Category Archives: Inequality

Be Happy You Didn’t Live in 1870

Robert Gordon’s 2016 book The Rise and Fall of American Growth is a comprehensive history of “the U.S. standard of living since the civil war.”  Gordon, a Northwestern University economist, details changes in consumption of food, clothing, shelter, and transport during a period when Americans experienced unprecedented improvement in quality of life.  From brutally difficult, […]

Was the Internet a Good Idea?

I remember clearly my first inkling of something new called the world wide web.  I had recently started using email and two colleagues brought me a U.S. Department of Agriculture publication describing a new information system.   One would be able to use a computer and software that would “crawl” about looking for information stored on […]

Actually, A National Energy Tax Would Be Good for Maine

In this season of interminable political ads, one Bruce Poliquin TV ad berates his opponent Emily Cain for supporting a “national energy tax.”  The ad says such a tax would be bad for Maine.  I do not know whether Emily Cain supports a national energy tax or not, but I do.  Contrary to the Poliquin […]

Donald Trump’s Tax Secrets: What if Everyone’s Tax Records Were Public?

Presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to refuse releasing any of his income tax records.  Pundits speculate about the reasons behind this secrecy.  Perhaps he has not been as successful a business operator as he claims.  Maybe he has not been as generous in his support of causes embraced in his campaign, like veteran’s groups, as […]

Class Warfare?

A key issue in the upcoming (and seemingly interminable) Presidential campaign is supposed to  be inequality.  Major candidates are already talking about their solutions to the problem of increasing inequality in the U.S.  Not surprisingly, most of the proposals are for tired prescriptions from the past.  Democrats call for increasing minimum wages while Republicans talk […]