Category Archives: Public Policy

Toilets and Tourists

Maine spends millions of public and private dollars a year attracting tourists, providing them memorable experiences, and trying to lure them back for another visit.  Most of that we do very well and tourism remains a keystone to our economic wellbeing.  There is at least one thing we do poorly – toilets.  The state motto […]

Open Season on Chickadees

It was an honor to give the Geddes Simpson Memorial Lecture at UMaine last week.  In the lecture I put forth the proposition that the State of Maine adopt an open firearms season on chickadees under which every holder of a hunting license could shoot an unlimited number of chickadees during the year.  After all, the […]

“Renewable” Energy – Powerful Words Make Us Do Stupid Things

The term “renewable” is now magical when applied to energy policy.  We understand intuitively that fossil fuels are fixed, not renewable.  Even if they are abundant now, every bit of coal, oil, or natural gas we use means there is less available, and their use causes a host of environmental and national security problems.  If […]

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 […]