Friday, October 24, 2014

Glitches

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.

ISIS

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 Press.com   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

Monday, July 21, 2014

For Shame America



For Shame America.  More than 57,000 young migrants have been apprehended, coming without parents, mostly from Central America since October.  At great expense, we have thousands of immigration control officers and elaborate fences.  I try to imagine the desperation of parents to send their children north hoping to escape killing and rape by drug gangs.  Do we need extensive interviews to determine if these children are eligible for entry? We are ruining our neighbors.
      The whole thing is our fault.  If we treated our addicts, the demand and profits of the drug trade would dry up.