J. Goodrich

J. Goodrich is a recovering economist and the sole proprietor of the political blog Echidne of the Snakes. She also blogs for TAPPED.

Recent Articles

AND THE COMMON WOMAN CHIMES IN.

AND THE COMMON WOMAN CHIMES IN. Paul and Ezra have both written on David Brooks ' most recent truckstop column , and I noticed with great interest the headlines of their posts: "Conservatives and the Common Man" and "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." Brooks tells us that a masculine man doesn't worry about the rich but about all those other men who are not masculine enough, the manipulators. But what about the women? Where is the common woman in Brooks's column? Where is the common woman in most of these discussions about class and income and politics? She is hiding in the stories, sure, as a part of the family that the common man must defend and feed. Or as a part of divorce, as in Brooks's anecdote. But she is not interviewed as a myth-in-the-making. Perhaps Brooks should next stop at a hairdressing salon in a poor area. I'm sure that you felt a little odd reading that phrase " common woman." It has quite different connotations than the superficially similar phrase "common man." That,...

THE MORALE DILEMMA.

THE MORALE DILEMMA. Is the morale among U.S. military in Iraq low or high? Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack argued for the latter case in their July New York Times op-ed piece : Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference. So does Rep. Phil Gingrey , a Republican from Georgia, who recently wrote about his Iraq trip: Two nights ago, I sat down in one of the base mess halls with several Georgia soldiers stationed in Iraq. Over dinner, these soldiers discussed the pride that they have in the job they are doing in Iraq. Their positive morale was a welcome change from the negativity that I hear every day in Washington. While they made it clear that they missed their families, they stressed that now was not the time to pull them out of Iraq. I'm glad to hear that the...

ON LIFE EXPECTANCY.

ON LIFE EXPECTANCY. The United States ranks 42 in life expectancy among 222 countries. Why is this the case when the U.S. leads the world in health care spending? There are several explanations, many of them discussed in the linked article , that focus on the changes the U.S. health care system needs. But it's also important to note what life expectancy measures: The number of years a person born in a particular year can expect to live, on average. Because of its construction, the measure is very sensitive to deaths in early life. At the same time, curing, say, cancer, might not raise life expectancy very much, simply because most cancers strike later in life, and hence the years saved per person might not be that many. This suggests that one reason for the low ranking of the U.S. in life expectancy statistics might be greater death rates at earlier ages. The article mentions the higher American infant mortality rate. But it fails to mention the higher American rates of accidental and...

PILLOW TALK.

PILLOW TALK. Ana Marie Cox wrote about Elizabeth and John Edwards on Wednesday at Swampland. John Edwards does not support gay marriage, but Elizabeth Edwards does. What does this mean for those who might vote for Edwards were it not for his views on this one issue? On a call previewing tonight's LGBT forum, an Edwards adviser just said that he's not worried about the fact that Edwards is not for gay marriage because, if elected, "we will have a first lady in Elizabeth Edwards who will be our lobbyist." The bit about her being a lobbyist is a quip, but the underlying suggestion that presidential spouses carry special influence is not. As you may remember, the Clintons faced much criticism for the initial role of Hillary Clinton as the First Lady. She was seen as too strong, too unsubtle and as meddling in improper areas. But the traditionally more subtle influence of presidential spouses has been a useful political tool in electoral politics. Remember the articles which pointed out...

TO THE OWNER OF A HAMMER, EVERYTHING LOOKS LIKE A NAIL.

TO THE OWNER OF A HAMMER, EVERYTHING LOOKS LIKE A NAIL. To President Bush , it's always the right time for a tax cut. The most recent group suffering from excess taxes are the American corporations: President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations to make them more competitive around the world, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure. Advisers presented Bush with a series of ideas to restructure corporate taxes, possibly eliminating narrowly targeted breaks to pay for a broader, across-the-board rate cut. In an interview with a small group of journalists afterward, Bush said he was "inclined" to send a corporate tax package to Congress, although he expressed uncertainty about its political viability. A bridge collapses in Minnesota, and newspapers are full of stories about the aging American infrastructure. The Iraq...

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