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Observations about Sony, The Interview, and free speech

Beyond the news and entertainment value of the leaked emails from what now appears to be a cyber warfare campaign against Sony by the North Korean government for its now aborted release of The Interview, there are more serious issues this incident raises.   Hollywood has had a shameful history of being attuned and responsive to political power.  We have allowed a vitally important industry to be highly...

Why government decisions that seem stupid are often rational, although flawed

Why governments, businesses, educational institutions, and non-profits consistently make certain kinds of bad decisions are quite different from what we understand.  In this blog, I will touch upon a few of them.   Why federal, state and local governments have created horrific retiree medical benefit obligations.   We assume that elected officials and those they appoint to head government agencies are...

Henry Ford may have been right, but his insight is irrelevant.

  Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer gave a persuasive, but ultimately misleading, TED lecture in the attached video clip in which he makes the argument that reducing tax rates on the rich does not increase job creation, and tthat reducing income inequality is the answer to our unemployment crisis.  Like many people who advocate higher minimum wages and income redistribution, he channels Henry Ford’s comment that he...

The Flawed Congressional Budget Office Report on the Effects of Minimum Wage Increases

The Congressional Budget Office (“the CBO”) published a report on February 18, 2014, with its estimates of the effect of a federal minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $10.10.  The headlines from the Report would appear to support the finding that the increase would cost 500,000 jobs, but would lift 9 million families out of poverty and produce more real income from the country as a whole, because those benefiting...

The “real” scoop on pharmacies, drug companies, and health insurance plans

One of the funniest comedians I ever saw in person was Robert Klein, back in 1973, when I was a law student at Harvard and he performed at the Passim Coffee House in Harvard Square.  One remark he made that night comes back to me whenever I think about the healthcare industry.   Klein’s comic style was to point out something we all see every day and to give us the “real” scoop on it.  I remember him talking...

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