Beatific economics

When we consider the rights of workers in relation to the “indirect employer”, that is to say, all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labour policy, we must first direct our attention to a fundamental issue: the question of finding work, or, in other words, [Read More...]

Lawnmowers and $40 nachos

For the same reason that everyone asks for their own check at the restaurant. That’s my answer to Atrios’ recent question, “Why Does Everybody Own Their Own Lawnmower?” I know there is a fairly obvious answer to this question. There’s a cost of organizing and coordination. But, yet, in the aggregate an immense amount of [Read More...]

The 0.014 percent solution

[Edited to correct the English-major arithmetic of the original. &$@%.] So CNN/Opinion Research asked Americans how much they think the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — the nonprofit that helps fund National Public Radio and PBS television — receives in federal funding, as a percentage of the federal budget. Most people responded that they thought it [Read More...]

Real information and actual facts

This is how newspapers are supposed to work when they’re doing their job. First, a reporter does his job, taking a look at the economic reality facing the paper’s readers and the actual effects that proposed government policies will have on that reality. Michael Symons’ article “As poverty rises in NJ, cuts target aid” did [Read More...]

Paul Ryan's "fundamentally immoral" plan to privatize Medicare

From The Economist: Mr Ryan’s plan ends the guarantee that all American seniors will have health insurance. The Medicare system we’ve had in place for the past 45 years promises that once you reach 65, you will be covered by a government-financed health-insurance plan. Mr Ryan’s plan promises that once you reach 65, you will [Read More...]

April 4

“The issue is injustice,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his final speech. “The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers.” That was 1968. Here in 2011, of course, we honor Dr. King with a national holiday [Read More...]

The three-step test for inflation

David Leonhardt writes about the irrational inflation fears of the Federal Reserve and the enormous human toll of policies driven by such fears. The New York Times headlined his piece “As Economy Sputters, a Timid Fed,” but it may as well have been titled, “Why Do Federal Reserve Officials Hate Working People?” The recovery looks [Read More...]