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

We’re Happy, Free, Confused, and Lonely at the Same Time

Then I really was going to skip today, even as–indeed, because–it is the 50th anniversary of 11 September. The original 11 de Septiembre, that is. Once is history, twice is parody. Feuerbach, as with Marx, was an optimist. Chile took only 17 years to get rid of Pinochet, and they did it at the ballot […]

My 9/11 memorial

Today, several folks have posted 9/11 remembrances online. I’m fine with that. We should remember the people who died as a result of the plane crashes, as well as their families and friends. But don’t stop there. Also remember how this tragedy was cynically exploited for political purposes by folks like Rudy Giuliani and George […]

Medicare Spending Curve Bent

In 2010 Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Acts (there were 2) from now on called the ACA. One of the aims was to bend the Medicare spending curve and, they hoped (or dreamed) stop the increase in spending per beneficiary. The spending per beneficiary ceased increasing. Oh crap Chrome refuses to upload […]

Ukraine update

The Yale historian Timothy Snyder first came to my attention in a footnote of an article in The New York Review of Books. The footnote gave a link to a series of 23 online lectures on the history of Ukraine, which I binge-watched over a period of about five days. I also read his books […]

Viruses of the mind

Guest post as written by Infidel753 and taken from his Blog of the same name. Infidel753: Viruses of the mind, Infidel753 Blog Viruses are the simplest of all living things.  Indeed, it’s questionable whether they should be considered “living” at all.  A virus does not eat, breathe, digest, or perform any other of the organic […]

Free Lunches, Portfolio Allocation, and Equity Premia: Part 1

TANSTAAFL. There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Someone pays, somehow. The standard textbook example is pilots who refill their plane at a gas station that offers them a “free” steak dinner while charging five cents a gallon more than another station at the same airport. The pilot and co-pilot get $50 dinners […]

The Big Story: a 100+ year near-record decline in commodity prices is enabling continued record wage growth and employment

This is the Big Story: a 100+ year near-record decline in commodity prices is enabling continued record wage growth and employment  – by New Deal democrat No important economic data today, so let me elaborate on the matter of “immaculate disinflation,” i.e., the decline in inflation without a decline in growth. I’m going to argue […]

Why do physicians make so much?

According to this WaPo article, the average physician in the US earns $350K/yr. I didn’t click through to the actual data, but from the first table, I’m guessing that “average” means median, not mean. And physician income isn’t a Gaussian distribution—there’s a long right-hand tail for the specialties. Why is this? It looks to me […]

How long until the historically tight jobs market reverts to trend?

How long until the historically tight jobs market reverts to trend?  – by New Deal democrat There are some very unusual cross-currents going on in the housing sector, revealed by yesterday’s existing home sales report. But it will take some time-intensive organization to present it to you, so I’m saving it for (hopefully) Monday. In the […]