These Kids Today

In the fiscal year that ended in June, 52,193 undocumented minors were caught crossing the United States’s southern border. That is twice as many as the previous year. Many of these children were unaccompanied. The vast majority are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, into which drug gangs and violence have spread from Mexico. There… Continue reading These Kids Today

The Ball and Chain Economy

Things must be getting pretty dull when the Fed’s interest rate report tops the headlines, but there it was: front-page hoopla over Chairman Bernanke’s bold announcement of a sweeping new strategy. Interest rates will remain very low indeed, he said, until unemployment goes below 6.5 percent. Well, Shoot Me Now. While I gather my thoughts… Continue reading The Ball and Chain Economy

No. Stop. Please

Every now and then the threat of a new new Walmart will arise in our local struggling postindustrial city, and a dogged crew of well-read, well-fed progressives will turn out to oppose it. Perhaps the Big-box juggernaut will be thwarted for a time — even though a majority of the city’s struggling postindustrial people may… Continue reading No. Stop. Please

Small Business: Rhetoric and Reality

One thing that nobody disagreed about in the 2012 campaign was that small business is good, and needs help. There was great disagreement, of course, about how best to give it that help. But nobody is against small business! It provides most of America’s jobs, and it exemplifies the very best of America’s can-do spirit,… Continue reading Small Business: Rhetoric and Reality

Time is Money (Or is it?)

I found myself on the highway today, weaving dangerously, once again, because I was attempting to eat a sandwich as I went. I started thinking about the old saw, “Time is money”. What do you suppose it costs society for people like me to not have time for lunch, eat messy sandwiches on the road… Continue reading Time is Money (Or is it?)

My Tainted Trousers

The main media buzz has — all too soon — drifted away from the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, in which over a thousand garment workers lost their lives, and another 2,500 were injured. I heard the news report when it happened, and even engaged in a few rather brief discussions, over the… Continue reading My Tainted Trousers

The Ultimate Cyberweapon

An editorial in the New York Times recently expressed concern over cyber-attacks being perpetrated by Chinese hackers against United States military, business and industrial computer systems. The editorial suggested that the US and Chinese governments try to quickly come to terms with this problem, perhaps by a negotiated agreement for fighting spam and malware. Of course, the United… Continue reading The Ultimate Cyberweapon

Good Luck With That, Jeffrey Sachs

My general impression of Jeffrey Sachs is that the things he says usually make some sense; he’s well-credentialed, widely published, quoted, cited, featured, y’know, and what-all. So I was a bit surprised, yesterday, to see a steaming pile of fresh bull-phunqué under his byline, titled “Time to End the Tax Havens.” Sachs is promoting yet another charity campaign, “Enough Food… Continue reading Good Luck With That, Jeffrey Sachs

Global Poverty: Real and Virtual

Glancing at HuffPost over morning coffee (something that costs about $1.50 these days at most NYC bodegas), I noticed that a couple of bloggers, Jessica Prois and Eleanor Goldberg, are documenting their participation in the “Live Below the Line” campaign of the Global Poverty Project. The challenge they’ve taken on is to feed themselves on no more that… Continue reading Global Poverty: Real and Virtual