Category Archives: United States

I get it and I don’t get it…. mocking earnestness and mocking people are not the same thing

  “How many genders are there?” Mr. Witt asked before turning and staring deadpan at the camera. Some people laughed and walked away. Most, knowing the camera was rolling, engaged.“As many as you want?” a recent Ph.D. student responded, a … Continue reading

Posted in United States

I listened. The Republicans are not saying much. Rep. Sensenbrenner (R,WI) offers an oped in the New York Times

I posted this on Twitter and though I would have as coherent paragraph. A quick response to  Rep. Sensenbrenner (R,WI) oped. Sensenbrenner purports to explain why he voted against the articles of impeachment. I wanted to carefully review his argument. … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Affordable housing at about $200,000 a unit in San Jose?

I wish reporters would give  better sense of the financing and ownership details of these affordable housing projects. For example, from SJ Spotlight, an excellent new online newspaper serving the South Bay: The two proposals on the agenda are located … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

What did Mulvaney actually say?

So the context of the rather raucous press conference was that Mulvaney wanted to say that the overall reason for aid holdup was corruption in Ukraine and Europeans not contributing. Rather lame of course because all that should have been … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Should anti-vaccination parents be liable under tort law if their child infects a baby and kills them?

With the current measles outbreak this is a “live” issue. From Dorit Reiss at UC Hastings College of the Law: Further, we do make exceptions and impose liability for nonaction when there are strong policy reasons. When parents decide not … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Want to understand the reparations issue? Nobody better than Prof. Sandy Darity to patiently and clearly explain

Cannot embed directly into WordPress, so here is the link: https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?458905-4/washington-journal-william-darity-discusses-reparations-campaign-2020

Posted in United States

Uber co-founder eyes downtown San Jose historic building

Uber co-founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick’s new realty investment enterprise has obtained a contract to purchase the old Hank Coca’s Furniture store and Odd Fellows building at 82 E. Santa Clara St. The building became available after Leisure … Continue reading

Posted in San Jose

Small facts I always forget: US has no restrictions on dual citizenship

Anticipating Nov. 6 election when many of my fellow citizens will vote their preference to live under a right-wing autocracy that uses mass media to boil blood just because they are mad about a trans kid in Nebraska whose gender … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Recent experiences with minimum wages

A nice The New York Times story on Seattle that prompted this roundup (HT:Bill Sundstrom): “In their latest paper, which has not been formally peer reviewed, Mr. Vigdor and his colleagues considered how the minimum-wage increases affected three broad groups: … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Some readings on the economics of private prisons

Here is a Brookings Institution report:  “The 2016 Nobel prize-winner in Economics, Oliver Hart, and coauthors explained that prison contracts tend to induce the wrong incentives by focusing on specific tasks such as accreditation requirements and hours of staff training … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Building housing in San Jose

My response to a friend and neighbor: “I have no problem with 3-4 story housing all along the corridors, throughout the city, and higher heights on larger lots like the old hospital site. So when the planner you quoted gave … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Readings on immigration issues in the United States

A good The New Yorker introduction to very recent (October 2018) policy issue of naturalization of permanent residents (green card holders). Hanson, Liu and McIntosh on immigration to the US by low-skilled young workers. Abstract: From the 1970s to the … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Legacy of slavery in the United States: a few readings and perspectives

Heather O’Connell and Robert Reece find sizable correlation of extent of slavery with public school enrollment and attendance in the present (see summary here): Drawing from our regression analysis, we argue that slavery history shaped the local social structure in … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Some recent news on the American economy

The Census Bureau a couple of weeks ago released an update on the U.S. economy for 2017. The headline was that real median household income had increased by 2.6 percent, and was about $61,000, and the poverty rate was 12.3%. … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

Why Steve Bannon is an incoherent blowhard who The New Yorker should disinvite

I’m in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,doing good things hopefully, talking with interesting people, learning about how our programs to support village libraries are going, and this Steve Bannon-The New Yorker thing comes up and I’m sooooooo disappointed. And pissed. Why? Because … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso, United States

You really should be watching live stream of Hawai’i lava flow for at least ten minutes

Gradually you get an idea that the plumes of molten lava shooting into the air are maybe the size of a ten story building. So much for us “ugly sacks of mostly water.”

Posted in United States

Understatement of the year of housing in California

You can debate how dramatically the character of a city would change by building a five-story apartment building next to a single family home. I don’t think the debate is a debate about an abstract notion of the “character of … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Housing bill SB 287 defeated in committee in California

SB 287 defeated in committee, so that is it for 2018. I was very nervous about this bill. I think a lot of the optimistic analyses did not consider the many potential unforeseen consequences, especially the distributional consequences. I lived … Continue reading

Posted in United States

Why did the South support the Federal income tax and the 16th amendment? because they understood the Progressive movement all too well

Robin Einhorn on tax redistribution to the South in the United States, “Look Away Dixieland: The South And The Federal Income Tax” in Northwestern University Law Review, 2014. Some facts (and Einhorn has great maps in the paper): Armed with … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching macroeconomics, United States

Great article by Emily Oster and Geoffrey Kocks on vaccination in California

Great article by Emily Oster and Geoffrey Kocks on vaccination in California: Under-vaccination is a significant policy problem. As earlier generations knew, people die of measles, and of whooping cough, and of other diseases that vaccines can prevent. Figuring out … Continue reading

Posted in United States