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

Mr. Etcetera

Mr. Etcetera The subtitle of T. R. Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population advertised its inclusion of “remarks on the speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and other writers.” In volume I of Capital, Marx did not mention William Godwin’s name.  One might say, rather, that Marx studiously avoided mentioning Godwin. He did, however, engage in a […]

Russell Baker

Also at dinner tonight, we discussed funny essays.  My contribution was a famous piece called Francs and Beans by New York Times columnist Russell Baker, which begins like this: As chance would have it, the very evening Craig Claiborne ate his historic $4,000 dinner for two with 31 dishes and nine wines in Paris, a […]

Snarky reviews

Tonight at dinner we discussed snarky reviews, which brought back memories. I was raised in New York City, which was usually fantastic, at least when it wasn’t terrifying.  One of the great things about it was the music.  I saw Lou Reed at the Bottom Line in 1976 or so.  And a few years later […]

Americans Shopping is a Runaway Train?

The conversation started with my investment person about two particulars which I was curious as to what he was expecting in returns. Those two were losing somewhat over the last 5 months. Excitedly, he started off on how the Fed was going to rein in inflation. I listened and answered. However you do it, raising […]

Letters From An American – Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson

Last night, Professor Heather Cox Richardson discusses the undermining of a citizen’s civil rights by SCOTUS in support of a state law which allows state citizens to infringe upon the rights of other citizens, female citizens within the state even though the actions of the later cause no harm to the former. It is appearing […]

A Racist Screed in the New York Times

Peter Dorman, Econospeak, A Racist Screed in the New York Times Really bad, misguided, even malicious writing serves a purpose, showing in extreme form the faults that, more subtly expressed, can pass under the radar.  That’s my reaction to this execrable column from today’s New York Times on the violation the author felt when her front lawn […]

Boring post on “Slow Boring”

“Slow Boring” is Matthew Yglesias’s substack. I don’t subscribe. It’s about the money. I can afford it, but I don’t like the fact that Matthew Yglesias makes so much money. I am extremely envious. I admit it. I think this is a very very common problem. Many people have asked Matthew Yglesias how he makes […]

Leading Up to the Build Back Better Act Vote

“Letters From An American,” November 18, 2021; Professor Heather Cox – Richardson Today began with Republican leadership doubling down on its support for Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ), whom the House censured yesterday for tweeting a cartoon video of himself killing a Democratic colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and attacking the president, Joe Biden. Only two Republicans […]