Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Larry Summers Is Bad with Money

    So, apparently Larry Summers is now the leading candidate for Chairman of the Federal Reserve. This is a bad idea, for lots of reasons, not least of which is that Summers' sudden ascendancy is a sign that The Usual Suspects are talking him up, and it's The Usual Suspects who not only got our economy into this mess but made our government's top priority not getting out of the mess "too quickly." Summers himself was one of Obama's leading economic advisers during the first term, and neither his advice nor Obama's first-term policy were effective in turning the Great Recession around. The result of Summers's advice was always too little, too late. It was Summers who insisted on asking Congress for a smaller stimulus package than the economy needed, on the theory that the smaller package would get passed. Of course, Congress took that smaller package and cut it down even more.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What College Trustees Are For

    So it turns out that New York University has bought its president a summer home on Fire Island (h/t Tenured Radical). Or rather, a special foundation associated with New York University has loaned the university president, John Sexton, around a million dollars to buy a beach house, and there seems a real possibility that much of that million-dollar mortgage will eventually be forgiven, so that Sexton won't have to pay it back. NYU has also made similar vacation-home loans to other top administrators and VIP faculty, at least some of them on the same forgive-over-time plan. This represents a brave new financial frontier in higher education. No other university buys its executives second houses. This seems like an obvious story of an out-of-control administration. But more importantly, it's the story of a board of trustees failing to do its job.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Red States and Blue States after DOMA

    I'm delighted about the Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor. It's a triumph for human dignity, and also a triumph for federalism. The federal government should not be in the business of restricting the rights that individual states extend to citizens. If thirteen states see fit to recognize same-sex marriage, Washington should not interfere. 


    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Spam War!

    You may not know it, but war is blazing away on the Internet. Perhaps you've experienced some streaming delays on Netflix or Youtube recently. You may have been caught in the crossfire.

    Ramona's picture

    The Walmart Saga: Empty Shelves, Full Exec Pockets


    I've been debating about writing about Wal-Mart for a while now for one very good reason:  If I write as a knowledgeable shopper, people will know I shop at Wal-Mart.  Chicken of me, I know, but some of my best friends, relatives and acquaintances refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, and they don't like to be reminded that I'm not one of them.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The War on Work

    When I worry about the future of my chosen profession, which I do too often these days, I take bleak consolation from the fact that every other profession I considered during my early years is also in crisis. Was it a mistake to become a university professor just as the job market for professors collapsed? Maybe. But if the original question was, "Should I become a professor, a lawyer, or a newspaper journalist?" then maybe not. Lawyers are having a hard time finding jobs; newspapers are laying off.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Humanities as Sugar Daddy

    So, the Governor of Florida set up a Task Force on higher education, and they decided that humanities majors should pay more than science majors for a college education. The thinking is that Florida wants more technology grads, and fewer humanities grads, and can get them by making humanities degrees more expensive so that students opt for science, math, and technology instead. They call this approach "market based," but its ignorance of basic economic realities is startling.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Big Keep (Or, Intellectual Property Blues: Hard-Boiled Edition)

       Raymond Chandler’s legendary private eye, Philip Marlowe, will be back in bookstores next year. Chandler’s estate has authorized a new Marlowe novel from John Banville, alias Benjamin Black. But the real news is not that Banville gets to write the book. It’s that no one else is allowed to write one.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Student Loans: Dems vs. GOP Made Easy

    One thing that Barack Obama has done absolutely right for education is change the student loan program. Romney and Ryan have made it clear that if elected they will switch things back to the old way. This small policy difference demonstrates the larger difference between today's Democrats and Republicans.

    Ramona's picture

    A Happening in East Liverpool


    East Liverpool, Ohio has long been known as the center of American dinner-and diner-ware.  For well over a century, from the mid 19th century into the middle of the 1960s, it had been the home of some 300 potteries (partial list here), and included names like American Limoges, Homer Laughlin (across the river in W. Virginia but within shouting distance), Hall, Harker, Taylor Smith Taylor, Knowles, Pearl, Purinton, Royal, Sebring,  Sterling, and Wellsville.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    UVa and Teresa Sullivan: Managing Faculty without Money

    The debacle at the University of Virginia, whose Board of Visitors hastily fired President Teresa Sullivan, has been a lesson in how business-oriented trustees can urge bad business practices.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Teresa Sullivan and UVa

    I'm out of the country right now, but even so I can't avoid the uproar over Teresa Sullivan being pushed out as President of the University of Virginia after only two years.

    Donal's picture

    Romney Won't Force You To Drive An EV

    With the same quote as Detroit News, HybridCars also suspects that Mitt Romney would be no friend to EVs:

    The Obama administration has also been a major champion for plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. It has pushed for even higher plug-in vehicle subsidies and incentives on the supply side and consumer demand side of the equation to get the fledgling industry flying on its own. Those plus CAFE requirements – not to mention European legislation beyond the purview of the American president – are expected to be key motivation in developing more electrified automotive solutions in coming years, but Romney said he sees failure written on the EV wall already.

    The Obama-led government is, Romney said, trying to "to force a market to adopt a technology that people aren't interested in."
    Donal's picture

    Livin' Large

    With my plantar muscles feeling better, I've been running a two mile route past a few apartment complexes and through a new development of 3,000 SF single family houses—perhaps 300 of them. A sign indicates that they sell in the $500,000s, but asking prices actually range from $544,990 to $619,990. There are no full-grown trees yet, but down in the hollows are hundreds of saplings tied to stakes and protected from deer with plastic netting. Once grown they should buffer the community from the main thoroughfare. There are a few more houses complete every time I run through, a few more families settled in, a few more kids riding bikes and scooters on the sidewalks. One owner has added, or opted for, a full complement of photovoltaic panels on his South-facing roof.

    Back at home I read articles like Real Homes: Small, frugal, and green, in which, "Recent college graduate Ella Jenkins lives with her parents while she builds her 103-square-foot home in their yard."

    Donal's picture

    Tesla and the Uncertain Middle Class

    Tesla is about to release its Model S sedan. Despite operating at a loss, despite never having turned a profit, despite being the recipient of government loans (which the right wing hates about the Volt), despite its stock price dropping due to perceived competition from the Toyota RAV4 EV, some Wall Street pundits are still bullish on Tesla.

    Why? Well it promises decent range:

    Tesla: The Time Has Come

    The Tesla Model S will give you significantly more range than a Nissan LEAF or any other practical all-electric car to date. The Nissan is EPA-certified at 73 miles on average. Tesla claims 160 miles for the base version of the Model S. ...

    Tesla will also sell you an alleged 230-mile and a 300-mile version of the Model S. Each step up is $10,000 more.
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why College Costs So Much, Part 2

    In my previous post about college prices, I focused on the massive state spending cuts that have driven up tuition at public school universities and also made it easier to raise private tuition, because private universities no longer face serious price competition from the public sector.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why College Costs So Much, Part 1

    Mitt Romney recently told an aspiring college student that if he had trouble affording college, he should just shop around for the best price, which proves that Romney has no idea how college prices work:

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Rush Limbaugh &’s Patrick Byrne: Misogynists getting their due

    Rush Limbaugh apparently isn’t the only one paying dearly for his misogynistic ways. boss Patrick Byrne, who has shown himself to be a first-class misogynist himself (“So, why exactly did you become a reporter?

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your New Year Public Domain Report: 2012

    Happy New Year, all. My spouse and I spent part of yesterday evening at our local revival house, watching a classic New Year's Eve double-feature of The Thin Man and After the Thin Man. Then we adjourned to a favorite bar for midnight; after all, that's what Nick and Nora would do.


    Latest Comments