Navigating the Maze of Homeowner Insurance

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Approximately 40% of the US population lives in a coastal county, and that percentage is expected to continue to increase over the next decade.  Their homes are often high value and face greater risks than properties further inland. According to the recent Storm Surge Report by CoreLogic, over 6.5 million homes along the Atlantic and […]

Senate Needs to Keep a Tax Free Internet

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Last week, after several years of attempts, the House finally voted to pass the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The bill would prohibit taxing access to the Internet at the state, local and Federal levels. The current ban on Internet taxation ends in just a bit over three months from today.  Therefore, it is important […]

Unbundling: Could It Make Education More Affordable?

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Those who cannot afford a university degree face career earnings that are substantially lower than those who are college graduates, and recent university graduates are burdened by an average of $29,000 in student loans.  The high cost for attending college is a troubling issue for both groups. The average annual undergraduate attendance cost for a public […]

Balkanizing the Internet

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The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the toppling domino that led to World War One.   The assassin’s action merely added to centuries of resentment and tension which made the Balkan nations ready to consider war.  Likewise, Edward Snowden is not accountable for the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance of US citizens’ communications nor for its […]

Potential Consumer Strategies for Impending Interest Rate Hikes

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The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has kept short term interest rates near zero for several years.   Large banks were able to borrow at near zero rates and lend at higher rates for home mortgages, and for automobile buyers and for businesses.  The Fed governors intended to increase interest rates when inflation approached their discomfort level […]

The Right to Revise Personal History

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The European Court of Justice requires Internet search firms to accommodate requests from the pubic who want a story removed from search results when the story links to personal information that is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.” This new right is usually called the “right to be forgotten.” Google has removed search access to an […]

The Coming Battle over Encrypt-Decrypt Certification

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With disturbing frequency, cyberattacks on government institutions, infrastructure and commercial firms are being reported.  Attacks on government agencies seem to emanate from nation-state rivals such as Russia, China, and Iran.  The attacks are usually probes for intelligence on military strength or for design data on advanced military technologies.  Russia used this strategy to monitor Ukrainian […]

Market Flaws and Distortions in Competitive Electricity Markets

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This is the first in a series of ConsumerGrams designed to discuss the serious challenges facing competitive electricity markets.  This first piece focuses on the problems confronting baseload power generation, including structural problems and market distortions that threaten grid reliability, energy security, and the nation’s climate change mitigation and environmental quality goals.  This ConsumerGram summarizes […]