Category Archives: Poverty

Deconstructing the “De-growth” Movement

Tom Rogan in the Washington Examiner wrote a very interesting piece on the new expression of an old idea–”degrowth.”  (see http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-far-left-has-an-idiotic-new-craze-reduce-economic-growth/article/2631274).  He leads with these words: “Even the Soviets sought to maximize economic output. But today’s contemporary far-left are far bolder: they believe that economics itself is wrong.”  He writes further, “From their perspective, government shouldn’t simply control the means of economic production (socialism), it should actively work to reduce gross domestic product (GDP).”  Yes, you read that correctly.  The… Continue Reading ››

Making Cities “Great” Means Making People “Great”

I just returned from a visit with my mother in my (and her) home city, Huntington, West Virginia.  We drove by way of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Both cities are in “flyover country” and both have suffered from the heavy (and likely irreversible) loss of manufacturing jobs.  To give you an idea of the losses, Huntington has dwindled from about 90,000 residents in 1960 to about 45,000 today.  Even accounting for suburban flight, that is a big loss–and the suburbs haven’t grown… Continue Reading ››

“How Do You Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm When They’ve See ‘Gay’ Paris”*

President Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.  I will say at the outset that I support this move.  Let’s settle the “legal” issues first.  The agreement was not a treaty, and was not ratified by the Senate.  It might be classified as an executive agreement or as a simple presidential agreement.  The courts have never held an agreement other than a treaty as binding in an attempt to leave that agreement.  That should settle that–unless of course some… Continue Reading ››

A Preliminary Look at Health Costs and Insurance

I was asked to address the question of insurance in connection with healthcare, so I am finally mostly over my flu and hopefully can think more lucidly.  Insurance, as has been defined by some others, is simply a hedge against the future attained by paying someone (an insurer) who has established a firm that accepts many similar payees into a pool.  Out of that pool come payments now to those in need of them (contractually) and also those not in… Continue Reading ››

The Next Step Toward the Brave New World

Wesley Smith wrote a short news item on “The Corner” in National Review Online, and linking a longer article in First Things, in which he mentions that in New Zealand and India, a few rivers have now been granted formal rights, allowing them, through their lawyers, to sue on behalf of themselves.  They were legally declared persons under law.  (See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446347/rivers-given-rights.  I saw this coming almost 40 years ago, in a couple of articles in law reviews as well as… Continue Reading ››

A New Beginning or Obamacare Lite?

The House of Representatives has now publicly rolled out its “Repeal and Replace” bill for the elimination of Obamacare and a new health care law.  President Trump seems to like it, while Democrats, predictably, hate it, though I cannot see how they have had time to read it, and some Republicans, such as Rand Paul, have called it “Obamacare Light” because it still contains too much welfare statism.  The bill, to be marked up soon enough, is to its credit,… Continue Reading ››

What Will Congress Do About Obamacare?

What is going on with Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act?  Spirits were high about quick action in the House and even the Senate.  Ideas have not been lacking—there are several plans out there to replace the present law.  The obstacle seems to be the usual collective suspect—politicians and their obsessive worry about re-election.  It is simply a fact of life that politicians generally want (desperately?) to be re-elected once in office.  That is not likely to change,… Continue Reading ››

The City of Man

I am sitting in the San Antonio airport, waiting for my flight back home, reflecting on an excellent Values and Capitalism retreat here and–the subject of this blog–my walk yesterday.  My goal was to walk to a bookstore about two miles from my downtown hotel.  I had mapped it out using Googlemaps and set out for what I thought would be about a 20 minute trip one way.  37 minutes later I realized I had gone too far and had… Continue Reading ››

The Great Enrichment and Inequality

I have been reading the third in a trilogy of books by Deidre McCloskey on economic history and economic thought, but each one having a powerful point of application for our economy and our well-being today.  The trilogy is massive, running to about 2,000 pages in three volumes.  This third volume is Bourgeois Equality (University of Chicago, 2016).  As the title implies a big part of the book addresses, directly and indirectly, the issue of inequality or it opposite, equality. … Continue Reading ››

Minimum Wage, Minimum Work, Minimum Dignity

California, predictably, has passed a $15/hour minimum wage.  New York is likely to. A few cities have done it already.  Bernie Sanders wants a Federal wage of $15, while Hillary Clinton wants a $12 wage.  And so the issue is once again on the table, at a time when wages are stagnant and unemployment is tepid.  In fact that is why the issue has become so important again to its advocates.  It looks like the high minimum wage is being… Continue Reading ››