The Dysfunction and Corruption of Our Healthcare System, Its Damage to the National Economy and other Basic Healthcare Matters (Guest Post) Describing a system that is destroying global competitiveness of American business, that violates fundamental insurance risk principles, and that has inherent conflicts of interest preventing quality national health care delivery and cost efficiency; and proposing a solution.
H-1b, the "Outsourcing Visa" How H-1b and L-1 visas are being used and abused by US employers to outsource millions of high-tech jobs and to bring in low-wage indentured servants to fill jobs vacated by firing high-wage citizen incumbents.
The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos With key quotations from documents that are being disappeared. This post has been the #1 response to a Google search for "plutonomy memo."
Why we acquire beliefs and refuse to change them Describing and discussing six reasons with evolutionary advantages why we may cling to our beliefs even after they have become undeniably counterfactual and unreasonable. The original post is supplemented by numerous follow-ups containing examples and views of others including John Maynard Keynes, Sam Harris, David Brooks, John Quiggin, Ashwin Parameswaran, Lawrence M. Krauss, Thomas Kuhn, John F. Kennedy, and David Warsh. This is the first time this has made the monthly hit parade, but it is one of my favorite posts.
The American Dream died in February 1973. With graphs showing stagnation of inflation-adjusted middle class incomes since the 1970s after strong and steady post-WWII growth.
American Exceptionalism, shake hands with Inconvenient Facts. Presenting data, and links to other data, showing USA ranks near the bottom of 30 OECD nations by a wide variety of middle class metrics including health, family, education, income, wealth, leisure, freedom and democracy, public order and safety, generosity, and access to internet and wireless technology.
What's killing American females? A recent study shows that Americans rank last in life expectancy in a group of 21 high-income countries, that American females are falling behind much faster than American males, and that Americans rank near the bottom in almost all causes of death. Several charts.
Newspapers are obsolete—Part 3: New Horizons I have no idea why this old post got so many views. It's only one paragraph posted for the purpose of linking to a (gated) NYRB article.
The history of US per-capita petroleum consumption will surprise you. A graph and other data show US per-capita consumption of petroleum is down substantially from the 1970s, has been very stable since 1983 because of CAFE standards, and has fluctuated only slightly with retail price changes.
The other American Dream of rising incomes—Horatio Alger stories One of my earliest and perhaps my longest inquiry into upward socioeconomic mobility in America. Spoiler alert: The rate of upward mobility has been declining since 1980, and Horatio Alger stories are now more likely to occur in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Canada, Australia, and other advanced nations than in the US.