Private Profits, Social Costs and The Minimum Wage

The concept of Private Profits and Social Costs is implicitly easy to understand.  It is far more difficult to recognize.  Simply put, there are areas of economic activity where profits accrue to a few in the private sector but produce significant social costs that are paid by taxpayers. Currently, there is a political effort toContinue reading “Private Profits, Social Costs and The Minimum Wage”

Market Interest Rates Are Fiction

First Things First—Where the Trump Administration Left Us Even acknowledging the effects of Covid-19 on the economy, the Trump administration’s economic record is quite remarkable. The largest post-war deficits since WW II.  This was going to be the case even before the Covid crisis. The three largest trade deficits ever, exceeding $800 billion.  The deficitContinue reading “Market Interest Rates Are Fiction”

Looking Forward to 2021 – Yes and No

I have no interest in a detailed review of this miserable year.  The C-19 illnesses and death by the tens of thousands, the daily trauma faced by our healthcare workers, the unemployed, the business closures, the food lines, the evictions, the sheer desperation of so many people, and on and on… I guess that IContinue reading “Looking Forward to 2021 – Yes and No”

The Tyranny of the Minority

The title of this piece is not my own, but it certainly reflects my views.  I understand that polls are often misleading.  Our recent election experience reinforces that.  But how is it that a significant majority of people want some elements of gun control for example, but nothing gets done.  Blatant discriminatory policies abound forContinue reading “The Tyranny of the Minority”

Economic Systems, Political Labels, and Ignorance

In the recent political campaigns, there were a number of political labels thrown around.  The Republicans accused Democrats of being socialists and in more extreme cases, communists.  Obviously, the latter is particularly ridiculous, but that is today’s reality.  On the other side, the Democrats accused Republicans of being autocratic crony capitalists and fascists, with theContinue reading “Economic Systems, Political Labels, and Ignorance”

Markets and Market Failure

There is no question that capitalism and “free” unregulated competitive markets are the most efficient system for the allocation of resources to produce goods and services.  That includes a “capitalist command” economy like China. The fact is that there is no such thing as a free purely competitive market, despite what libertarians/conservatives may proclaim.  AgricultureContinue reading “Markets and Market Failure”

The Hypocrisy of U.S. Housing Policies

Systematic racism takes many forms.  It has always been the case that Blacks and other minorities lag Whites with respect to education, health, income, and wealth.  It is a well-documented and recognized fact of our society.  Obviously, there are many root causes of these social disparities. However, I want to focus on what I considerContinue reading “The Hypocrisy of U.S. Housing Policies”

You Have Been K’ed

At many businesses, there is a running joke that 25% of the people do 75% of the work. After working at a number of companies over my career, this does not seem to be a joke. In fact, my experience has been that it is more the norm than the exception. But that is notContinue reading “You Have Been K’ed”

Federal Deficits, Debt, and U.S. Economic Growth

Background I have been a political independent my entire adult life.  Whether it is being caught up in the cult of Apple iPhones or a professional football team, I want no part of it.  This is particularly true when it comes to political parties.  In 2016 election I split my votes between presidential and congressionalContinue reading “Federal Deficits, Debt, and U.S. Economic Growth”