“Sharing” an Opportunity to Get It Right

city river scape

The U.S economy has been slow to grow employment and it has left paychecks without noticeable increases. In the five most recent quarters, labor productivity decreased by 3.1%. Flat wages are to be expected when labor productivity is stalled. Besides increasing economic output, productivity could be increased by better organized workflow, improving work skills, increasing […]

Why Restaurants Are Eclipsing Grocery Stores

crops

In 2014, restaurants have seen a healthy 3.8% revenue growth. That is a welcomed respite from the dismal results during the great recession. The great recession produced free-floating fears and palpably reduced incomes for many people. Their self-protective response was to defer large expenditures such as houses and automobiles and to economize even on essentials […]

Rising Complexity and Cost of Securing Secrecy

computer spy

A broad class of people has legitimate needs for communicating in secrecy, such as politicians, high tech innovators, analysts in the military, State Department operatives, and businessmen bidding on goods or negotiating a merger. Unfortunately, secrecy that once could be achieved with modest effort is now elusive. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) database contains […]

Government’s Share in the Sharing Economy

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The “sharing economy” is a fanciful name for one version of commonplace independent contractor arrangements.  “Sharing” eludes to the multiparty use of an asset such as car or house bought by an individual (or small group).  Intermediaries such as UBER, Airbnb, or Peers provide promotional and booking services to the asset owner in return for […]

Government Default – It’s Going Around

rescue

At the end of June 2015, Puerto Rico’s governor announced the Commonwealth was unable to repay the $72 billion in bonds and obligations it has amassed.  The debt load owed by the 3.6 million Puerto Ricans is $20,000 per capita.  In comparison, the current debt crisis in Greece is more severe at $28,475 in per […]

DOJ’s Twisted Logic: Rigging Auctions Promotes Competition

Man Walking Steps

It is with total disbelief that I write about a recent letter from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the rules for the upcoming “competitive” Spectrum auction. In the letter, the DOJ – the United States’ chief antitrust and law enforcement agency – writes in support of […]

The Food Nanny’s Agenda

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Assessments of health risk and a proper role for certain foods have been unreliable and sometimes self-defeating.  Government agencies charged with protecting and advising consumers seem to approach the task as true believers.  They act with the conviction of freshly minted deacons in pursuit of whatever chapter of the health catechism they are told to […]

Cyber-Attack Detection is Difficult, Needs Monitoring

computer spy

Despite cyber-prowess and a staggering and secret budget, US intelligence agencies appeared unable to halt a deep and sustained invasion of sensitive federal information.  In May, an attack hit the IT system of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and its data stored at the Department of the Interior’s data center. Information for about 4 […]

ACA Is a Crisis We Must not Waste

doctors scope

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), premium subsidies of health care insurance are available to low income and some moderate income families.  ACA’s plain wording says the subsidies are available to states that operate their own exchange.  ACA was intentionally structured in that way to induce states to operate a health insurance exchange. Subsidies are […]

The Unseemly Scuffle over Trade

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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) evolved from discussions starting in 2005.  The goal was to promote freer trade through treaties including in agriculture, intellectual property, services and investments, where the US has a comparative advantage.  Any resulting treaties would ostensibly allow our trading partners to import in areas where they excel, while Americans export goods […]