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May 25, 2015

"Van Nuys couple's $51,649.32 DWP horror story"

Add this to the "Government is the name we give to the things we together"--Ha!--file.

May 20, 2015

"How Every State Ranks for Retirement 2015"

North Carolina supposedly ranks 46th out of 51. Now they tell me.

May 19, 2015

"A CEO explains why CEOs make so much money"

The federal government--the Law of Unintended Consquences strikes again--has something to do with it.

May 18, 2015

"Unraveling the Regulatory State"

A new resource for estimating the significant cost of Big Government.

"Bootleggers and Baptists: A Few Resources for Your Lunch Break"

If you're not up to speed on the powerful idea of "Bootleggers and Baptists," Art Carden links to four resources, including a nice little four-minute video, that should help.

"Moody's blues: A closer look at Chicago's dire fiscal future"

Chicago, you've been warned:

Chicagoans, pay close attention to a new warning from Moody's Investors Service: The city must solve the crisis devouring its public employee pension funds, but even if it does, there's extremely rough going ahead.

The recent Illinois Supreme Court decision won't help. See also the Chicago Tribune's editorial:

So as the slashing of non-retirement costs intensifies, don’t blame the chief executive officers who have to wield the knives. Blame the state and local lawmakers who, over the decades, built this miserable Illinois slaughterhouse.

And last week Moody's downgraded Chicago's debt to junk.

"Superrich Behind California's 'Grassroots' Green Movement"

Interesting op-ed from

I'd quibble with one bit. The piece notes in an annoyed tone that Gordon Moore "has veered toward anti-growth environmentalism, channeling huge amounts of money to nonprofits and trusts so that they can buy up land in Northern California and freeze future development." I'd argue that paying market prices for resources to conserve them is a far more efficient way to do it then to have the government regulate their use.

May 14, 2015

"The best (and worst) cities to start businesses in"

Seems to be a distinct geographic pattern.

"Hollywood Actors and Economics 101"

Larry Elder:

Welcome to Hollywood, where dreams become real — and where logic, reason and economics 101 become dreams.

May 12, 2015

Two from Steven Malanga

"No Bonus for Taxpayers: Deeply indebted pension systems continue to dole out bonuses."

As the city of Detroit’s financial condition deteriorated, its employee-pension funds made hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus payments to retirees. Those extra checks swelled the city’s retirement debt and played a role in the Motor City’s eventual bankruptcy. Yet Detroit’s struggles haven’t stopped the retirement systems of other cities and states—including some with severely underfunded pensions—from continuing to dole out bonuses.

(Related, Stephen D. Eide, Manhattan Institute: "California Crowd-Out: How Rising Retirement Benefit Costs Threaten Municipal Services".)

"Pension Sticker Shock: Funding woes in Illinois and Arizona should worry New York taxpayers."

Some of the worst public-sector pension problems in America are playing out in states and cities where legislation or local court rulings have granted extraordinary protections to workers’ retirement benefits—far beyond those enjoyed by private-sector employees. 

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