Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

NPR on Fighting Fair

I was listening in to NPR, hearing about what the powerful Russian airforce is doing to defenseless citizens in Georgia.  What I did not hear was how similar Russian explanations for their actions and their tactics sound identical to those of the US military — including taking out defense and communications facilities.

The Irrelevance of Workers In Economic Theory

Many of you know that I am finishing up a book manuscript regarding the exclusion of work, workers and working conditions from economic theory.  This part jumps into the middle of a section.  The meat of the post is really in the third and fourth paragraphs, where I do a JSTOR survey of the almost total exclusion from economics.  Fans of Martin Feldstein may appreciate his contribution. Continue reading


I don’t usually use the Internet to kvetch, but after 6 weeks of smoke that had me wearing a mask, I now am reduced to dialup.  We lost on electricity on Tue. night because of the strongest thunderstorm I have ever witnessed.  The walls on the house shook.  Rapid lightening strikes eventually took out a transformer around the corner.  I talked to some of the repairmen sitting in a truck.  They could not do anything until someone came to tell them which transformer is out.

I told them that I could show it to them.  It goes out frequently.  15 minutes later, they drove way.  Finally, after continual promises that a fix was coming in 2 hours, we finally got electricity back on Wed. night, only to find out that our DSL was kaput.

AT&T has been giving us the same runaround as PG&E.  One call promised that a technician would come by 8 tonight, but another said that we have our “appointment” between 8 am and 8 pm on Wed.

Pension Ripoffs — Ellen Schultz Deserves an Award

Ellen Schulz deserves some sort of award for keeping on top of the pension ripoffs that the corporations pull off.  Here she also discusses my old employer, Consolidated Freightways.

Basically, the companies, even when they are cutting benefits for ordinary workers, they get shift lush executive pensions into the tax-free pension fund, increasing profits and managerial benefits at the same time.

Here is the article.  Read it and weep. Continue reading

How to Fix the Housing Mess: An Alternative to Dean Baker

espite the large number of people who lack adequate housing and rents that make decent housing unaffordable, the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins suggests housing demolition as a way to eliminate the excess supply of “homes going rancid on the shelf.”  As discussed in

New York, inspired by Roger Starr, engaged in the planned shrinkage of New York, which meant letting houses burn in poor neighborhoods, which inspired arson, which helped to clear out neighborhoods for developers.
This kind of logic might even lead to reducing unemployment by ….

Jenkins, Holman W. jr. 2008. “How to Shake Off the Mortgage Mess.” Wall Street Journal (30 July): p. A 13.

Continue reading