Economics & Empire

What Health Insurance Does to Prices

doctor July 8, 2013
Last summer, my youngest son was on a church trip on the other side of the country, when he hurt his hand. A deep gash on his middle finger required immediate attention at a clinic in rural Virginia. A day…
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Independence Day Discord

JamesOtis July 4, 2013
As some prepare to don the stars and stripes in all tasteless manners of irony, and speak sarcastically and casually about concepts such as freedom; and as others, who opt for less cloying displays, prep the grills and check provisions…
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Seemliness and Scale

treasury department June 24, 2013
The terms ‘seemly’ (conforming to accepted notions of propriety or good taste) and ‘unseemly’ (not proper or appropriate) describe behaviors which are not, strictly speaking, moral or immoral, legal or illegal, but which are nevertheless fitting or unfitting, and consequently praiseworthy…
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The Localist and the Big Box Store

nichols June 3, 2013
Hidden Springs Lane. Should a localist shop at Home Depot? Or Walmart? The question, as I’ve stated it, should taste slightly off, like milk that is just on the verge of turning sour. If localism were an ideology with…
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Food Stamps and Krazy Glue

benefit card May 10, 2013
On a recent Monday morning, an officemate and I were discussing the current financial state—always a cheery subject on a Monday.  Mark, a financial planner, said that many believe we are currently in a for-real, genuine, bona fide depression. “Many…
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What Then Must We Do?: Worker Ownership Redux

cover May 2, 2013
The following is an excerpt from from Gar Alperovitz’s What Then Must We Do? (Chelsea Green, 2013) and is reprinted with permission of the publisher. Learn more about the book here.  By the way, and finally (for the moment), there are also many, many worker-owned…
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Capital Offense

April 14, 2013
Washington, DC I’ve been spending my semester in exile in our nation’s capital. My apartment is in Arlington, on a ridge overlooking the city. From that spot I have a clear view of the Pentagon, the Capitol dome, the Washington…
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U.S. ‘Intervention’ in Syria Unlawful

600px-Syria_(orthographic_projection)_svg April 8, 2013
Proponents of Syria “intervention” did not seem to notice any irony as Secretary of State John Kerry, on the one hand, chastened Iraq for letting Iran use its airspace to aid President Assad’s regime in Syria,[1] and, they, on the…
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Democracy Is A Racket

71fmyledCZL._SL1360_ March 22, 2013
War and Democracy by Paul Gottfried Arktos Media Ltd 170 pp., $21.00   In this slender volume Paul Gottfried addresses everything from the influence of ancient Greek thought on Oswald Spengler, to the influence of Zionism on US foreign policy,…
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In Defense of President Obama’s Syria Policy

U.S. President Obama speaks at the White House in Washington March 21, 2013
Myriad calls have been made for intervention in Syria. President Obama has been blamed with everything from “feeble paralysis most foul” to subcontracting “foreign policy to the likes of Qatar” and lacking principle in his national security calculus. Supposedly, Syria…
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Filibustering the Filibuster

Senate-chamber March 9, 2013
Washington, Connecticut. As I watched Senator Rand Paul slurp his dripping candy bar, a sinking feeling set in. This does not diminish his determined stance but one should rightly be filled with despair at the idea that a Senator must…
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What Does the Boss Really Do? Business Education and the Liberal Arts

boss March 7, 2013
An address given to the Ciceronian Society at Mount St. Mary’s University, March 3. At the start of each semester, I ask my MBA students, “What are you here for? An education or a credential?” The students neither hesitate nor…
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The Journey Home

journey home March 4, 2013
If you had told me, a happy and professionally satisfied D.C. lawyer living on Capitol Hill, just over a year ago, that I would be back someday soon living in my hometown of East Grand Rapids, Michigan, writing this, I…
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Exurban Dream? What Exurbs and Suburbs Have in Common

exurb dream February 28, 2013
When in 1967 my parents were the thirteenth family to move into newly minted Columbia, Maryland, I was three months old. The American dream at that time generally took the form of owning a house in the suburbs. In the…
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The Budget Redux

February 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for The Budget Redux So I’ve recently written about the GAO’s overview of the US Economy. The CBO has just released its own report projecting economic activity and the budget for the next ten years. It is, again, a bracing report. Despite the President’s…
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The Budget: A Citizen’s Guide?

February 2, 2013
The Department of the Treasury recently released its “Citizen’s Guide to the 2012 Financial Report of the United States Government.” At 246 pages of relatively dense economic analysis I’m guessing not too many citizens have read it. It has all…
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