Drugs, domestic workers, and artists’ daily rituals

I’m reading a delightful book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey.  The book consists of miniature biographies of painters, writers, scientists, and architects, with a focus on how they structure their day to get things done.  Or, in some cases, don’t structure their day and get something done.  Or, in yet other cases, don’t structure their day and don’t get anything done.  Or, … [Read more...]

The economics of toasters and colleges

General Electric recently sold off its appliance division to Haier Group.  GE is a household name but you’ve probably never heard of Haier.  The story came and went but I think it holds two important lessons, one for the US economy, in general, and liberal arts colleges, in particular. GE is a leader in diesel locomotives, jet engines, medical equipment, and energy generation. Sure, they could … [Read more...]

I’m shocked, shocked: forecasted budget surplus shrinks

I'm shocked, shocked... I can’t say I’m surprised that Minnesota’s projected budget surplus fell from $1.2 billion to $900 million for the remainder of the 2015-2017 biennium. The large surpluses we’ve experienced the past few years and the large projected surpluses are caused by the same phenomenon: our state government’s dependence on the income tax. The individual income tax yields about … [Read more...]