Showing posts from October, 2011

What the "Lesser Rich" Do: Create Jobs

My wife and I are among what I've heard one economist call "the lesser rich." We are in the top ten percent of households, but we are not wealthy. We don't drive luxury cars, live in a McMansion, or even own a big screen television. My computer is several years old, our phones are not "smart phones," and we've never been on a cruise. Yet, according to the statistics, we are "rich." I'm sure that explains why my last clothing purchase was a $9.99 pair of store-brand Khakis from Target.

Where do you fall in the eyes of political leaders (and the public to whom they are pandering):

Less than $10,0007.3%$10,000 to $29,99923.3%$30,000 to $59,99927.5%$60,000 to $74,99910.1%$75,000 to $99,99911.5%$100,000 to $149,99911.9%$150,000 to $199,9994.4%$200,000 to $249,9991.8%$250,000 and More 2.0%
More than half of U.S. households (58.1%) have combined incomes of less than $60,000. Two-third…

Sticking to the Issues, Not a Candidate

Following my last post, a friend asked if I was "coming out" as a Republican. No. That's not going to happen, since I am deeply offended by the influence of the religious conservatives within the GOP. I have no interest in supporting candidates or a party that isn't willing to "live and let live" on most social issues. But, I'm also not going to embrace a party that wants to regulate an even broader range of behaviors I consider to be personal choices. If I want a greasy burger or a buttery croissant, leave me alone. "Sin tax" is one of the more idiotic phrases in government revenue collection.

Given a choice, I am more likely to support and even work for "conservative" Democrats, but I'd also consider a "liberal" Republican. However, I tend to focus on issues as a scholar and adviser rather than individuals. I don't like or trust politicians, but I can support a cause.

If you want me to collect data and report on…

An Outsider Inside Academia

For the last few years, I have found myself using the phrase "I am not a social conservative" before explaining my positions on a number issues. The last thing an academic within some disciplines wants is to be accused of being a conservative. It would be career suicide within some university humanities departments to be a self-identified Republican, and I cannot imagine being an outspoken "Tea Party" supporter within some fields. You might as well admit you also don't want publications, conference invitations, and the all-important tenure.

I'm a free-market capitalist, vehemently opposed to both crony capitalism and overzealous central planning. We have allowed the elite to control both government and commerce, strangling the true free market. Big companies get the regulations they want, while pretending to oppose them. It costs pennies per customer for McDonald's to comply with laws regulating nutritional disclosures, but that same law costs dollars p…