Springtime in Rodney Square

Here's a cookie for Scott: "The war on drugs has created more problems than it has solved." It's an op-ed by George Jurgensen, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Delaware. It's also part of an ongoing series in the paper, a "public discussion of policy regarding illegal drugs" on the op-ed page that was prompted [Read More...]

Fuel on the fire

I'm repeating myself here, but what's the point of having a blog if you don't allow yourself to harp on your personal hobbyhorses … In the previous post, I mentioned the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, a government subsidy program that enables poor families to buy heating fuel. This is a good [Read More...]

Man’s ingratitude

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, is a petulant jerk. The cost for residential heating oil is still well above what it was last year — which is a source of real hardship for many Americans this winter. And they're not getting any help from Congress, which still isn't funding LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, [Read More...]

Bad bankers lose money, Part II

Here we move from the subject of odious debt to the subject of foolish debt. That is, debt that is foolish on behalf of both the borrower and the lender. The bankruptcy legislation signed into law by President Bush last year should have sent a clear signal to shareholders of the banks that lobbied for [Read More...]

Bad bankers lose money, Part I

The discussion of odious debt in comments below reminded me of this story: Back when I was interning as a religious corporate gadfly, I got to tag along with the Sisters of Mercy to the annual meeting of a prominent investment bank. The bank's board seemed to think that the sisters were misnamed. They had [Read More...]

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger

"Some are guilty. All are responsible." – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel So I'm pretty busy this week grading papers for my sometimes boss Ron Sider. He's the professor who teaches the "Biblical Faith and Public Policy" class I've been T.A.ing this semester. He's probably best known, however, for a book he wrote in 1977: Rich [Read More...]

“Cyber Monday” is PR BS

The online-retail industry group Shop.org wants us to refer to today as "Cyber Monday" — the online-shopping equivalent of "Black Friday." Here's the industry press release about this effort. The idea, I guess, is to create an online shopping frenzy on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Why not just shop online on "Black Friday" and avoid [Read More...]

The problem with Marshall’s

And also with T.J. Maxx, Ross' and all the other name-brands-for-less discounters. The problem is they make it more difficult to segregate the suckers. We had a nice system going. The gullible, self-important and stupid had been convinced to advertise their membership in these categories through brand-name icons. Consider the Polo logo — the little [Read More...]