Results tagged “economics” from onegoodmove

Auto-Neurotic Gas Fixation

President Obama implements a national fuel efficiency standard, but it may endanger the lives of your family.
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To the Point: Redistribution of the Wealth

Adam Smith wrote in "The Wealth of Nations"
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

The question isn't is 'the wealth' being redistributed, or even if it should be, but to what extent and in what direction. For every example one can present of wealth going toward the poor I can point to two where it is going to the rich. Progressive taxes, along with credits, and other methods of distributing the wealth have been a staple of both Republican and Democratic administrations for years. Those that paint the issue as black or white are being disingenuous. Shame on them all. That McCain - Palin are using this issue is nothing but cheap politics, a final bit of desperation, and expected from those for whom the term honor is no longer a part of their lexicon.

Links With Your Coffee - Thursday


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Jeffrey D. Sachs w/ Bill Maher

"The president hasn't been on the case for a while"—Jeffrey Sachs. Jeffrey is the author of Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

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Bread And Butter Issues

contributed by Charles Lemos

The above video from my favourite British sit-com, The Vicar of Dibley, provides a moment of levity as well as affords me a perfect introduction to analyze bread and butter issues quite literally. Alice (played by Emma Chambers) in her wonderful round-about manner comes to the conclusion that she believes that "in fact there is a lot more butter around than we all thought there was." She is not wrong, the butter supply is stable but the price of butter has soared some 30%. What is driving the price of butter is that the price of its input, namely grain and feed, are rising.

The bread market is different however. It too is affected by the rise of its inputs but the bread market unlike butter is not global, it is quite local. I can go into my local supermarket and buy butter from California, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, Denmark, Ireland, France, Spain, Bulgaria, India and New Zealand. My bread comes from Oakland and not much farther. Thus the price of bread has risen faster in part because its market is not a global one. The reasons for that are:

It's not durable--even if you could keep the loaves from being crushed, it goes stale too quickly.
It is not compact--a container full of bread isn't worth enough to make it profitable to ship. It certainly isn't worth enough to pay for the sort of fast shipping that would get it to market while it was still fresh.
It is not uniform--ask someone what bread is and you'll get a different answer from someone in the United States than you would in France, and a very different answer from someone in India. Even within the US there are regional differences for example here in San Francisco we have a passion for sourdough dating back to the Gold Rush era.

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By The Fault

I know you've missed him, so it's my pleasure to annouce that Charles is back. He has spent the last several weeks 'walking the walk.' On his recent trip to Africa he visited Ethiopia, Chad (the border with Darfur), Uganda and finally Zimbabwe to assist the Zimbabwe Election Support Network in monitoring the recent elections in Zimbabwe. As you know if you've read his bio, he runs a a non-profit called The Living Arts Project that raises awareness and funds for other non-profits and assist them in their brand development and marketing. His main focus is rural development projects primarily building schools, libraries and community centers as well as sustainable development projects and micro-finance.

Charles seems to raise the hackles on the faint of heart here and so has decided to start his own blog. He will continue to offer the ocassional post on economics and history here but will save his most pointed offerings for his site. So, if you're inclined you can visit him at By The Fault his tagline says it all "seismic politics, earth-shattering economics and volcanic commentary". I suggested he use "slip sliding away" for a tagline, he's not asking for advice, but how many prefer my suggestion? It will be interesting to see how many of you just can't resist and sign up to comment there. His style isn't for the faint of heart, but love him or hate him, you can't accuse him of not having a clear point of view, and a passionate way of expressing it.