Economic History

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Eat Real Food

Friday, January 13th, 2023

One of the best parts of my job as a historian is reading.  Because I work at a small teaching university rather than a large research university, I take a broad approach to my continuing education.   This morning I read a fascinating genetic study about prehistoric dog domestication.  It showed that there are five […]

Roots Run Deep

Friday, January 6th, 2023

In October of 1929 the New York Stock market crashed and took down the global economy.  Conservative President Herbert Hoover chose to keep government help limited.  For the next three years the economy remained in free fall. This horrible experience taught voters that something had to change.  Millions of people realized that they had the […]

Public Service vs. Private Profit

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Conservatives have been pretty clear about one aspect of their governing philosophy.  They say that they will run government like a business.  Liberals, however, see government as public services.  The results are dramatically different. Liberal policies shaped American politics after the Great Depression.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt provided a role model for creating government services.  The […]

Let’s go Joe!

Thursday, August 25th, 2022

Between January 20, 2001 and July 14, 2008 prices at the gas pump rose from $1.47 per gallon to $4.11 per gallon.  During that extended price rise, two Texas oil men sat in the Oval Office and made decisions.  Dramatically, gas prices fell to $1.61 by December 2008.   George W. Bush and Dick Cheney created […]

Let’s Go Joe!

Thursday, August 25th, 2022

Between January 20, 2001 and July 14, 2008 prices at the gas pump rose from $1.47 per gallon to $4.11 per gallon.  During that extended price rise, two Texas oil men sat in the Oval Office and made decisions.  Dramatically, gas prices fell to $1.61 by December 2008.   George W. Bush and Dick Cheney created […]

Break Big Oil’s Monopoly

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. The first oil shock happened in 1973. Energy prices are set by “the market. The global energy market keeps failing us. We have known the market is failing us for 49 years.  We know what can fix it: conservation and competition.  Conservatives […]

Natural Monopolies

Friday, March 11th, 2022

In 1776, Adam Smith published a ground breaking book, The Wealth of Nations. Smith introduced the French phrase laissez-faire to the English speaking world.  The phrase best translates as “free market.” Smith criticized European monarchs for subsidizing domestic production and granting monopolies for foreign trade. He argued that monarch redistributed income from small farmers and […]

I’m Not Scared of Words

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Every time we turn around Fox News and the rest of the professional conservatives cry like babies about scary socialism.  It doesn’t take much education to know they haven’t a clue what socialism is.  They simply want to scare and paralyze American. In the early 1900’s apartment and factory fires killed thousands.  As a society […]

Opposite Day Shouldn’t Be Everyday

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

Every once in a while, when they were young, my boys would play “Opposite Day.”  It was game about saying one thing, but meaning another.  For example, if you want to someone to “stay,” you would say “go.”  If you wanted the TV “on,” you would ask someone to turn it “off.”  The game is […]

Safe and Secure Markets

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Markets are truly a human wonder. They allow us to buy products which we lack the skill, resources or time to make for ourselves.  We rarely think about markets until they leave us in the cold. Markets are simply part of our everyday life.  We shop for food and clothing.  Sometimes we make big decisions […]

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