Skip to content

Category Archives: Economic issues

Environmental justice: The people fight back

Al Gore This is a rather long photo essay. I hope you’ll bear with me. People sometimes ask me why I choose to live in a rural and seemingly backward place like Stokes County, North Carolina, after 18 years in an urbane place like San Francisco. Stokes is a poor county in the foothills of […]

Old Scotland and the modern world

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The true story of how Western Europe’s poorest nation created our world and everything in it. By Arthur Herman. Random House, 2001. 472 pages. The title and subtitle of this book contain quite a lot of hyperbole. Of course the Scots didn’t create the modern world and everything […]

Oh no. More low-end grocery stores.

I went into a Lidl store for the first time yesterday. I had no idea what it is, any more than I knew what an Aldi store is the first (and last) time I went into one. I was shocked that this is the way the grocery business is going — extremely wide aisles, not […]

Even crummy tips aren’t safe from Republican taking

We recently learned that Trump’s labor department wants to change the rules so that restaurant tips would belong to restaurant owners rather than servers. Here’s a link to a story in the Guardian, “Restaurants have no right to take employees’ tips.” The cruelty of this is just business as usual for the Republican Party. And […]

Robots and inequality

Amazon’s new automated store in Seattle. Source: Wikipedia Trump voters and consumers of Fox News are having the time of their lives these days, glorying in how their big man is sticking it to liberals, immigrants, and brown-skinned people. They actually feel safer, now that a con man is in the White House who feeds […]

eBay’ing from Japan

Having spent an embarrassing amount of money lately on a film camera, lenses, and other stuff necessary for film photography, I certainly had noticed on eBay that some of the best deals and best prices were from Japanese dealers. I came across a portrait lens that looked so perfect and was so reasonably priced that […]

Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia

Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia, by Steven Stoll. Hill and Wang, 2017. 412 pages. ★★★★★ During the past couple of years, an extraordinary series of books have brought to our attention just what a sorry state the world is in. Ramp Hollow is the latest. Some of the others (many of which I have […]

Democracy in Chains

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Nancy MacLean. Viking, released June 13, 2017, 368 pages. This book has been out for just over two weeks, but already there are 65 Amazon reviews. With the exception of one 2-star rating, all the ratings are either 5 stars […]

Looking for economic indicators

From our pockets to theirs Last year, we were transfixed by the horror of the 2016 election. So far this year, we can’t take our eyes off the train wreck of Trump in the White House. Most of us haven’t been paying much attention to the economy. It would be smart to take a look. […]

More Buffalo China

This blog gets a lot of visits from people who are interested in the history of Buffalo China. I would collect Buffalo china if I had anywhere to put it, but as things are I’ve collected only enough Buffalo china for the table, and no more than will fit in the kitchen cabinets. But recently, […]