In 1900, more than 11 percent of all newborn babies in the U.S. died before their first birthday. This high infant death rate affected my own family. My father, who was born in 1907, was one of eight … Read More
    Millions of Americans believe that the bank bailout was a huge mistake; they think it simply fattened bankers’ profits and provided few benefits to average Americans. But in my view the bailout deserves three cheers. Let me explain, starting with a comparison of the… Read More
    Is our Great Recession a close cousin of the Great Depression that hit the world in 1929? There are indeed similarities between the two, as some analysts point out; but the differences are far more … Read More
    Congress may be taking the wrong path to reforming our crisis-prone financial system. The bill that just passed the House of Representatives continues the traditional focus on making individual banks safer. Read More
    Crude oil and gasoline prices have taken us on a wild and crazy ride over the past two years. Crude oil prices rose from $51 a barrel in January 2007 to $145 in July 2008, a jump of 184 percent. Then … Read More
    This may surprise you: human well-being, according to many social indicators, is steadily improving. True, headlines announce war, poverty, and global warming, and they aren’t trumpeting false … Read More
    In 1980, Candy Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter Cari was killed by a drunken driver. She and other California mothers got MADD — they founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving to fight for tougher … Read More
    In this grim season, here’s something to be thankful for: Our banking system is still surviving. The U.S. Treasury’s “bailout” program probably has saved it. Still, the bailout program has severe critics. Bloggers, newspaper writers and a new congressional oversight committee have harshly criticized the program… Read More
    As you read this, thousands of ships are plying the high seas, carrying goods produced in developing countries to hundreds of destinations. They carry machinery from China, crude oil from Nigeria, … Read More
    What makes politicians tick? Do their votes on legislation usually support their own constituents' interests? Do they vote to favor special interest groups that make large contributions to their campaign war chests? Or do they vote according to their personal beliefs or ideologies? Or, finally, is the answer all of the above? Read More
    Who got us into this painful economic crisis? Polls show that most Americans blame the Republicans more than the Democrats, and the evidence supports this view. But are the Democrats so innocent that they may fairly cast the proverbial first stone? Read More