Policy lessons from the Beatles

The Beatles are hailed as icons of the Sixties counter-culture.  But in a lot of ways they were quite conservative.  Economics columnist Neil Irwin looks at their song lyrics and how they handled their money, drawing out what we can learn from the Beatles about taxes, retirement, and change. [Read more…]

The Rolling Stone Manifesto

Rolling Stone Magazine published an economics manifesto that “Millennials should be fighting for.”  You can read it after the jump, but I’ll summarize it for you here.

Author Jesse A. Myerson says that “unemployment blows,” so that the government should guarantee work for everybody.  But then he says that “jobs also blow,” so the government could provide a guaranteed income to everyone so that you don’t have to work.  This would give people “‘time to cultivate new needs for pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities.”

Other things that “blow” are landlords, “hoarders” (by which he means owners of private property), and Wall Street, all of which Myerson has a solution for. [Read more…]

Move the nation’s capital to Nebraska

We talk about politics here at the Cranach blog, being careful to keep the two kingdoms distinguished, but we don’t do politicking, in the sense of agitating for one candidate or another.   But I wanted to show you this campaign video as a virtuoso example of the genre.

Ben Sasse is running for the senate in Nebraska.  I have known him personally for a long time in different capacities, and he’s a good guy.  He’s a Lutheran, and I’ve worshiped with him at  Immanuel in Alexandria, where he attended when he lived in the D.C. area.

I know at least one of you will cringe at the exaltation of rural midwestern values, and I admit that some of the conventions of the genre–brilliantly realized in this video–can get kind of cheesy (the waving flags, the obligatory interview with the wife and kids, etc.).  But Ben presents himself ridiculously well.   As for his signature issue here, I am pretty sure he is (mostly) being ironic and metaphorical, but he’s got himself a clever slogan, one that voters will remember and that sets him apart from the pack in the Republican primary.

We are certainly not endorsing him, knowing nothing of his competition or of the issues in the state of Nebraska.  But you’ve got to see this video, after the jump. [Read more…]

The NSA’s encryption-busting quantum computer

The NSA is working on the development of a quantum computer that could foil all public encryption systems.  The description of this technology, after the jump, combines weird physics, weird mathematics, and weird surveillance. [Read more…]

Tax breaks that have expired as of Jan. 1

Fifty-five tax breaks have expired with the new year.  Some are clearly special-interest perks.  Others are time-honored staples, such as companies getting to deduct Research & Development expenses and tax incentives for wind power and energy-efficient appliances.  Others amount to broad-based tax increases. [Read more…]

What in Obamacare now goes into effect

However bad HealthCare.gov has been, much of Obamacare is now in effect with the turning of the new year.  You need to know what all applies now, so details after the jump. [Read more…]