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

Should Potential Employers have Access to Credit Scores ?

Robert Waldmann Oh good, Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias disagree. This is bound to be interesting. Drum remembers the good old days when liberals had less respect for the standard results of simple neoclassical economic models. The specific issue is that firms are using credit scores to decide who to hire. This can trap some […]

The Advantage to Sin Taxes is Relatively Low IED

My Loyal Reader notes that the economic survival of Zimbabwe’s current government is now largely dependent on sin taxes: As he presented his revised 2009 budget to parliament, Finance Minister Tendai Biti noted that “indirect taxes made up of customs and excise duty have contributed 88 percent of government revenue, which means that the government […]

Why I Can’t Read Ta-Nehisi Coates

In the past two minutes of checking out Coates’s latest—well worth reading, otherwise—there have been banner and frame adverts for: The Atlantic Business, edited by Megan McArdle, “Decoding the Mysteries of Today’s Economic Order” or McMegan Explains Modern Business Models (a.k.a. “Built to Flip”) All to You and “Need Advice? Ask Jeffrey Goldberg“ Sorry, but […]

I Wish I TA’ed Monopolistic Competition instead of Economic Development

Everyone should read Joe Wilcox’s update, based on the release of more court docs, on the ongoing saga of Why Vista Sucked on Release. (Short version: because Intel asked.) Teaser quote, which would look fine in Mankiw or Krugman’s next Macro text: Based on the available information, I come to an easy conclusion: One monopoly […]

Coffee, Tea, or You?

I assume everyone heard about Starbucks offering a free cup of what they call coffee to anyone who went in on Tuesday and said they voted. Via a young woman who would probably prefer I not name her, a store in NYC went one better. (And the offers were non-rival.)

What We Learn from Sports

Compare and contrast: Philadelphia, after a first-time-in-25-years win: The School District of Philadelphia – as if to prove you don’t need miserable weather to rain on a parade – has no plans to close for a victory celebration, no matter how momentous the occasion might be. “Our expectations are that students will report to school […]

All That Positional Warfare For Nothing

by Tom Bozzo This ran on AutoWeek’s “But Wait, There’s More…” page, under the heading “This week’s sign the automotive apocalypse is nigh” (sorry, no link): …[A]ccording to a General Motors study: 88 percent of women surveyed would rather chat up someone who owns the latest fuel-efficient car versus the latest sports car. I suppose […]