Economy

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Category archives for Economy

American Banana Republic

In yesterday’s NY Times Op-ed, Kristof apologized for comparing US income inequity to that of “Banana Republics” – that is, for insulting other nations by comparing them to the US, which has now achieved wholly unprecedented levels of economic injustice. My point was that the wealthiest plutocrats now actually control a greater share of the…

The election is over and the results are depressing, much as expected – it was not a good night for anyone who believes that the most important work of government in hard times will be protecting ordinary people. This is a stretch to imagine at the best of times, and this was not them. There’s…

Like my colleague Mike the Mad Biologist, I’m horrified by a story out of Indiana in which parents of disabled children who are no longer receiving state aid due to the state budget crisis, were told that they could drop the kids off at homeless shelters if they were unable to care for them at…

How to Think About Housing

Super-quickie from me today – officially I’m in transit, but while my visiting my MIL and miraculously having time to read the entire New York Times before breakfast (admittedly the skinny Wednesday edition, but hey, I’ll take it), I wanted to draw your attention to this article by David Leonhardt about how to think about…

A number of people, including Ilargi and Stoneleigh at _The Automatic Earth_ have long pointed out that the interventions that the government has made in the housing market hasn’t served the people. They observe, for example, that by propping up house prices artificially they’ve benefitted more affluent, generally older homeowners, at the expense of younger,…

Interesting query and discussion at Martin Wolf’s blog about how economics came to conflate natural resources and capital, and whether it should continue to do so. You’ll want to read the comments too! The idea that land and capital are the same thing is evidently ludicrous. It requires us to believe that the economic machine…

I’ve been meaning to write something about this New York Times article that suggests that affluent homeowners are strategically defaulting more than middle class and poor ones, but Mike the Mad Biologist said it better. While I realize regulation has become a four-letter word, regulation does force the regulated to act in certain ways that…

This weekend in the Washington Post, there’s an article about a couple who first met while serving in various capacities during WWII, who just celebrated their marriage in DC this weekend after a “62 year engagement.” This would be a romantic story in any context – but it isn’t a story of parted lovers who…

From HuffPo, this article about the likely outcome that the Democrats will fail to pass an unemployment extension – unfortunately it was bound to happen sooner or later, but it will be crushingly hard on millions of people who have just been barely making it, and now aren’t. The legislation, known as the “tax extenders”…

Regulating the Disaster

We still don’t have the faintest idea how much oil is spewing out of the well in the Gulf. Nor do we have the faintest idea what the full environmental consequence of what may well be the biggest single-event human-caused. ecological disaster of all time (the very fact that I have to add the word…