Category Archives: Economy


The refrigerator died Friday.  It had not been a great week to begin with and although a broken refrigerator is not tragedy, I didn’t need the hassle. Like the immediate hassle of suddenly parceling out what has essentially become the family’s pantry to various neighbors, foods frozen or merely chilled.  Fortunately, we have intimate relations […]

A Piece of My Mine

A colleague, an attorney, began her career in the Monroe County, New York Public Defender’s Office.  I’m from Monroe County.  I told her the name of my town. “Hmm,” she said. “We didn’t work by town, we worked by zip.  What was your zip?” “One four six one seven,” I said. “Oh yeah, I know […]


What is a reasonable cost for a conference for 300 civil servants from across the western US?  Airfare, food, lodging, conference facilities, speakers, prep, etc., etc.  From the news stories, it’s clear that $823,000 is way too much.  Next year’s conference, I’m just guessing, will be substantially less extravagant, so let’s say $300,000.  That means […]

How to Lose Five Dollars

Beware the Ides of March.  I just thought I’d say that.  How often do a) the Ides of March fall on a Thursday, the day I usually post here and b) I actually remember it’s the Ides of March? Less than a week until the end of winter and it’s warm and sunny, supposed to […]

The Stalking Horse

A stalking horse, for hunters, is something of a moving blind.  The idea is that the prey – often birds – would be startled by the appearance of a human, but not a horse or cow, so the hunter uses the stalking horse (“stalking cow” doesn’t have the same ring) to approach unseen, until the […]

The Graph

In the last week or so (31 January, that is), all your 2011 sources of income were supposed to have sent you an accounting of how much you earned.  Adrienne is better at keeping track of these things than I, but I have learned through the years to put my W-2 in the folder on […]

Shut Up and Pay

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera hinted Monday at something that’s been on my mind for a while, but he didn’t come right out and say it. His column was on the European money crisis and the gist of his argument is this: it makes economic sense for Germany (Europe’s economic powerhouse) to bail out […]