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Showing posts from April, 2020

Review of Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen, New York: St. Martin´s Press, 2019

Tyler Cowen is an American economist who teaches economics at George Mason University. In 2011, he was ranked at number 72 among the ¨Top 100 Global Thinkers¨ by Foreign Policy Magazine. He has written admired books. David Brooks called Cowen one of the most influential bloggers on the right¨. 
Predictably, I wrinkled up my nose when I saw the title for this book, ¨Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero¨. How could a respected economist, even a ´right-wing' economist, write a love letter to big business?
It turns out that this is a winsome and irenic look at American big business. The book is pleasant, easy to read, and not over-long. I wondered if the easy feel of the book was an intended rebuke to the dense tomes of French, left-wing´ superstar economist Thomas Piketty?
Cowen complains that a lot of Americans do not like big business: young people, Bernie Sanders supporters (!), the Media (and Social Media), ordinary Americans, Trump Supporters and the Conservative Ri…

Covid-19 and May 1, 2020

Covid-19 and May 1, 2020
I read and heard a lot of material about Covid-19 here in Ontario that would have the crisis end on April 6, coinciding neatly with the return of children to school. That didn’t work out. Now, there is vague talk about some time in May or perhaps the crisis extending all the way into Fall. The truth is, of course, that no one knows when it will end.
We can expect that with the coming of May 1 and a new round of mortgage, rent and other bill payments, the initial shock will turn into conditions that will last for several months. By the end of April, the impact of the shutdown of the economy and the health crisis in the medical system should be more clear. The array of government and corporate programs intended to counter the effects should be having their effects. The various financial markets should have absorbed the new realities by May 1.
One significant concern that will emerge by the end of April will be our supply chains for food and other essential goods. …