in economics, which went to three American-based specialists in the design of on-the-ground experiments in low income countries, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer.  I think the award has merit, but it is important to keep in mind […]