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

How much would it cost to eliminate US Poverty ? Why don’t we ?

First the US poverty gap is on the order of $180 billion per year. That is the sum over all households with income under the poverty line of the amount that household’s income is below the poverty line. That is a small amount of money compared to US GDP or even US Federal Government spending. […]

US Public Opinion on Income redistribution

I am going to give a hostage to fortune. I am going to guess that the preferred policy supported by a majority of US respondents on questions about redistribution of income is that which would directly serve the narrow short term economic interests of a (probably different but overlapping) majority of US respondents. I am […]

Marking Ezra Klein’s Beliefs to Market

A tweet sent me to this column Ezra Klein wrote long, long ago in a city far away. In the heady day of April 8 2021, Klein discussed Joseph Biden’s radicalism and contrasted it with Barack Obama’s caution. I remember. Biden had just signed the American Rescue plan and was proposing what would be called […]

Alzheimer’s II

I was provoked to write the post immediately below by this shocking article which suggests possible fraud. I feel the need to comment on this passage “Yet Aβ still dominates research and drug development. NIH spent about $1.6 billion on projects that mention amyloids in this fiscal year, about half its overall Alzheimer’s funding. Scientists […]

Alzheimers and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha

Sorry I will not provide links. Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF alpha) is an inflamatory peptide hormone. A soluble protein which is based on part of the receptor for TNF alpha is used to treat arthritis. It has been noted from health insurance records that this treatment is associated with a much reduced risk of […]

Contra Euro 2/n

The Eurozone is not an optimum currency area. The Euro as such was a bad idea to begin with. Notably, this was the standard view of US economists. The North American argument (originating in Canada) was that a currency should be used in an area within which people are willing to move to get a […]

Contra Euro 1/N

I have discovered that there are still people who think that adopting the Euro was a good idea, or at least not a bad idea, or at least not a catastrophe. They seem to have decided that the Greek fiscal tragedy is a minor issue. I will leave it out of the discussion. My view […]

For Peat’s Sake

“Peatlands cover only a small fraction of the Earth’s surface (3%), yet store more than 15%–30% of terrestrial carbon (C) stocks” One of the terrible tipping points is oxidation of Peat due to warming (another is release of methane from melting tundra). But one key question is why didn’t the carbon in peat turn to […]