Nonfiction: Populace Asked to Pay for Public Spending

It’s remarkable how often contemporary Danish politics has mirrored the action in “Borgen,” a serial drama from that country that has been popular with American streaming audiences. If only the U.S. could learn something from a recent attempt at sane governing by the real-life female prime minister, Mette Frederiksen. Faced with expected increases in Denmark’sContinue reading “Nonfiction: Populace Asked to Pay for Public Spending”

L.A.’s Loosening Grip on the Golden Goose of Trade

California’s middle class, a mainstay of the state’s prosperous growth in the mid-20th century, is due to suffer another pinch. Already pressed between the high land costs driven by a technology and entertainment elite and the galloping social costs of large poverty pockets and tight environmental and legal strictures, this median economic sector is beginningContinue reading “L.A.’s Loosening Grip on the Golden Goose of Trade”

Trade Divides the D.C. Parties Internally

Among the issues continuing to split the majority (Democrat) party in America is global trade, especially in goods. Today’s report in the New York Times about warnings within the Biden administration of inordinate harm to blacks and the poor from freer trade is further indication that a return to the national party’s international commercial bentContinue reading “Trade Divides the D.C. Parties Internally”

Where Trump Took the GOP Down

One notable casualty of the Donald Trump deadweight that burdened Republicans on Tuesday was a previously safe GOP seat in Michigan that had been held by one of the most libertarian members of Congress, Peter Meijer. The incumbent was defeated in a party primary by a Trumpist after having voted for an impeachment article againstContinue reading “Where Trump Took the GOP Down”

Petrol Defies the Dirges

It’s been said for a few years now that gasoline sales in the U.S. would retreat as better mileage standards applied to combustion-engine vehicles and hybrids and EVs steadily took their place anyway. This has been a frequent rationale for increasing the fuel excise taxes that federal, state and local governments apply on petrol: TheyContinue reading “Petrol Defies the Dirges”

Hamptons Hint: Bigger Is No Longer Better

Even in places that like to think they “live and let live,” it’s possible to get too much in other people’s faces. That’s basically where we are on the East End of Long Island, where the McMansion binge is leading to many new homes being built to the legal limits of size and footprint, oftenContinue reading “Hamptons Hint: Bigger Is No Longer Better”

Cast Your Political Eyes Past 2022, to Kentucky

We’ll soon know what the electoral verdict of 2022 is, but as this Kentucky political newsletter shows, underlying issues are going to carry forward into 2023 and beyond. Kentucky is a useful case study–a (Civil War) border state that in recent decades has trended Republican but where the loss of affluent suburbs has hurt theContinue reading “Cast Your Political Eyes Past 2022, to Kentucky”

Dwindling Ranks of the Unbanked

It turns out that getting a bank account in the U.S. these days is not so difficult after all. That was the news this week, after years of stories about the many unbanked among us and various possible government remedies for this, including having the Postal Service open deposit accounts. But, as this Associated PressContinue reading “Dwindling Ranks of the Unbanked”

Deconstructing a Case for Re-use of Building Materials

I hate waste, so I’m usually tempted by articles about recycling or reuse. The NY Times has this magazine-length one in print today, primarily about efforts to take down a Dutch office tower but salvage the parts. The theme is that building materials and demolitions account for a huge swath of the carbon footprint, amongContinue reading “Deconstructing a Case for Re-use of Building Materials”

When New York Emptied ‘Excess’ Jail Cells

For some time, many libertarians have joined reformers on the left in pushing various decarceration measures, out of conviction that too many people are behind bars in America and that this is both unjust and excessively expensive. In the last five years or so, this cause has led to changed policies in major jurisdictions, includingContinue reading “When New York Emptied ‘Excess’ Jail Cells”