Monthly Archives: December 2018

Penny-sucking economics – part 1

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The comic books of my youth often had a section in the back advertising the opportunity to purchase something wondrous for only one dollar plus a self-addressed, stamped envelope. While these offers were usually disappointing once received, I remember my first get-rich idea was to try to get one million people to send me a dollar. It turns out that… Read more »

When debt is not debt

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This post is a basic “explainer” reminding readers of a problem endemic in the popular press when it discusses debt of various kinds, and as we watch our government’s deficits explode after the ill-advised tax reductions of 2017. There is are fundamental economic differences between consumer debt, business debt and government debt, and yet most people do not make that… Read more »

Net metering and the politics of utility pricing

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I think it is safe to say that most utility executives detest net metering, in which any excess electricity generated by solar panels and other home-based “green technology” is “bought back” by the electric utility at the same rate charged to that home for using electricity. I sat on a “green innovations” committee for my small Iowa town for a… Read more »

The anniversary of a big experiment in randomness

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December 1, 2018 is the 49th anniversary of a major sociological experiment in randomness conducted by the United States government, and it is one that changed the fates of hundreds of thousands of young men and their families. On December 1, 1969, the first televised Selective Service draft, also the first nationwide randomized draft since World War II, was conducted… Read more »