Archive for February 2011

Low life

I found a copy of Luc Sante’s Low Life in a second-hand bookstore this morning and took a look at the preface over lunch. The book is a history of “the vices and lures”, “the lower classes”, and “the streets and alleys” of New York City from 1840 through the end of World War I. […]

Tell Me More

I was on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin today (taped yesterday) talking about public-sector unions and the situation in Wisconsin. I was opposite former Reagan administration official Linda Chavez, who takes a pretty hard anti-union line. You can listen to the 12 minute segment here, and here is the transcript.

Private bosses, not public workers are the problem

I have a short piece “Our Economic Pain Is Coming from Private Sector Bosses, not Public Employees’ Unions” over at Alternet.  

Job Gains Concentrated in Low-Wage Industries

The economy lost more than eight million jobs during the Great Recession. Last year, it recovered just over one million of those lost jobs. But, a new report from the National Employment Law Project demonstrates that the new jobs were heavily concentrated in low-wage industries such as retail, restaurants, and temp agencies. As the NELP […]

Public work and human capital

For over a year now, a debate has been raging over whether public-sector workers are paid too much. In the last few days, spurred by the protests in Wisconsin, Jim Manzi, Kevin Williamson, and other conservative newcomers to the debate have been embarrassing themselves and making things uncomfortable for some of their fellow conservatives who […]

Rise of an Imprisoned America

This awesome graph from uses data from the CEPR report that Kris Warner, Sarika Gupta, and I wrote last summer. I suspect that a graphic like this has more impact than the much longer reports from CEPR and other sources that supplied the raw material for producing it. Of course, couldn’t make the […]

Milanovic graph on international inequality

This graph by World Bank economist Branko Milanovic made the rounds last week. To construct the figure, Milanovic first took the population of each of the four countries shown and ordered them from poorest to richest. Then, still within each country, he divided each of the ordered populations into 20 equal sized groups. The bottom […]

Model Makers’ Hippocratic Oath

At Business Week, Emanuel Derman and Paul Wilmott propose a model makers’ Hippocratic Oath: • I will remember that I didn’t make the world and that it doesn’t satisfy my equations. • Though I will use models boldly to estimate value, I will not be overly impressed by mathematics. • I will never sacrifice reality […]

Farm Together Now

Last Friday, I caught activist and documentarian Daniel Tucker at the 14th & V Busboys and Poets, where he was presenting his new book, with Amy Franceschini, “Farm Together Now.” Tucker and Joel Greeno (Family Farm Defenders), Bob St. Peter (Food for Maine’s Future) and Dena Hoff (Northern Plains Resource Council) spoke for an hour […]

The Pageant of the Paterson Strike