Remembering Milton Friedman

Split down the middle, opinion about the US economy puts private initiative or government first. Those who place individual enterprise first believe most private income belongs to those who generate it. By contrast, government’s advocates see a growing share of private income as…

Free or Fair Government?

I live in a town where I have to pay for garbage pick-up and recycling or I can dispose of it myself. The fire department is voluntary. Because there is no local high school, the town pays other school districts…

Just Like Yap Money

To a Yap islander, in 1903, a 12-foot limestone wheel had considerable value. Described by NPR’s Planet Money, the wheels, as small as a foot in diameter and as large as twelve, composed the islanders’ monetary system. With smaller transactions, you…

A Fair Shot?

In its breakdown of this week’s State of the Union, the Washington Post looked at time, topics and the Congress. Time: The President devoted almost half of his speech to the economy, and more than half if you include the…

Sweatshop Dilemmas

Is it okay to have sweatshops in developing nations? NY Times writer Nicholas Kristof, and Nobel prize winning economists Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman have all said, “Yes.” Kristof points out that the parents of children scavenging in a noxious…

Is Government the Solution or the Problem?

Maybe everyone got something from President Obama’s jobs plan. According to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, the “right” got tax cuts, the “left” got help for the unemployed and infrastructure spending, and everyone will get deficit reduction. For a quick…

Should We Buy American?

How to diminish unemployment? The NY Times tells us about a Montana general contractor who plans to use only American-made goods for building his homes. Explaining, he said,  “I think we could solve this recession if everyone shifted just 5%…

Recycling Matters

Coca-Cola has a recycling problem. Last year, it had hoped to process 100 million pounds of recycled PET (bottle grade) plastic in its Spartanburg, S.C. plant and is not even close. Here is why: Less supply of recycled plastic: It…

Government Matters

Which do you prefer, “free” or “fair?” We have free speech, a free press, freedom of religion. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights refer to “free” but never “fair.” Explaining that our founding fathers perceived…

“Buy Australian?”

In Australia, concerned about the impact of twin disasters in Queensland this summer, Australia is saying, “Buy Australian.”  But they just faced an unexpected problem. The T-shirts they are using to publicize the campaign were made in Bangladesh and the…