Wages and Floors

A writer for The Baltimore Sun recently said that, “A ‘new living wage’ will make Baltimore City no more livable than stilettos will make Sen. Barbara Mikulski a forward for the WNBA.” Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg was…

China’s Drivers

Peter Hessler’s Country Driving A Journey Through China From Farm To Factory takes the reader to China’s roads, villages, and factories. Having just completed the first half of the book, I wanted to share random fascinating facts that relate to their transportation…

Economic Growth

Did someone once say, where you look determines what you see? For evaluating the impact of federal spending, perhaps that is the problem. Some economists emphasize the connection between federal spending and the change in GDP (national production). Mathematically, they…

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?

Ed Koch, former mayor of NYC used to ask, “How am I doing?” We can ask the same question about economic stimulus spending. By going to recovery.gov, you will see that there were 682,370 new recipient reported jobs between January…

A Free Ride For Electric Cars?

Imagine a world filled with electric cars. In private homes, people could install their own charging devices. Others could be built in apartment building garages and on city streets. Some envision restaurants, department stores, and movie theaters offering a charge…

Indian Protests Fueled By Gas Price Hike

A government decision to stop subsidizing gasoline prices in India fueled protests last week. The subsidy cost the indian government 2.5% of its budget ($5.5 billion). Now, with prices responding to the market, the record high deficit can drop. However, a…

A Federal Workers Cost Cutting Contest

Last year’s winning idea for the second annual federal worker’s cost cutting contest (SAVE) was from A Department of Veterans Affairs employee. Scheduled for the fiscal 2012 budget, the suggestion will save a projected $14.5 million by 2014 by enabling…

Will the US Postal Service Think Outside the Box?

Do you care about Saturday mail delivery? Amazon does. Hallmark does. Catalog companies and and mail service pharmacies do. By contrast, Netflix has said it could accept the elimination of Saturday mail. Trying to decide what to do about the…

Unemployment Benefits and A One-Handed Economist

Called “a compromise of a compromise of a compromise,” the Senate failed to extend unemployment benefits to the 2 million individuals scheduled to lose them on July 12.   Thinking economically, it is tough to definitively assess the decision. On…

A Pencil, An Apple, and a Price System

I suspect we take prices for granted. Please think for a moment about a $10 pair of shoes. As a consumer, that $10 price tag tells you that they are inexpensive and you won’t have to sacrifice very much to…