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

A Student’s View, The “Unshakeable Burden” of Student Loans

“Americans stress over ‘unshakeable burden’ of student loan payments,” The Guardian, Michael Sainato, May 2020 The nation can alleviate one person of their debt multiple times; but, it can not do so for the younger contingent consisting of minorities and white former students who would add to the growth of the economy if freed. Much […]

Older people are giving up hope of paying off their student loans before they die

While commenting on Alan Collinge’s Student Loan Justice site about much of what is being revealed here, I pointed out the problem with interest, interest on top of interest, paying interest before principal, etc. . It is a problem. You never touch principle. I am very happy to see the Student Loan Justice site and […]

Education

These past few decades have been witness to great change. It is hard to imagine that the Covid Pandemic will not increase this rate of change; that the pace of change will be slowing down anytime soon. Looking back, the advent of the microprocessor and all that followed changed the world forever. Looking forward, the […]

A Wee Bit of History

Off and on, in 1967, 68, 69 & 70, I worked the San Francisco waterfront as a marine electrician troubleshooter while going to University. Then, there were still the freighters owned by big shipping lines, the cruise lines, and a lot of the old Victory ships coming and going from SF. I worked on all […]

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 […]