Brother Can You Spare A Dime

September 27, 2011

Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

In the 20s and 30s, nations tried to keep all the economic woes out of their borders. Nations competed with ever higher tariffs on imports to try to protect their internal economies. The result of course was to crash international trade, hasten and deepen the Great Depression.

In 1931 Yip Harburg wrote the working man’s anthem:

Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Read the rest of this entry »

Class War?

September 20, 2011

The president thinks that it’s only fair for the wealthy to pay no smaller proportion of their income than the middle class. Cong. Boehner calls that “class war.”

• Boehner wants to put the burden of government on the middle class. But that’s not class war. Read the rest of this entry »


September 17, 2011

There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with government these days. The tea party fumes about taxes. Politicians talk about moral hazard if they do anything for people, even when there was no way to protect oneself beforehand and the resulting situation is impossible for people to deal with. Most of that strikes me as nonsense on stilts. But I too have my pet peeves. I’ve been reluctant to talk about one, but the September issue of Scientific American has encouraged me. Read the rest of this entry »

Being best is what one does

September 6, 2011

A few weeks ago I was planning to go out of town. I told Steve Felano we were going to a reunion of former Peace Corps Volunteers who had served in Iran. We would greet old friends and learn a great deal about what has been happening. We agreed I’d come back and report to you. 

It wasn’t to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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