“Piracy” Is the Result of Market Failures

Publishers of digital media, be it music, movies, or software, have long argued that it's a legal and moral problem.  The reasons, they claim, that unauthorized copies (I refuse to call them illegal or pirate) exist is because either organized criminals are stealing their "intellectual property", or people are too stupid or immoral to respect … Continue reading “Piracy” Is the Result of Market Failures

Wisconsin Increasingly Looks Like Bizarro World

A couple items from Wisconsin. Menzie Chinn points out how governor Scott Walker, who claims a deficit to be the compelling reason for eliminating collective bargaining rights for public workers, also thinks the way to save money is to have government ignore cost vs. benefit analyses when making decisions.  Actually, Walker doesn't even want the … Continue reading Wisconsin Increasingly Looks Like Bizarro World

Pity the Rich and Powerful – Won’t You Help?

Hugh Pickens at Slashdot reports how a Wisconsin Congressman has been complaining that it's tough to make ends meet on his meager $175,000 congressional salary (complete with extensive benefits including healthcare, defined benefit pension, paid staff, etc).  But once a video got out of him complaining about his low pay (which is more than 3 … Continue reading Pity the Rich and Powerful – Won’t You Help?

Pity the Rich. It’s So Hard to Get By.

A couple of items that remind me of the discussions last year about tax cuts.  The major bone of contention in last December's tax cut deal was over whether the Bush era tax rate cut for the top income bracket should be extended. You may remember that it the Bush tax cuts were originally scheduled … Continue reading Pity the Rich. It’s So Hard to Get By.

News Flash: Federal Taxes Have Plummeted

David Cay Johnston reported this a few weeks ago and I almost missed it.  It's particularly relevant, though, what with official Washington talking about how to cut spending, restrain the deficit, etc. (at least attacking the English language with euphemisms about war in Libya). Let's recap what Washington, especially Republicans, have been saying (from Johnston's … Continue reading News Flash: Federal Taxes Have Plummeted

Second Casualty of War

It's  been said often that the "first casualty when war comes is truth".  If so, then surely the second casualty of war is the English language.  The Pentagon, White House and State Dept have long butchered plain language and favored the use of euphemisms.  We long ago learned that it's not really civilians that get … Continue reading Second Casualty of War

Do House Prices Always Go Up? Real vs Nominal Housing Prices: United States 1890-2010

Visualizing Economics presents a graphic history of housing prices in the U.S. since 1890.  Apparently real estate folks tend to get fooled by inflation.  Note the housing price bubble in 2000-2010 in real terms.  According to this we're just getting back towards normal but not quite there yet. Real vs Nominal Housing Prices: United States … Continue reading Do House Prices Always Go Up? Real vs Nominal Housing Prices: United States 1890-2010

Krugman Is Still Wrong About MMT – and with it still wrong on deficit

On Friday Paul Krugman posted the first of what has become 2-3 posts on his blog wherein he claims that MMT is "just wrong".  As I noted Friday here, I commented on his blog to point out how his post was deceptive and misrepresented MMT.  I was not alone.  Well over 100 people have taken … Continue reading Krugman Is Still Wrong About MMT – and with it still wrong on deficit

General Electric Is A Welfare Queen

Ronald Reagan introduced the nation in 1976 to the concept and existence of welfare queens, private citizens that pay no taxes but manipulate the system to obtain large amounts of government money.  Sometimes welfare queens have very profitable but socially destructive businesses on the side and make even more profits.  If that's true, then General … Continue reading General Electric Is A Welfare Queen