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

An open letter to Professor Boudreaux: why fear progressives and BLM protesters?

In a recent post, the blogger/economist Donald Boudreaux expressed deep fear of the people protesting for police reform and of progressive politics generally.  Below is an open letter responding to his post.  It is long (mostly below the fold) but it highlights some of the key issues separating libertarians and classical liberals from progressives and […]

There is hope.

The barriers facing black people in America today are numerous and daunting:  poor schools, dangerous neighborhoods, lack of income, wealth, and connections, persistent formal and informal discrimination in so many settings.  The list goes on, and it certainly includes many problems with our criminal justice system, from over-criminalization to degrading conditions of imprisonment to oppressive […]

A “Wild and Dangerous” Scheme, Part Two: What’s “fixed” got to do with it? Do with it?

“…we have seen a calculation… which shows that the fixed charges, for machinery and the general management of a mill, are as nearly as possible equal to the cost of wages in the process.” In my earlier post on the “Wild and Dangerous Scheme” I teased the “egregious accounting error” committed by the author of […]

For MLK Day: Letter From a Birmingham Jail

There is no better way to honor Dr. King than to read his Letter From a Birmingham Jail.  It is full of moral insight, deeply moving, and an astonishing piece of political advocacy.  Here are the opening paragraphs: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present […]

Off topic: two solutions to home delivery theft

Off topic: two solutions to home delivery theft By now we all know that theft of packages delivered to people’s home doorstep is a big problem. Here are pictures of two solutions:1. Massive 1984-style and easily hackable home monitoring. Or even worse, the ability of the delivery person to open the homeonwer’s garage to leave […]

Mapping the Land

I looked at this at first, wondered what it depicted, thought it might be a piece of art, and puzzled over it a bit. It is a topographical depiction (Lidar) of the Mississippi River. If you look closely, you can see roads and various plots of land in addition to the movement of the river […]

Same Scams, Different Countries

Via Diane Ravitch’s blog is a link to this paper Great Britain school priveatization run amok. In the course of the last quarter century, governmental entities in both the United States and England have sought to encourage educational innovation by creating publicly funded schools that are independent from many rules that apply to locally controlled schools. […]

Alan Krueger And Happiness

Alan Krueger And Happiness It took awhile for me to remember after his apparent suicide that the late Alan Krueger was the coauthor of what I consider to be the best paper published on happiness economics, “Develpments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2006, 20(1), 2-24, https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/08953300677 .  (I apologize if that […]

Alan Collinge of Student Loan Justice on CAP’s Current Efforts to Revamp Student Loans

It has been a while since I had last talked to Alan. I knew at the time he was at issue with a stance the Center for American Progress was taking on Student Loans which surprising are supported by some of our more popular consumer advocates. Kind of makes sense as we now see the […]