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Who deserves the big bucks?

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When I teach lessons in business and economics, a few people, even among MBA students, will express frustration or annoyance about who actually makes the big bucks in our economy, and who, according to those expressing outrage, should earn the big dollars. Some are annoyed by CEOs of large businesses making so much more than… Continue Reading Who deserves the big bucks?

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When it comes to government and spending, two quotes from history capture the central problem. John Randolph, a Virginian and early 19th-century member of Congress, observed: “The most delicious of all privileges — spending other people’s money.” Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923-29, added: “Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear… Continue Reading So many federal programs, and so much duplication

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How to deal with Fannie and Freddie?

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Since the credit meltdown hit in September 2008, a question has loomed: What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill that was signed into law by President Obama in July of last year was unprecedented for its intrusiveness into the marketplace. But it failed to deal with Fannie and… Continue Reading How to deal with Fannie and Freddie?

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Labor unions: From political winners to losers

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Even in politics, things can change pretty darn quickly. Consider the recent ups and downs of labor unions in the political arena. During the 2008 presidential campaign, labor unions went all in on Barack Obama. He was on board with most of their legislative agenda. Make it easier to unionize a workplace? Expand opportunities to… Continue Reading Labor unions: From political winners to losers

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As illustrated in various businesses over the past century, labor unions tend to serve the short-run interests of their members quite well. But unionized industries and consumers don’t fare so well. Consider unions and major league sports. The potential exists over the coming two years that consumers — that is, sports fans — will suffer… Continue Reading Labor unions and sports: It’ll be the fans who suffer

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Technology vs. the snow day

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More than a foot of snow fell overnight. Children — and yes, teachers — delight and frolic in the snow as schools are closed. With the street not yet plowed, others take a day off from work. And as we saw in late December, a snowstorm can even postpone a football game between the Philadelphia… Continue Reading Technology vs. the snow day

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A Thanksgiving thanks to battered businesses

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What do you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? It might sound trite, but God, family, country, and work top my “to be thankful for” list. But given the state of the economy over the past three years, that last one — work — might not be on this year’s Thanksgiving menu for millions… Continue Reading A Thanksgiving thanks to battered businesses

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Fed policy should focus on price stability

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Ben Bernanke and his buddies at the Federal Reserve have half the economic equation right. But the half they’ve got wrong could turn out to be quite costly. In the Federal Open Market Committee statement released Nov. 3, the Fed reiterated concerns over a slow recovery in output and employment; consumer spending being restrained in… Continue Reading Fed policy should focus on price stability

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Obama administration vs. private colleges

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Just how deep does the Obama administration’s hostility run towards profits and private businesses? Policy attacks have been launched against the health care industry, assorted financial businesses, and energy companies. With massive tax increases on personal income, capital gains, dividends and estates scheduled for the end of this year, entrepreneurs and investors across countless industries… Continue Reading Obama administration vs. private colleges

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Technology overthrows another industry

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Making a comfortable living in the old world of book publishing might be over, as technology radically changes the business. Continue Reading Technology overthrows another industry

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