NICCO & MCCAIN. Alright, I have to weigh in on this. First of all, I should say that I consider Nicco Mele a friend. And now that it's been revealed publicly that Nicco has been talking to Sen. John McCain's campaign, it seems the whole Democratic Internet community is upset or at the very least saddened to see one of their favorites cross over to the other side. But if you look at Nicco's business, this move is not really as much of a shock as some people are making it out to be.
Okay folks, get your checkbooks out. The people who pledged a CEPR contribution for every Post article/column whining about entitlements owe us money. This one is from Bob Kerrey and Warren Rudman, the co-chairs of the Concord Coalition.
The NYT had a good story on the falling wage share of output and the growing concentration of wage income among high wage earners (e.g. doctors, lawyers, CEOs). While the basic story is accurate, there are a couple of points that should be treated with more care.
There has been a raging blog debate, following in the wake of some recent Paul Krugman columns, as to whether the rise in income inequality is due to policy or the natural workings of the economy. While Krugman indicated that he believed the policy view (promising details later), many of the economists weighing in have said that they don�t see any policy mechanism(s) that could explain the rise in inequality.
FLOP. FLOP. FLOP. A little over 20 years ago, I went fishing on a cold Wisconsin lake. I pulled in a fairly good-sized bass. It was a handsome critter, and it flopped around in the bottom of the boat. Flop. flop, flop. I had a Polaroid taken of me and the fish and then we threw it back into the lake. I remembered that moment while watching this remarkable hunk o� video. I can assure you that, as it was flopping around in the boat, believing itself on the way to the fishy afterlife, it was at every second more at ease and articulate than the Ivy-educated lady in the middle panel is in this clip.
NIRVANA AND VOTING. Arguably the last great era of FM radio was grunge. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins -- these bands rose from obscurity into the pantheon of rock. It was something to behold. But then there was a shift. Radio stopped taking risks. It slung Backstreet Boys, �N Sync, and other over-produced garbage. It brought in a profit and was safer than the garage band that kept sending in their cassette tapes. Result? Radio listenership fell.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: FRIDAY REVIEWS. Two reviews today of new films to check out. Tracie McMillanassesses the new PBS documentary on the working poor, Waging a Living, while Alex P. Kelloggrecommends OutKast's vibrant, subversive musical, Idlewild.
BUT ARE YOU REALLY SURPRISED? New data out of the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research shows that though the nation's largest employers -- those with over 1,000 employees -- still overwhelmingly offer access to health benefits, fewer and fewer of their employees are able to afford the options. Between 1996 and 2004, megafirm workers purchasing their employer's health insurance dropped from about 88 percent to about 81 percent -- a seven percent decrease in eight years. The most significant drops came in the retail (Wal-Mart) sector, where participation plummeted by 16 percent, but numbers were down across all industries.