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

An Update on Shadow Government

An Update on Shadow Government Not only is the current level of testing for the coronavirus insufficient, the tests themselves are flawed.  Read this summary by infectious disease specialist Michael Osterholm and a coauthor for particulars.  Their key policy conclusion is A blue-ribbon panel of public health, laboratory and medical experts, ethicists, legal scholars and elected officials […]

We Need a Shadow Government

We Need a Shadow Government Republican rule in the US is a horror show.  We get incoherent ramblings from our president on injecting bleach into our veins, calls for the states to file for bankruptcy from the Senate majority leader, a veto of modest IMF support for developing countries hammered financially by the virus, and […]

Does Google’s Search Algorithm Protect the New York Times?

Does Google’s Search Algorithm Protect the New York Times? Yesterday morning, after reading the Sunday New York Times, I posted two pieces on EconoSpeak within a few minutes of each other.  One was a short, cute little item (a visual grab from the paper) entitled “The Art of Juxtaposition”; the other was a longer, more substantial […]

The Usual Deficit Blather from the New York Times

The Usual Deficit Blather from the New York Times The Times today ran a truly execrable article warning us that, once the virus has passed, we will suffer dire consequences from the runup of government debt.  As most readers know, this argument is theoretically illiterate, derived from the false comparison between household and government debt.  We’ve been […]

World Chess Championship Ends

World Chess Championship Ends The two best chess players in the world faced off this month, undeterred by lockdowns, travel bans or any other restrictions.  They never had to see each other either. It helped that they were both computer programs.  The former champ, Stockfish, is the strongest of the traditional type of program, designed […]

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.  […]