North Korea’s Economic Failure

The death of Kim Jong Il invites comparisons between North and South Korea. Donald Marron, a professor of economics and writer for Seeking Alpha (, posted the following graphic yesterday  comparing the per-capita GDP of the two economies since the 1970’s. The difference in growth rates is dramatic. Although we cannot visit North Korea, a comparison of Google Earth images of Pyongyang and Seoul is … Continue reading North Korea’s Economic Failure

Graph showing deportations increased under Obama over Bush

Where Are the Facts on Illegal Immigration?

During the December 10th Republican debate, Governor Rick Perry, when asked about what distinguished his stance on illegal immigration, made the following remarks: [Under my administration . . .] You will not see a catch and release program like this administration has today th– where people who are caught who are illegally in this country, and because they haven’t been (RUSTLING) caught in a violent … Continue reading Where Are the Facts on Illegal Immigration?

Paul Ryan on How to Lower Medical Costs

I saw Paul Ryan, my congressman, on television recently. He was explaining to a constituent that his plan to privatize Medicare would lower health care costs because private insurers would compete in an open market for the health care dollar, thus driving costs down. I’m a bit confused about this because I thought that the competitive marketplace he described was, in fact, the kind of … Continue reading Paul Ryan on How to Lower Medical Costs

Walker Takes Aim at Immigrant Students

Governor Scott Walker’s move to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin was just his opening salvo. His full budget proposal for the coming biennium, if passed as proposed,  will reduce aid to education at all levels, seniors, Medicaid and special state sponsored medical care for the indigent. Regardless of the merits of these cuts, there can be no doubt that one of … Continue reading Walker Takes Aim at Immigrant Students

Faces of Protest

Yesterday, Saturday, February 26, 2011, between 70,000 and 100,000 people (according to official estimates) gathered at the Wisconsin state capitol to protest Governor Walker’s Budget “Repair” Bill that will strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. It has been suggested by some that the demonstrators were rowdy hooligans, ne’er-do-wells, and anarchist hippie hold-overs from the 1960’s.  I can’t vouch for the absence of ne’er-do-wells, … Continue reading Faces of Protest

Misplaced Priorities

The New York Times reports tonight that Senate Republicans have blocked a health care bill for 9/11 rescue workers who became ill from working in toxic dust and fumes. They rejected  the bill because it will cost $7.4 billion. That’s strange. Senate Republicans don’t seem to be concerned about how to pay for the tax deal extending tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. The tab … Continue reading Misplaced Priorities