Op-ed / Letters to the Editor
109 results total, viewing 11 - 20
To the Editor: The PBN article (“Partisan differences energize power plans,” July 14) rightly notes that the state’s next governor will shape Rhode Island’s energy future. It shouldn’t be a question of if clean energy is a part of that future, but instead how can clean energy be a part of that future, in a way that benefits Rhode Island’s economy, energy security and environmental goals. more
The other day, I got to wondering something: What is the effect of automated payments on credit scores? Automated payments, I reasoned, reduce late payments among the people who are basically responsible budgeters but terrible at remembering to mail their bills on time every month. Those people should see their credit scores increase as they rack up fewer late payments to creditors. more
The pitched battle being fought by Amazon.com Inc., authors and publishers over the price of books is sad to watch. What they fail to recognize is that in the world of digital literature, book ownership will soon be an anachronism. more
The good news about health care spending continues. In the first nine months of this fiscal year, Medicare spending increased only 1.2 percent in nominal terms, and for 2014, it’s now projected to be $1,000 lower per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office said it would be as recently as 2010. Even the Medicare trustees are starting to recognize that something big may be happening. more
Concern about rising wealth and income inequality has generated all kinds of solutions, often focused on improving the lot of the people at the bottom with measures such as minimum wages. But instead of putting a floor on what people get, why not put a ceiling on how much they get to keep? more
When I wrote recently about the joys of the 15-year mortgage, I got the same reaction from a lot of people: “Why would you repay a loan when at these low rates, it’s practically free money?” more
U.S. consumers may well remember the days, pre-2012, when shopping for an airline ticket was complicated by the airlines’ favored pricing scheme. Back then, an advertised $240 fare might suddenly turn out to be a $300 fare, given that taxes account for roughly 20 percent of the average domestic U.S. airfare. Passengers hated the system while the airlines – which hate price-comparison shoppers, because they drive down prices – embraced it. Fortunately, in 2012, the Department of Transportation imposed a rule requiring that the airlines advertise fares inclusive of the base fare, taxes and fees. Yet, notably, the rule didn’t prohibit the airlines from publishing the taxes and fees separately; it just required that they do so less prominently than the advertised, fully inclusive fare. The airlines, incensed at this pro-consumer bit of rulemaking, have been trying to overturn it ever since. more
Of all the outrages endured during the financial crisis, perhaps the most perplexing involved money-market mutual funds. In an example of moral hazard writ large, this uninsured risk instrument – with $2.57 trillion in assets – somehow became too big to fail. Five years later, the Securities and Exchange Commission is finally taking steps to address this. more
If you care at all about what academic macroeconomists are cooking up (or if you do any macro investing), you might want to check out the latest economics blog discussion about the big change that happened in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Here’s a post by the University of Chicago ecnomist John Cochrane, and here’s one by Oxford’s Simon Wren-Lewis that includes links to most of the other contributions. more
With some 95 percent of today’s consumers beyond our borders, it is difficult not to acknowledge that the United States needs to increase its exports in order to thrive economically. As consumer strength grows across the globe in the years ahead, the U.S. must ensure that it is pursuing every course of action possible to get American exports into the world’s expanding marketplace. One such method is through the use of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. more
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