Blog, development, Economics, Education, health, Public Administration, Road Books, The Yankee Road, Writing

Democratizing Education

Lawrence Cremin notes that humans receive knowledge about their environment, the world about them, in five main ways. First is through the home, as babies turn into children and then into youths. Until recently, this was probably the sole method of education for most humans. They learned informally from relatives, friends, and others nearby. A… Continue reading Democratizing Education

American History, Blog, Economics, History, Oil and Gas, Petroleum, The Yankee Road, Travel, Writing

A Petroleum Strike Might Have Saved Lincoln

Almost 158 years ago, on the evening of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, as he watched a play. It could have been different. In March of 1858, the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company was reorganized as the Seneca Oil Company, with New Haven CT banker James Townsend becoming President… Continue reading A Petroleum Strike Might Have Saved Lincoln

Aging, Banking, Blog, Canada, commerce, development, Economics, finance, health, History, labor, politics, Public Administration, Writing

Aging and Economies

It’s really pretty simple. In order for a society to reproduce itself, each woman must have 2.1 children during her fertile period, which normally lasts from, say 14-42 years of age, more or less. This is called a fertility rate, as opposed to a birthrate. A stable population fertility rate is reached by counting one… Continue reading Aging and Economies

Banking, Blog, commerce, development, Economics, finance, History, labor, politics, Public Administration, Writing

Just Bubbling Along

In essence, the bubble problem is tied to borrowing, that is, to put it [more or less] in the words of a character in the movie Popeye, "If you lend me money for a hamburger today, I’ll pay you back on Monday".  Presumably, there would be an extra charge for taking the risk, called interest.… Continue reading Just Bubbling Along

American History, Blog, Canada, commerce, development, Economics, finance, Russia, yankee

Why Bother with Russia?

 Updated from an earlier version published in May 2017 in Like a lot of people in North America and Europe, I lived through years and years of paying attention to the Soviet Union, and later, Russia. It always seemed to me that this huge country, with the largest land area in the world, and possessor… Continue reading Why Bother with Russia?

American History, Book Review, commerce, development, Economics, finance, History, labor, labour, politics, Public Administration, Reviews, Writing

‘I Stole It Fair and Square’

I have sometimes used this quip in the above title to describe what went on in much of the American land policy with respect to Native Americans. An awful lot of land was acquired from various ‘chiefs’ who were deemed by the American authorities to have had the legal right to sell property presumably owned… Continue reading ‘I Stole It Fair and Square’

activist, development, Economics, environmentalism, health, Road Books, The Yankee Road, Writing

On “Cactus Ed”

Perhaps the most notable character to inhabit the 1900s desert West was “Cactus Ed” Abbey, who died a few years before we took the first of our many trips to the Southwest. We loved what he saw and worried about its sustainability as well, but we were, sort of, part of the problem. Abbey worried… Continue reading On “Cactus Ed”

activist, Blog, british, Canada, Economics, labor, labour, politics, servitude, slavery, The Yankee Road, War of 1812, Writing, yankee

Involuntary Servitude

There is a notion, common in human history, that it is acceptable to force some people to labor for their sustenance alone, while others make use of the difference between the value of the forced laborers’ production and their sustenance. Reasons for justifying this involuntary servitude include national necessity, the fate of captives in war,… Continue reading Involuntary Servitude

Blog, civil war, commerce, development, Economics, History, labor, labour, Road Books, selling, The Yankee Road, Writing, yankee

Retailing “Yankee Notions”

Every inhabited part of the United States is visited by these men. I have seen them on the peninsula of Cape Cod and in the Neighborhood of Lake Erie, distant from each other more than six hundred miles. They make their way to Detroit, four hundred miles farther, to Canada, to Kentucky, and, if I… Continue reading Retailing “Yankee Notions”

Blog, Cuba, development, Economics, labor, politics, Public Administration

Havana Dreamin’

I wrote this 6 years ago, before President Trump more or less established the Status Quo Ante in US Cuba relations. This is a lightly revised  piece from then. I knew Cuba in the old days before President Obama unleashed the second American invasion of that Caribbean island. This one was not a military one,… Continue reading Havana Dreamin’