David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

Economics Archive
February 9, 2013

Two Wrongs Make a Left
Is it wrong for someone to have more than another? Is it wrong to take from one who has more, to give to another who has less? Is there an alternative?

October 5, 2010

What Would Be Fair?
I was struck the other day by an editorial cartoon by Tom Toles in the Washington Post. He won a Pulitzer Prize twenty years ago, but this cartoon didn't make me want to give him any prizes.

October 28, 2009

Freedom Is Not a System. It's Freedom!
Small wonder that capitalism is taking a beating in the United States, when one of its chief exponents doesn't really understand it!

August 17, 2009

Notes on Silicon Valley
As promised, here are some morsels of gossip from Silicon Valley, on themes ranging from unemployment and innovation to the essential point that San Francisco is not, repeat not, considered part of Silicon Valley. You'll also find a nutty cosmological tangent somewhere in the middle.

August 10, 2009

Sauce for the Goose, Part I
A plan to retire inefficient elected officials, modeled after the Cash for Clunkers program.

July 11, 2009

Are We Stimulated Yet?
They say the stimulus is working, that we'd be worse off without it. They say we might need another massive stimulus bill. And they say only 10 percent of the first stimulus has actually been spent.

July 6, 2009

Some Very Recent Readings
Cap and trade and the EPA cover-up; affirmative action and the Ricci case; and miscellany featuring such names as Franken, Huntsman, Whitman, and Palin, among others.

July 3, 2009

A Cap and Trade Primer (Part Two)
Assuming the problem is real and the solution legitimate -- neither of which assumptions I accept -- will the House's cap and trade bill make a difference? How much will it cost? It proposes to regulate all manner of things, not just carbon emissions. And then there's the suppressed EPA report which questions the science behind it all . . .

July 2, 2009

A Cap and Trade Primer (Part One)
Why I felt well represented last week. The basics of cap and trade. A host of false assumptions. A video gem from the ACLU. (No, really!)

June 4, 2009

An Odd Little Tale from a City Council Work Session
How responsible should a City feel for drivers who don't heed clearly-posted parking regulations in private parking lots? And how a misguided proposed American Fork City ordinance failed, instead of succeeding -- and effectively seizing private property in the process. (This one has pictures.)

May 14, 2009

Federal Takeovers: The Road Leads Where It Leads
If we keep going down the road we're on, we will inevitably arrive at the place to which the road leads.

April 28, 2009

Miscellaneous Thoughts on the National Scene
Mostly brief notes on Arlen Specter, one less headless federal department, the political uses of overstated pandemic, thuggish federal abuse of banks, and a poorly thought-out photo op.

March 12, 2009

Thomas Sowell Day
Alas, commonsensical is already a word.

October 25, 2008

It Hasn't Been Tried
It wasn't free-market capitalism that failed, but it's certainly the popular scapegoat.

October 18, 2008

Don't Slander Robin Hood (and Selected Readings)
The hero of Sherwood Forest stole from the government, not rich individuals. A few readings on the election, the economic meltdown, and other themes.

October 14, 2008

Listening to Smart People
Three little morsels I've heard lately while listening to smart people I know.

October 9, 2008

Accumulated Thoughts on the National Scene
Rays of hope for the McCain campaign. The bailout of which you may not have heard. Why it's fair that we all pay the piper. And more.

October 1, 2008

Notes on the First Presidential Debate
. . . which I watched this week instead of last week, thanks to the Internet.

September 30, 2008

More on the Financial Crisis
Links to two good, short explanations of what's going on with mortgages, banks, etc. A third about an Obama connection, and a fourth about the folly of worrying about executive compensation right now.

September 29, 2008

The Partisan Speech that Cost (Saved?) $700 Billion
Notes on the bailout package's defeat in the House today, including the Nancy Pelosi speech that might have killed it.

September 27, 2008

Sad News for American Fork, A Weird Photo, and Stuff to Read on the Bailout
The sad news is brief. The photo is comic relief. The readings are excellent.

September 23, 2008

Is the Doddering Dud the Real Dodd?
. . . Or is the helpless handwringing by the chair of the Senate Banking Committee a diversion?

September 22, 2008

It's Not as If We Weren't Warned
In 2006 Senator John McCain told his colleagues, "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole." Two years later, well . . .

June 13, 2008

A Short List of Recent Readings
. . . Mostly on themes mentioned in my recent comments on the election.

June 7, 2008

Real Men Don't Smell Like Strawberries
A case study in the free market's shampoo aisles.

May 30, 2008

Playing Politics with Economics -- as in Food Prices
This happens, and food gets more expensive. That happens, and food gets more expensive. The other things happens, and everything gets more expensive. It's all quite predictable, if you understand the difference between politics and economics.

March 19, 2008

What's in a Word?
When things continue at approximately the same speed, we're told that things "basically ground to a halt" -- if those things are economic. And the words "qualified, certified, and competent" can be used to resist improvement and reform, when the subject is education.

August 7, 2007

Random Dissenting Thoughts
. . . on the war in Iraq, the local loan sharks, and yelling at the radio.

July 6, 2007

Orson Scott Card on How We Live and How We Ought to Live
Foreign oil, domestic poverty, and no highway is ever wide enough . . .

March 21, 2007

Gasoline Prices: What Goes Down Must Come Up
Fair warning: In this word I use the word stupid twice and the word gullible once. But the post is short. Together, those two words comprise more than one percent of the entire post.

October 13, 2006

Twinkies, Anyone?
I never buy Twinkies. I don't like them. But I did today -- as a political statement.

September 14, 2006

My Neighbors, Gas Prices, a Correction, and . . . Somebody Needs to Read the Law
My politically active neighbors get along. Oak Norton actually lives in Highland. Some American Fork landlords are trying to get sued. And CostCo is lowering local gasoline prices. But the longer version is . . . more fun. Or at least longer.

May 3, 2006

Municipal Broadband: Questions and Answers
How big a deal is telecommuting? Is wired broadband technology obsolete? Could American Fork have had its municipal broadband free, with a little more patience?

May 2, 2006

Broadband's Impact on American Fork's Economy and Quality of Life
Here is a list of activities which broadband Internet access enhances or enables. All have economic implications; most also affect the quality of life.

April 28, 2006

Broadband's Economic Impact: Public vs. Private
In comparisons between municipal broadband systems and private industry's broadband offerings, measuring their respective economic impacts, it turns out there is a clear winner and a sound economic reason why.

April 26, 2006

Broadband's Economic Impact: Haves vs. Have-Nots
Today's broadband Internet question is: What is the economic impact of broadband availability and use in a community, whether publicly or privately provided?

March 2, 2006

We Three Kings (Kong): The Really Big Lobbies
Here's a look at three oversized, hugely influential lobbies in Washington and state capitals.

February 23, 2006

It's Crunch Time for American Fork's Broadband System, Part II
Part Two looks at indirect revenues and economic development -- and why AFCNet doesn't necessarily need to be revenue-neutral in the long run -- and why that doesn't help in the short run.

February 23, 2006

It's Crunch Time for American Fork's Broadband System, Part I
A business plan for AFCNet, American Fork's municipal broadband system, is under construction. The bond money which has mostly funded the system is running out. Here's a look at short- and long-term issues and possibilities.

February 18, 2006

This Week's Readings
Suzanne Fields, Paul Greenberg, and George Will head the list. Jeff Jacoby has a great euphemism. Paul Greenberg (in another article) holds up an excellent example of civic activity with style and class. And you get to read the phrase "ahistorical thumbsucking." (Beat that!)

December 7, 2005

Recommended Readings
Recommended readings on Iraq, the President, Wal-Mart, abortion, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the 2008 presidential election, good books, oil company profits, "stupidization," and more.

November 23, 2005

Look Out for This Grinch

November 12, 2005

Local Gasoline Prices, a Pleasant Political Escape, and Good Readings on Many Topics

November 3, 2005

Blogus Interruptus, and Some Housekeeping

October 28, 2005

One Last Round with American Fork Mayoral Candidates

October 27, 2005

More Good Readings

October 26, 2005

Iraq, Iraq, and Stuff to Read

October 22, 2005

Three Bad Ideas Which Sound Good

October 20, 2005

Eating Pizza in the Public Library with Candidates

October 18, 2005

Meet the Remaining Candidates, PTA Style, Part II

October 17, 2005

Meet the Remaining Candidates, PTA Style, Part I

September 29, 2005

I Met Even More Candidates, Part I (Or Is It IV?)

September 12, 2005

The John Roberts Inquisition, Plus Good Stuff to Read

September 9, 2005

Post-Katrina Notes, Some Local

September 1, 2005

Price Controls Are a Stupid Idea. Don't Fall for Them.

May 24, 2005

As I Was Saying . . .

May 11, 2005

Common Sense: How not to Be Poor

April 11, 2005

Redefining "Quarterly" - Again

April 5, 2005

Gambling vs. Investment

March 29, 2005

An Uncertain, Potentially Ominous Signal

October 14, 2004

On Shortages of Leadership and Flu Vaccines

August 19, 2004

It's Too Good to Be True If . . .

August 9, 2004

Oil Prices in Real Dollars Aren't So High