G.I. Joe Vs. the Pentagon’s Crony Industrial Complex

When it comes to spending on national defense the political debate is often presented as a simplistic, binary contest between those who want to spend more and more (often conservatives, who want a strong military) and those who want to spend less and less (often liberals, who want to use the money for social welfare purposes).  Continue Reading...

Greeks Lurch Left

It gets really interesting now in the wake of Syriza’s stunning victory in yesterday’s Greek elections, widely interpreted as a populist rejection of austerity programs that could spread to other indebted European Union basket cases. Continue Reading...

Food Stamp Sticker Shock

Grocery shopping is not a chore I enjoy. It’s a mundane task, and everything you buy you will have to soon replace. Then, when you finally get to the end of the chore, you look at the register and think, “HOW much??” It gets worse. Continue Reading...

How Corrupt is Your State Government?

Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. While it isn’t as endemic in the U.S. as it is in some countries (Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan being the most corrupt), the problem still exists. Continue Reading...

Greasing Palms Makes For Dirty Business

If corruption were a global industry, it would be the third largest, accounting for 5 percent of the global economy. In many parts of the world, bribery and corruption are simply considered the price of doing business. Continue Reading...

When Should We Be Worried About Economic Inequality?

The topic of economic inequality continues to be at the forefront of our current political discussions, thanks in no small part by a president who calls it “the defining challenge of our time.” But although such concerns are more typically lobbed about rather carelessly and thoughtlessly — cause folks to fret over the “power” of small business owners and entrepreneurs in a mythological zero-sum market ecosystem — there are indeed scenarios in which the rise of such inequality ought to give us pause. Continue Reading...