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

Wisconsin’s Utilities War on Energy Efficient Customers

Having raised a family in Mad City, Wisconsin (a place former governor Dreyfuss called “77 square miles surrounded by reality” and others calling it the Left Coast of Wisconsin, I found the state to be open to new ideas and more so than what is found in other states. Of course things have changed with […]

Finding Themselves On Third Base and Thinking They Hit a Triple

The White American Dream Game Just listening to the level of noise coming from some posters complaining about low income workers, how they caused their own predicament, and this is why they are unable to move upwards on the ladder of mobility. Low income and unskilled workers do not work hard enough, they did not […]

Tesla deal even worse than first thought

Via an email from Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, we learn that the Tesla deal, as enacted by the Nevada Legislature, is even worse than announced. Aside from the widely touted 6500 jobs only being 6000 jobs for which the state is paying for, it turns out that Tesla doesn’t even have to create […]

How The Rich Rule US Democracy

Via Social Europe Journal, Dani Rodrik points to both a perennial question on economic self-interests and elections: Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University, have recently produced some stark findings for the United States that have dramatic implications for the functioning of democracy – in the US and elsewhere. … When […]

1/3 of Medicare Spending is Wasted

Urban Legend— You write: That claim that one-third of Medicare spending is wasted sounds pretty questionable to me.” This is your opinion. If you had spent the last 20 years working as a medical researcher investigating unnecessary treatment, your opinion would be of great interest to all of us; but, I’m assuming you have not […]

Understanding Piketty, part 5 (conclusion)

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the first book to make a data-driven examination of economic inequality. Based on hundreds of years worth of data, it attempts to determine the long-term trends in inequality and the social and political consequences that follow from them. In this final post, I want to highlight the most […]

Where the ACA Should Go Next?

On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Dan <cdansplace2@aol.com> emailed: Rortybomb, New Piece on Where the ACA Should Go Next Rorty touts the 2009 House Bill which calls for a Public Option and described here To improve ‘Obamacare,’ reconsider the original House bill Maggie Mahar replies: Originally I favored a public option, but in […]

Ted Olson Wants Congress to Bar the Koch Brothers’ Contributions to Incumbents. I Say: Good Idea!

Post updated below. —- Forty-six Senate Democrats have concluded that the First Amendment is an impediment to re-election that a little tinkering can cure. They are proposing a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and state legislatures the authority to regulate the degree to which citizens can devote their resources to advocating the election or […]

Nevada is Biggest Loser of Tesla Auction

On September 4, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced that electric car-maker Tesla had chosen Nevada for the location of its much sought-after Gigafactory. Contrary to its claim that it wanted $500 million, Tesla in fact wanted speed plus the highest bidder. As I analyzed last month, a $500 million subsidy would have been relatively low […]