Center on Wealth & Poverty

Wrong Checks Are in the IRS Mail

Most people know totalitarian regimes tend to abuse their own citizens. What is not well known is that in most such regimes people have court trials before they are fined, imprisoned, or worse. Such governments like to pretend they are acting under the rule of law, and that the people convicted are guilty of some crime. Typically, totalitarian governments issue Read More ›

Rule of Law vs. Number of Laws

Would you have been more likely to be murdered in 1900, if you had been alive, than in 2000? If you answered no, as I expect most people would, you would be correct. The evidence is, albeit imperfect, that most Americans were less likely to be murder victims 100 years ago than today. Sociologists, criminologists, economists, and assorted other “ists” Read More ›

This is a 44 image HDR panoramic image of the Capitol building. This has been downsampled to 4k width so that it’s not stupidly large.I’m playing around with HDR panoramas at the moment and this one turned out pretty well.
Photo by Michael75 at Unsplash

Why Is the Level of Discourse So Low?

Discussion of economic policy matters among politicians has sunk almost to the level of a frat house food fight. There are several reasons for this sorry state of affairs. First, there is an appalling level of ignorance among many political leaders about economic fundamentals. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle recently blamed the recession, in part, on the president’s Read More ›

A Corporate Crime Wave?

Crime may have declined in the streets but, by the recent inflammation of the pundits, you would think there has been an outbreak of corporate criminality. The Internet, communications, and stock-market booms of the 1990s, it seems, were based on a pervasive series of felonious acts. A wide array of businesses, from Global Crossing to Loral, from General Electric to Read More ›

Economic Sabotage

The American people are under attack not only from foreign terrorists but now from some members of their own U.S. Congress. The most basic function of government is to protect the people and their property. Our intelligence and law enforcement community failed in this duty on September 11, and the Congress failed in this duty the week before Christmas We Read More ›

How safe do you want to be?

As a culture, we increasingly believe government should protect us from dying from anything, yet we are all going to die. At the moment, despite our apparent successful efforts against the Taliban, many Americans fear being killed by a terrorist far more than they fear many things that are much more likely to kill them. Fortunately, during the past 50 Read More ›

Defeating Deflation

Deflation is upon us. Put another way, the U.S. economy is now experiencing a sustained reduction in the general level of prices. Last month, the Producer Price Index posted its biggest decline on record, 1.6%, and the Consumer Price Index fell by 0.3%. All of the major commodity price indices are down by 11% to 20% for the year. Many Read More ›

Ending Fiscal Fluster…and Anxiety

A broad coalition of representatives of many major economic policy organizations came together in late September with a common message and program for economic recovery. The political establishment now favors economic “stimulus.” Stimulus is a nice, positive sounding (in most cases) word, but it doesn’t tell us with any specificity what we should do for the economy. Those of us Read More ›

Airline Safety

If you boarded an airplane and had some concern about it being hijacked, would you be more concerned about an older woman with a sewing kit, or a young man in casual clothing with no visible carry-on items as a fellow passenger? If you answered the young man, you are being rational rather than an anti-young-man bigot. Older women are Read More ›

Economic growth options

[From the August 9, 2001 edition of The Washington Times] Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said recently that the economic slowdown might last despite the Fed rate cuts. His comments notwithstanding, there is no reason for us just to sit like toads and wait for some favorable alignment of the stars. We can revive high growth if we so choose. Read More ›