Monday, October 27, 2014

Obama Popularity

Why has Obama's popularity plummeted?  He has accomplished a great deal that is not getting talked about.  He is the victim of the press and his opponents (some racist) that keep chanting "Obama Care" is bad.  This seems to stop further thinking about actual consequences.  It reminds of Gov. George Romney whose campaign for the presidency coincided with the Vietnam War.  He went on a fact-finding mission and came back and said he had been "brain washed" by the generals.  Well, we can't have a president who can be brain washed and the press repeated this trope over and over again and Romney's quest for the presidency was over.  The press and many people did not want to know more. 
Culture is a strange animal that is hard to understand.  Words can enter the language, and no matter how misleading, they have a life of their own, albeit pushed along by opinion makers.  Why is not "Affordable Care" is easy to say as "Obama Care?"  But, then the opponents would have to admit that they simply don't want to give aid to the poor--they don't deserve it.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Due to computer glitches, there have been no posts for some time.  Hopefully, the problem is fixed and posts will continue on a more regular basis.  Thanks for sticking with the "Troublesome Economist."

Louisiana Flood Danger

Louisiana is slipping into the Gulf caused by oil company channels, drilling, and pollution that kills vegetation on coastal marshes.  "Each day the state loses nearly the accumulated acreage of every  football stadium in the N.F.L."  John Barry is a public spirited citizen member of a regional flood protection board.  The Board brought suit against the oil companies, but Republican governor Jindal persuaded the legislature to condemn the suit and order its cancellation.  The oil companies applauded, even though they know that the next hurricane would destroy a lot of their property. There is a distinction between "dumb" and "stupid"--not acting on your own best interest.  This is an example of the latter.
Source: NYT Magazine, Oct. 5, 2014.


If you want to be poor forever, keep doing what you are doing.
An analysis suggests that people are recruited to your activities because they are searching for "Personal Identity."--People wanting some cause to give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. Couldn't they find something less murderous?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Institutions and relative incomes

Important insight by Robert Reich--
"The myth is you get paid what you’re worth. Yet for many occupations it’s just the reverse: Pay is inversely related to the real benefits to society. Social work, teaching, nursing, and caring for the elderly or for children are among the lowest-paid of all professions, but the benefits to society are considerable. We desperately need these people." 
   Couldn't say it any better.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quest for Land and Fortune

Three hundred thousand books are published in the United States every year. A few hundred, at most, could be called financial or creative successes.  Failure doesn’t afflict only the lesser talents.  John Keats, now regarded as a great poet, who died at 25 with a collection of bad reviews to his name, asked for his gravestone to read: Here lies one whose name was writ in water. He died convinced of his obscurity.
Help me avoid a similar fate: buy a copy of my historical novel, “The Quest for Land and Fortune” at Chapbook   You can’t go wrong at $20, about the cost of two movie tickets.
Search for Alfred Allan Schmid

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision

"Benjamin I. Sachs, a law professor at Harvard University, notes that while federal law lets union members prevent the use of their dues for political purposes, shareholders do not have similar rights. “If we’re going to say that collectives have speech rights, then we should treat unions and corporations the same,” Sachs told me. Employees are even more vulnerable. When companies like YUM! Brands, which owns KFC and Taco Bell, campaign against minimum-wage increases, they are effectively using the profits generated by their employees to limit the compensation of those same employees. And of course, some of Hobby Lobby’s 13,000 workers will now need to pay for contraception." NYT 20 July 2014