July 19, 1999 |
The "digital divide" has been back in the news recently--but, as usual, only briefly. On July 8, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration released its latest report in a series called "Falling Through the Net." This is an ongoing study of telephone, computer and Internet use in the U.S. that can be viewed at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/digitaldivide. In it, the government reported (using 1998 data) that 40% of U.S.
January 29, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union spotlighted many issues, but more than anything it illuminated the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" in the U.S. as the "the defining challenge of our time," a theme he repeated Tuesday night. "After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," he said, "but average wages have barely budged.
September 20, 2013 |
Since the economic disaster of 2008 sent incomes spinning downward and the jobless rate shooting upward, at least one group of Americans has found a path back to prosperity: the top 1%. Over the last four years, the super-rich have been able to rake in 95% of all income gains. That's right, according to a new study by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, while the number of poor Americans has risen and members of the middle class...
October 30, 2013 |
British bitcoin exchange Coinfloor opened its virtual doors to customers this week with a stated commitment to meeting government regulations and keeping money launderers out. The London-based exchange will officially open to trading Tuesday, but it is allowing customers to sign up and register for accounts beforehand. Coinfloor is launching at a time when bitcoin is facing increased scrutiny after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, a 29-year-old from San Francisco who allegedly masterminded the online drug emporium Silk Road.
April 14, 1991 |
One of the classic trade-offs in economics is between equity and efficiency. Under many circumstances, arrangements or policies that enhance one of these goals do so by sacrificing some of the other. Since the early 1970s, the U.S. economy has managed to do poorly on both counts.
September 1, 2008 |
Not all that long ago, America's prominent business and government leaders widely believed that our nation's prosperity depended on a strong middle class growing from the bottom up. Workers were rewarded for their hard work with fair wages, benefits and advancement opportunities -- and our economy and our national security were much stronger for it. Henry Ford certainly knew this, and often said that his company would prosper only if his workers...
December 7, 2011 |
On a day when President Obama explicitly sounded the alarm on rising income inequality in the United States in a speech in Kansas, protesters in Washington chose action over rhetoric, disrupting a fundraiser for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. As part of the “Take Back the Capitol” movement that has descended on the capital this week, protesters stood outside a tony D.C. restaurant, giving the business to lawmakers and lobbyists who tried to enter and chanting “We are the 99%!
October 16, 2012 |
The questions asked at Tuesday night's presidential debate will be left to a coterie of undecided voters assembled by Gallup pollsters, so don't be surprised if they invite President Obama and his Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, to pander to address concerns unique to their lines of work, their favorite causes or the problems they face as individuals. For example, that might include questions about whether the government is doing enough about cancer or Alzheimer's disease, or why Washington bailed out the big banks but not a local business whose line of credit dried up. Personally, I like those questions.
February 12, 2013 |
You might not realize this if you've been listening to all the warnings about "entitlements" emanating from Congress, but Social Security remains the nation's most popular government program -- and the vast majority of Americans want lawmakers to protect it, without cutting benefits. In fact, a sizable majority want Congress to raise benefits. Those conclusions, drawn from a recent opinion poll conducted for the National Academy of Social Insurance, an organization of social insurance experts, are worth keeping in mind as President Obama addresses the state of the union tonight and as budget battles continue in Washington.
December 4, 2011
Beware Iran Re "Britain closes its Tehran embassy after attacks," Dec. 1 The attack on the British Embassy in Tehran occurred not just with the tacit approval of the Iranian government but also with its encouragement. This is the same as Iran's 1979 assault on the U.S. Embassy, in which Americans were kidnapped and held hostage for 444 days. The only difference today is that this rogue nation is more extreme; it openly supports terrorism, making it ridiculous to demand that the U.S. or any Western democracy apply the Geneva Convention when dealing with it. It's also a wake-up call to anyone foolish enough to think that an outfit like Iran would act rationally if it had nuclear weapons.