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Category Archives: Economic issues

The mendacity of the punditry

Not long ago, I made the claim here that all conservative discourse is derp and always has been derp. You’ll always find a fallacy in conservative discourse. Sometimes the fallacies are the unintentional errors of defective conservative minds, and sometimes they’re sly attempts to deceive us. This is one of the reasons why conservative propaganda […]

The world we’d like to live in

A Brief History of Equality. Thomas Piketty, Harvard University Press, April 19, 2022. 274 pages. Is much of the world better off now than it was, say, 200 years ago? Yes, undoubtedly, says Thomas Piketty. He does not use the words “the arc of justice,” but I would. The transcendentalist theologian Theodore Parker was quite […]

Oil: Why can’t we ever learn?

The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 770 that belonged to Emperor Hirohito. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Here we are once again in that most familiar of geopolitical pickles. The advocates of progress and democracy still have the oil leash tight around their necks, jerking them around and holding them back. The other end of the leash is held by […]

Support the Scottish economy!

I got that little glass while touring the Oban distillery in 2018. Tonight is Burns Night in Scotland. For those of you not familiar with Burns Night, I’ll leave you to Google for Scottish sources that can describe it much better than I can. But you’d be safe to assume that Burns Night involves food, […]

Fiona Hill for president!

There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century. Fiona Hill, Mariner Books. 432 pages. I rarely read political memoirs, but I made an exception for Fiona Hill. She made a strong impression on millions of people during the House impeachment hearings of 2019. She was a visible example of the kind […]

Can we have some nice things now?

Pete Buttigieg at Washington Union Station. Source: Wikipedia. With “Amtrak Joe” in the White House, and the new U.S. secretary of transportation wanting to lead the world in high-speed rail (we’re now 19th) can we Americans now have some nice things? To people like me, who have ridden thousands of miles on trains (President Biden […]

Do we really need so much stuff?

It took almost a month to build the new shed up above the garden. For ten years, a shed has been much needed here, because I did not have a place to store the lawn mower, or the tiller, out of the weather. Plus my beloved Jeep needs to be sheltered. But when I stand […]

Scary new predictions from Nouriel Roubini

Scheduled air traffic, 2009. Wikipedia. I owe a great deal to Nouriel Roubini. I had been a liberal prepper since 9/11. I was preparing for retirement as the Bush-Cheney financial bubble grew — and grew and grew. If you believed the horsewash and the noise in the media, it was a fine time to borrow […]

Lest we forget: Nature bats last

“The Course of Empires: Destruction.” Thomas Cole, 1836. Click here for high-resolution version. About two years ago, I reviewed Kyle Harper’s book The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. Harper drew on new climate research and what we might call archeological microbiology to remind us that political histories are only […]

Envying the U.K.’s public transportation

Paddington Station, London. Just look how clean it is. I added up the number of hours of travel required to get from Acorn Abbey in the Blue Ridge foothills of North America to Stornaway on the isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It comes to about 28 hours. Of those hours, 25 […]