Monthly Archives: February 2012

After the Rain

Sometimes it helps to take a break from politics to enjoy nature’s splendor. In this picture taken today, a double rainbow appears over Mount Diablo.

Rate this:

Posted in California | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Obama and Youth Unemployment

In 2008, young adults piled into election booths to vote overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. Their adulation struck me personally as a weird sort of homage to the cult of personality. After all, Obama had no executive experience running any organization … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Business, Education, Finance and Economics, Media, Policy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

The Inexorable Rise of the Welfare State

The New York Times published an interesting analysis yesterday on entitlement spending in the United States. Since 1929, entitlements as a share of income rose from 1% to 18% in 2011. Despite some ups and downs, the overall trend line … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Finance and Economics, Policy, Politics, Social Security, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Did Obama Help or Hinder the Recovery? Dueling Campaign Narratives

Today, I came across a variation of the employment chart below in an Obama campaign ad. In this ad, the old adage holds: There are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” In this campaign season, this truism will likely apply to … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Business, Finance and Economics, Leadership, Policy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Taxes: Fairness Is Not the Problem, Complexity Is

When TurboTax spit out the estimated amount of our federal and California income tax refund would be this year, I nearly soiled myself. I was flabbergasted.

Rate this:

Posted in California, Finance and Economics, Policy, Politics, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Catching a Falling Knife: The Hazards of California Real Estate

When I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in July 2006, real estate prices were absurd. At the time, I had also saddled myself with a massive amount of school loans. That said, no-doc loans were all the rage, … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Business, California, Finance and Economics, Investing, Mathematics, Policy, Politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Where Are the Carriers?

Over the last few weeks, Stratfor, a global intelligence site, has provided updates on the approximate location of the American carrier fleet. According to Stratfor’s estimates, two carriers are operating in or near the Persian Gulf, another is operating in the … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Defense, Energy Security, International Security, Middle East, Nuclear Power, Nuclear proliferation, Policy, War | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Is Fracking Causing the Mystery Disease in Le Roy, New York?

Today, I learned that eighteen individuals in LeRoy, New York have been suffering inexplicably from a strange neurological disorder that caused them to develop “uncontrollable twitching and verbal tics.” No one seems to be able to explain the root cause … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Business, Energy Security | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Bush vs. Obama: Unemployment (January 2012 Jobs Data)

Update: Click here for the most recent jobs statistics. On the first Friday of every month, I update the unemployment numbers so that I can compare the unemployment rate under President George W. Bush with the unemployment rate under President Obama at that … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Business, Finance and Economics, Media, Policy, Politics | Tagged , , , | 130 Comments

Congress Finally Does Something Right

Last November, I alerted readers to the hypocrisy that “members of Congress are not subject to insider trading laws, despite having access to far more material, non-public information than the average American, or, for that matter, the typical hedge fund manager.” … Continue reading

Rate this:

Posted in Finance and Economics, Investing, Leadership, Politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments