China: Smart Intern, Stupid Question

A really smart student intern I’ve had the privilege of working with (Jonathan Flack, GWU 2010) asked a really stupid question. “Why,” he asked, “Do we give China everything it […]

New Unemployment, Old Solutions

Today’s unemployment data contain gloomy news. Gloomy, but expected. The interpretation of the data is even worse. First, the data. Unemployment rose to 10.2 percent last month, breaking the double […]

Green Shoots. For Whom?

Today’s “Productivity and Costs” data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contain what looks like good news. Productivity increased at a 9.5 percent annual rate during the third quarter of […]

Building a Smart Grid, Smartly

President Barack Obama announced today $3.4 billion in government grants to help build a “smart” electric grid. Like many Obama initiatives, it’s a smart first step. But much more is […]

Bernanke Solves The Wrong Deficit

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke recognized today that America’s trade deficit played a central role in the global economic crisis. Then after he recognized the problem, he went on to […]

Time to Take on the Banks

It’s time to take on the banks. 74% of American voters agree that “greed and risky decisions of banks and financial companies led to the financial crisis and recession, and […]

Deficit reduction: DOs and DON’Ts

The forum on American debt and deficit had it right. First, don’t panic. Don’t stop the stimulus spending or raise taxes with the economy still near the bottom. The Center […]

G-20 Promises: What They Mean

The G-20 Summit is wrapping up today. We can compare its performance to promises made in advance. Leaders discussed financial markets, of course, but they also made promises about jobs […]

G-20 Facts: Accounts out of Balance

Source: BEA Today is the first day of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Because the G-20 nations represent 80 percent of world trade, it makes sense to look at America’s […]

Steel City: Forgotten But Not Gone

In the lead up to the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, mainstream media are telling half a story. Everyone seems to agree that heavy industry is a thing of the past. […]

Obama Immigration Policy: Record Arrests

New data just came in from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. In the first nine months of fiscal year 2009 the U.S. government reported 67,994 new […]

The G-20: Lessons from Pittsburgh

The G-20 Summit is in Pittsburgh later this week. Leaders from the 20 countries that collectively represent two-thirds of the world’s population, 80 percent of world trade and 90 percent […]

Productivity Rose, Workers Didn’t

Today’s “Productivity and Costs” data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics contain what looks like good news. “Labor productivity increased at a 6.6 percent annual rate during the second quarter […]

New Data, Same Story

Today’s data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis tell the same old story. National GDP is dropping and personal incomes are dropping along with it. These are troubled times. But […]

The Deficit: More Perspective, Less Hysteria, Please.

The Congressional Budget Office published revised estimates about the deficit, and people are hyperventilating. “[B]urying our children and grandchildren under a mountain of unsustainable debt,” declared House minority leader John […]

Building a Clean Energy Economy: The IMPACT Act

The Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act squeaked through the House of Representatives late last week (219-212). Although some expressed doubts, many people consider the bill a terrific breakthrough and […]

2044 on FireDogLake

I’ve blogged about my novel, 2044, here and here. 2044 is a future tale that starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem in 2044 isn’t Big Brother and […]

Madoff: Fall Guy or First of Many?

Bernard Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison for one of the biggest investment frauds in Wall Street history. The punishment seems to fit the crime…. But there […]

2044: The Novel Comes True

Remember a while ago I wrote about my new novel, 2044? 2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother and the leviathan government. The problem […]

Center-Left America

The wind is at our backs. The media still calls America a “center-right” nation, but “center-left” is closer to the truth. On issues ranging from health care to energy, the […]

2044: Big Brother Inc.

I just finished a new novel, 2044. 2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother and the leviathan government. The problem is Big Brother Inc., […]

Good deficit, bad deficit.

Obama has introduced his budget, and people are hyperventilating about the deficit. Piling “debt on the backs of our kids and our grandkids,” declares House minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). […]

The Obama Budget: A Stick In The Eye For Banks

With all the fuss over Wall Street bailouts and AIG bonuses, one banking breakthrough is going unnoticed. Obama’s proposed budget completely eliminates an unnecessary, obsolete bank subsidy: College student loans […]

Fixing the Economy. Seriously.

There were no theatrics. No single women came in to protest life’s travails, no displaced workers told of the factory shut down. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Steering […]

Don’t Fall For It

Don’t fall for it. The Republicans are attacking President-elect Barack Obama’s nomination of Eric Holder as attorney general. There are “red flags,” says Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, starting with the […]

Falling Apart, Falling Behind

Previous posts and our report have discussed how America is falling apart. Collapsing bridges, high unemployment, and so forth. In this post I discuss how we are falling behind. China […]

Conservatives: Not even trying to be serious

The email came from GOPUSA, whose mission is to “spread the conservative message throughout America.” The editorial, “Barack Obama’s Dream Cabinet”, caught my attention. I’m curious and thought they might […]
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