Posts Tagged ‘Economics


Trickle-Down Down

The finer points of economic theories have eluded me for most of my life. I’ve had enough book learning to understand that supply-vs-demand graph, but it pretty much ends there.

It’s a shame, really, because so much of what drives the current political debate is supposedly about the economy. And I know a lot of it has to be bullshit, but I don’t know enough to know what not to believe. So I usually dismiss most of it as political clap trap. Doesn’t matter what either party says on the campaign trail. Chances are it’s not going to happen anyway.

When I hear Republicans and Tea Partiers hammer away at their small-government/cut-taxes/create-jobs dogma, it makes me wonder if they’re as interested in the truth about how the world really works as they are in convenient populist political ideology.

So I got curious about that tent post of the Right, the axiom that, above all else, cutting taxes is an absolute guarantee of job growth. Is this true? Can it be proved?

Continue reading ‘Trickle-Down Down’


A Sign of Desperation

A sign posted in the window of a modest business seen recently on Greys Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia:


Almost poetry.


A Day Without Gay

There’s a clever little short story that made an impression on me as a young college kid, just fresh out of the closet, just beginning to figure out how to use my newfound super powers. (For good? For evil. For good? For evil. Good? Evil…)

It’s called Am I Blue? In it, all the gay people are blue, and the narrator is trying to figure out if he (or is it she?) is blue too. I think he (or she) is a sort of pale blue, somewhere in between. Anyway, it’s not the gender the matters, but the concept: What if we were all suddenly revealed? (Bearing in mind, of course, that some of us reveal ourselves just fine without any trouble at all, thank you very much. We can’t help ourselves!)

There are a ton of us. It would be a big damn blue planet.

(Oh … wait. Too late.)

What would happen if we were all suddenly revealed in a way that was obvious to everyone? Say… by our absence? What would it be like if gays stayed home? Here’s something some of my more clever colleagues cooked up:

Gay music and video from

I, of course, cannot call in. I am a professional homosexual at my little gay network, and I am already fighting the good fight! We have to keep those gay wheels turning, or the entertainment industry would shut down. It’s the gay people in non-gay jobs that could make a difference. We’d notice the school teachers, security guards, bank tellers, bus drivers — certainly the waiters.

If all the gays stayed home, we’d all be a little blue.

UPDATE: There is some good, clear thinking about the impact of this project at Queerty. Most interesting is the analysis of how the focus has changed — or, rather, been completely lost. A fine idea in theory, but impossible to measure effectively in the real world.


Sour Grapes for Wal-Mart

    Sad Face

I am gleeful that Wal-Mart is not opening a store in Manhattan. And I love the way it’s been reported, too: New York thumbs its nose at the behemoth retailer, and Wal-Mart’s all like: “Oh yeah? Well… I hope your babies look like … monkeys!

In the great pissing contest that is Life in Manhattan, Wal-Mart lost. And their CEO, H. Lee Scott Jr., comes off looking like a sore loser, staging a meeting with the New York Times to ensure maximum exposure when he said Screw you, New York!

“I don’t care if we are ever here,” he said. “It’s too hard to make money here.”

Wal-Mart decided that conducting business in New York is too expensive and exasperating and would not be worth the effort.

Maybe the way they make money won’t work here. Plenty of other retailers, e.g., Costco, Target, seem to thrive. Hmm…

Wal-Mart has been vigorously opposed in urban settings for a long time by labor unions and community groups. Unions and don’t want them here, because of their unfair labor practices and because their low wages will disadvantage the unionized stores already here.

I love the labor response: “We don’t care if they’re never here,” said Ed Ott, executive director of the NYC Central Labor Council, in the New York Times. “We don’t miss them. We have great supermarkets and great retail outlets in New York. We don’t need Wal-Mart.”

I know I don’t.

Wal-Mart PR
I love The Onion.

the untallied hours