No, the economy is not like a baseball game, so let’s not cover them the same way

I’m reading Frank Deford’s 2012 memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. (Yes, it’s been on my reading list since it was published, and when it shows up as a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99, that’s it. Oh, there’s Dyan Cannon’s Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant; better get that too, it’s only $0.99.)  Reading Deford reminds me of why I always wanted to write, and what’s wrong with business … [Read more...]

Helping convenience stores by encouraging smoking?

Photo: Flikr Creative Commons "Tobacco users get tax break from Legislature," reads the headline in today's StarTribune.  The tax break in question involves the cigarette tax.  In 2013, the legislature and governor approved three years of annual increases in the tax, with an inflation adjustment built in to maintain the real value of the tax.  The tax bill includes a provision to eliminate the … [Read more...]

Homeownership rates in historical perspective

Here is a Wall Street Journal headline from April 28: “The U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls Again, Nearing a 48-Year Low.”  “The homeownership rate fell slightly in the first quarter of 2016, dashing hopes that it had finally hit a bottom,” read the lead paragraph. This sounds pretty ominous. Let’s take a closer look; first, here are the data to which the article refers: Now, let's pull … [Read more...]