Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things We Used to Do

I guess I'm getting old when I start talking about the way things used to be. I suppose every generation could create one of these lists.

So here's mine:

We used to go to the bank on Friday night to get pocket money for the week. Either that or we'd cash a check at a local grocery, liquor or other store. This was before ATMs.

Best Basketball Players in the World


Kevin Durant has pulled out of international basketball competition's U.S. team and few can blame him. Durant has been thinking about an NBA title for probably 10-12 years. 

The fact that the US team has lost some recent international tournaments only shows that basketball is a team sport which relies more on continuity of 10 or so players practicing and playing together full time and less on throwing together 10 of the best players in the world for 2-3 weeks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Beer Graduate

I started drinking beer when I was 16 and I spent the rest of high school in hot pursuit of the foamy beverage. Because I was too young to be served in a bar, my friends and I usually bought six-packs from the groceries and markets which were known to sell to just about anyone over 5 feet 9 inches. We then drank can after can in somebody's parents' car or basement when the adults were away. It all usually ended with some foolishness, unrestrained laughter and often vomiting. 

It was all loads of fun as the reader can imagine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taxpayer Rule

I've sometimes thought that election day should be held on April 15th rather than the first Tuesday in November so that people have it fresh in their minds that they pay for services from the government and can vote accordingly. But undoubtedly some political scholar would say this is a bad idea because (for example) we don't want elections to be about how much we pay in taxes or we don't want to elect someone just because he or she promises to reduce spending more than everyone else.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wage Stagnation and Increased Purchase Power


I consider myself an armchair economist so what I am about to say might be missing something but I will summarize what I understand to be two sides to an issue.

We know that wages or income have been largely stagnant for most Americans since the mid-1970s. That is, when we take the incomes of Americans 40 years ago and adjust it for inflation, there has not been any improvement. There are a number of things to account for in this statistic and while I can't go into the reasons here, I will say that generally I believe it is true; despite an increase in productivity and increases in GDP since 1975, the average worker is not bringing home more money today than 40 years ago. (I say 'he' because it appears that the glass ceiling notwithstanding, women's income has risen on average since then. But of course the gender pay gap is still quite common and unfairness in pay between the sexes has not been adequately dealt with.)