Archives For May 2012

Republican Keynesians?

May 29, 2012

Interesting article by Bruce Bartlett:

Republican Keynesians

According to Bartlett, Republicans are anti-Keynesians until they are running for office.

Quote from the piece:

In 2001, George W. Bush responded to the recession that began in March by proposing another tax rebate of $300 to $600, even though extensive research by the economists Alan Blinder and Franco Modigliani and Charles Steindel showed that the 1975 rebate had very little impact on growth.

Are tax rebates “Keynesian”? I supppose they are if they aren’t accompanied by cuts in spending elsewhere. Like the article mentioned, I also wondered about the effectiveness of one time rebates in stimulating the economy. It seems to me we need long-term solutions that provide stability and help people make long-term choices. That can’t be done with an extra $300.

I read this Steve Forbes’ Fact & Comment piece about the justice deprtment’s lawsuit against Apple (and book publishers) over e-book pricing in a recent issue of Forbes. I normally agree with much of what Mr. Forbes says but not this time.

The agreement among Apple and five publishers allowed the publishers to set the price of their wares in Apple’s eBookStore; in return Apple would get a very rich 30% slice of the revenues. These publishers agreed not to sell their e-books at lower prices elsewhere. The deal meant that participating publishers would have to persuade Amazon to charge the Apple price or forgo selling their books on Amazon, which happens to be a humongous marketplace.

I understand what Forbes is saying but, isn’t this considered price fixing? What gives Apple the right to tell publishers that they can’t sell their books for less elsewhere? What’s to stop Walmart or Target from doing the same thing?

I know publishers need to make money but I think it is pure craziness to have to pay nearly the same price for an e-book as a physical copy of the book.

One last thing before we leave this topic. Check this out (bold mine):

Traditional publishers are fighting for survival. Authors can sell their writings directly online, with no middleman necessary. Amazon, in fact, happens to have a burgeoning service to help these scribblers do just that.

What’s up with calling authors who bypass traditional publishers “scribblers”? How many highly successful books were passed up by traditional publishers? Hmmm…

OT: Cool Video

May 28, 2012

I love this:

Happy Memorial Day!

May 28, 2012

A friend of mine posted this on facebook the other day and I thought I would share it with you:

Happy Memorial Day. Remember those who made it possible.

From Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in a Household Getting Benefits:

49.1%: Percent of the population that lives in a household where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.

This number is misleading because it includes those receiving social security benefits even though they already paid at least something into the system.

I’m also not sure where he got 49.1% unless it’s overlap.


That number is concerning.

I’m sure it will come down some by the time Generation X retires and they means test us out of our benefits because we sacrificed and saved on our own.

check out Profit Blogger. I discovered Mike’s site through Twitter (@MichaelAmberson). I don’t talk much about blogging for income here at AFM but the topic is definitely on my mind. If you’re a blogger or if you’re thinking about becoming a blogger, you might want to check out Mike’s site.

Are you a Twitter user? If so, please consider following on Twitter (@AFMBlog).

I’ll admit that I’m late to the Twitter game. To me it seemed like a bunch of noise. But, I forced myself to use the site and I have to say, it is useful.

I’ll be writing more about Twitter in the near future. I’ll share the little bit that I have learned and highlight some of the people I follow. I hope it’s an interesting series.

Stay tuned…