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

General Motors Lansing Grand River Plant Conversion to Electric Vehicles

General Motors Receives $500M Federal Grant to Electrify Lansing Grand River Plant by R.J. King DBusiness Magazine AB: Plant conversions from building gasoline and diesel driven vehicles to EVs. A timely move even if the newer models will require need modifications in later years. General Motors Co. today announced it has received a $500 million grant […]

Housing permits and starts stabilizing, but construction?

Housing permits and starts stabilize, but construction comes close to generating yellow recession caution signal  – by New Deal democrat There was good news and bad news in this morning’s report on housing permits, starts, and construction. The good news is that both permits and starts stabilized after last month’s initially reported multi-year lows. The […]

Medicare Advantage and Consolidation’s New Frontier – The Danger of “United Healthcare” for All

by Hayden Rooke-Ley, Soleil Shah, and Erin C. Fuse Brown New England Journal of Medicine Introduction The government will pay roughly $500 billion to insurance companies in 2024 to administer the Medicare Advantage program, including 23% more per beneficiary than it spends on traditional Medicare . . . equivalent to an extra $88 billion per year. Medicare Advantage plans cost […]

Trump can’t (and won’t) stop pushing violent rhetoric, images . . . Talk about the Shooting Here

Why Trump can’t (and won’t) stop pushing violent rhetoric and images,, Steve Benen, April 2024 Around this time four years ago, Donald Trump used social media to promote a video in which one of his supporters said, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The then-president’s team claimed at the time that he watched the […]

Real Average Hourly Wages are at Their Highest Level Since September 2021 and . . .

Real average nonsupervisory wages near, real aggregate nonsupervisory payrolls at, all-time highs  – by New Deal democrat Now that we have the CPI reading for June, we can calculate how average wage earners are doing in “real” terms. First, real average hourly nonsupervisory wages increased 0.4% for the second straight month. On a YoY basis, […]

Credit Card Reward Program Trickery

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2023), received over 1,200 complaints involving credit card rewards. Which is reflective of a 70 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels. Some complaints are perennial issues such as the administration of credit card rewards. Consumers are claiming credit card companies are denying them benefits after they met program requirements. Others suggest […]

House prices – especially for existing homes – compared with wages remain near or at all-time highs, so existing homes make up less of the market

 – by New Deal democrat One item I meant to address with this week’s existing and new home sales data was the relative difference in price in the two, and the effect on the relative share of the market.  I am following up now because yesterday Kevin Drum put up a post yesterday in which […]

How can getting food into Gaza be up for debate?

From the NYT: I am not sure what the claim is here.  If the idea is that Hamas will get political credit if people do not starve, this is a totally unacceptable reason to withhold food.  Maybe the worry is that Hamas will gain political leverage by monopolizing the distribution of food aid and distributing […]