Even the Manhattan Institute Says Curb Your Car

If an early April panel discussion (virtual) of the Manhattan Institute on “Planning the Post-Covid City” was surprisingly progressive, maybe it was because this talk of revolution in the streets was about reallocating little more than parking spaces. Yet that much upheaval is basic, these panelists agreed, to renewal of New York’s pre-pandemic glory. TheContinue reading “Even the Manhattan Institute Says Curb Your Car”

The Complexity of Ever More Simple-Cheese Output

I got to thinking about cheese and whether that infamous American surplus you heard a lot about two years ago had gotten bigger in the pandemic.  The long and short of it—if that’s the right way to refer to something that comes in rounds—is that yes, it’s bigger, but the reasons are not simple. ItContinue reading “The Complexity of Ever More Simple-Cheese Output”

A Path to Pandemic Relief in the ‘Burbs

A shift in residential demand to suburban and exurban locations is nearly a year old in the pandemic. It’s said to stem from households’ desire for more private space (as well as school and crime concerns), combined with greater flexibility to work from home. But public spaces are also an attribute of distance from theContinue reading “A Path to Pandemic Relief in the ‘Burbs”

New York Again Seeks a Handle Up

One aspect of New York City’s clean-up in the 1990s was the closing of many dingy Off-Track Betting parlors. Some tidier operations lived on for a few years but ultimately Gotham said good riddance to the public gambling-on-horses corporation. The OTB experiment in the city had begun with apparent popular support in 1970 as aContinue reading “New York Again Seeks a Handle Up”

My Commentary on ‘The Reagans’

More than most U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan was a myth–and I mean that in the non-disparaging sense. A story was created around the real man, and it came to represent policies or ideology put into practice. On the economic front, this amounted to limiting government’s growth, at least in many areas (middle-class transfer programs suchContinue reading “My Commentary on ‘The Reagans’”

Love Letter *From* the Editor

Many words—including some of my own—have been expended lately on the plight of what we used to call daily journalism.  Often they get around to saying the newspapers (and now their websites) have themselves to blame for failing to maintain a connection with their readerships. These critiques call to mind a missed opportunity of myContinue reading “Love Letter *From* the Editor”

‘The Hamptons’ Is a One-Industry Place

 A “resort” community where there is no central commercial resort can still be a one-industry economy. In the case of the South Fork of Long Island (aka “Hamptons”), the one trick is luxury housing. There’s an extensive commercial/labor ecosystem to support it. Of course, there are the houses themselves—nearly all of them being conceived bigContinue reading “‘The Hamptons’ Is a One-Industry Place”

China Rediscovers Rural Life (Cue Applause)

Another period of singing the virtues of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) direction seems upon us, at least when it comes to steering an economy.  Just as after the Great Recession of 2008-9, China’s rebound from the Coronavirus Covid-19 has led the world. Of course, the official statistics always bear scrutiny, and public debt levels probablyContinue reading “China Rediscovers Rural Life (Cue Applause)”

Why’s Your Desired Wine $8 Less Within 8 Blocks?

The economics of wine are complex on many fronts, but today I want to consider just the consumer end of things: Specifically, why aren’t retail wine prices rational? That is to say, at a time when purchaser information can be nearly “perfect” (by smartphone search), why such disparities in what competing shops charge for theContinue reading “Why’s Your Desired Wine $8 Less Within 8 Blocks?”

Taiwan Gets Center of U.S. Stage

Taiwan can take heart that rarely in the wake of a U.S. presidential election has its own fate been so quickly prominent in foreign-policy discussion. The past week has seen several major media reports either raising anxieties about Joe Biden’s new approach to cross-strait tensions with China or reassuring the democratic island of unwavering support.Continue reading “Taiwan Gets Center of U.S. Stage”