Category Archives: economics

Report of the Wheel-Barrow Man

I knew in a slight way, a few years ago, an older man who lived alone on the outskirts of a village, further than I did. He lived alone and walked almost everywhere. When traveling to the store in the village to pick up groceries, he used a wheel barrow on the shoulder of the State road there and back. I called him “Wheelbarrow Man” once when my grand mother was around she didn’t like it, correcting me with his real name and title.

After he died, his sister, who I knew independently, let me have some of his things, including a typescript proposal. Having used a scanner and Microsoft Word to digitize it, I set it out below

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Cover image of Ponzimonium"

Well that only took forever

I don’t like to hate on government agencies, especially the underfed and underfunded. This, however, is annoying to me…


The United State Government Publishing1 Office lets you buy books and pamphlets the various parts of the United States (but not the States themselves) have reduced to written form. I have bought several copies of the official text of the Constitution from them for ready reference.

Some publications just go to show that there is a certain amount of stodge that always goes with government, such as the bizzare choice of smiley face on this document about bridge inspections. It make it look a little untrustworthy to me, like “It’s OK, really (wink)”.

Anyway, I wanted badly to read this entertainingly titled Ebook on investment frauds from a sometime Commissioner of the CFTC with a mullet that is supposedly available free. Well:

  1. There are two entries for this media on the GPO’s website, for some reason.
  2. The PDF link in the one is bad.
  3. I can’t find the “Add to Cart” link mentioned, even if logged in to my account.

Anyway, after fussing around (I didn’t call them up, because when I reported a spelling mistake in their ecommerce user management, it took over a month to get a reply. And it still isn’t fixed. As before, underfunded) I found a link to the PDF and EPUB files on their… FTP server.

Anyway, go here: https://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo68567/


  1. Ex-Government Printing Office. I understand the name change, but the older one was headed by the supremely titled “Public Printer of the United States”. The new one is run by a “Director”. Boring!! 

Odd Economical names

As mentioned before, I occasionally look into the magazine called The Economist (exactly like that, with a capital article).

One of their online features is a little quiz each week, where you have to answer general (or specific) knowledge questions about the news of important things and then know who someone’s picture is.

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Be an up to date farmer (in 1963), part 1 of 2

Browzing through old matter, I found a page from a 1963 magazine, the Farm Journal with some handy advices:

DimmersFJ

A couple of things jump out immediately. First, they had fluorescent light dimmers in 1963? For YEARS I’ve been seeing warnings on dimmer switches I’ve installed that they should never be used on a fluorescent light. Was this really a thing and, if so, what happened to them?

Second, were dimmers really that new in 1963? A dimmer is just a rheostat, which has existed as long as systematic study of electricity has, maybe longer. It’s just a wound coil of wire with a movable contact. In the case of a light dimmer switch, it is usually a circular affair. An industrial example may be seen here.

Another point, potentially hidden, is the price. 16 USD for a dimmer is outrageous today. They are about half that or less for a no-frills rotary dimmer switch, per Home Depot and Lowes. (I’m not linking to them because their websites change so regularly.) Using an economical adjustment for inflation, the highly recommended Measuring worth website, the purchasing power of 16 USD in 1963 is about 124 USD in 2014. That is by no means “inexpensive”, especially for farmers, who are notoriously not high earners.

Finally, the company in question, Hunt, appears to still be around, at least as a brand. It is owned by “Caribe Corporation”, which appears to just be an alternate name of the firm, since I cannot find any other business lines owned by it in a cursory search.

Cheap senior housing in Chicago

From section 18 (!) of the Chicago Tribune of November 27, 1988 comes a piece about the gentrification running seniors on fixed incomes out of town. There were two photographs of local political persons making reflections on the phenomenon:

Badquote
A particularly unfortunate double meaning of the word “cheap” here makes it look like the state representative doesn’t give a **** about seniors and wants them warehoused somewhere. Note that they misspelled her name. It’s Judith Baar Topinka.

Surprizedpolitician
The country treasurer looks like he’s never seen a camera before! “You mean you can make that little thing paint a portrait of me? Shocking!”