Standing Cycles: Three Experiences

By Jim Russell Standing cycles, as the name indicates, are cycles–bicycles, tricycles, scooters–that do not have seats. Riders propel them exclusively in standing positions. Why would anyone want to ride such a vehicle? There are a number of reasons. Seats can be uncomfortable for men and women. Men may have prostate issues that seats aggravate.Continue reading “Standing Cycles: Three Experiences”

OECD’s Misleading Retirement Replacement Income Statistic for the United States

National Academy of Social Insurance December 7, 2020 According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s influential Pensions at a Glance, the United States has a gross retirement income replacement rate for average-income workers of 70.3 percent (see table 5.3). On the face of it, a 70.3 percent replacement rate is impressive. It matches the 70Continue reading “OECD’s Misleading Retirement Replacement Income Statistic for the United States”

Left-Wing Agents of Trump

Left-Wing Agents of Trump Trump is sinking fast in the polls. He hopes to save his reelection by convincing swing voters that they need him to reestablish law and order in streets, which are supposedly filled with violent anarchists, arsonists, looters, and rioters. Don’t fall into his trap. We want our good motives to produceContinue reading “Left-Wing Agents of Trump”

Consolidating Public Support for Medicare for All

Beacon Broadside, March 2, 2020 If the Bernie Sanders momentum continues, his signature Medicare for All proposal will become an even more intense subject of national debate than it already is. Attaining universal health insurance has never been a technical problem in the United States. We know that because every other major country and aContinue reading “Consolidating Public Support for Medicare for All”

What’s Missing from the Social Security Expansion Proposals

Democrats, looking forward to possible Congressional and White House victories in 2020, have embraced expanding Social Security after years of defensively fending off privatization and cutback threats. The Social Security 2100 Act, with 209 co-sponsors, is waiting in the wings. It would make needed revenue increases, including raising the cap on labor income taxed, to stabilizeContinue reading “What’s Missing from the Social Security Expansion Proposals”

Review of Burns/Novick, The Vietnam War (PBS)

I recently watched the 18-hour Burns/Novick PBS documentary, The Vietnam War, over a ten-day period, one episode a night.  I had previously read many of the criticisms of the film from veterans of the antiwar movement.  I had also returned in March from a two-week tour of Vietnam as part of a delegation led byContinue reading “Review of Burns/Novick, The Vietnam War (PBS)”

Autopsy of a Retirement Plan

AAUP Academe May-June 2018 As I approached age sixty-five after thirty-seven years of university teaching, I took stock of what my retirement income would look like. Many retirement experts claim that at least 70 percent of preretirement income is necessary to maintain one’s standard of living. For example, someone whose final annual income will be $100,000Continue reading “Autopsy of a Retirement Plan”

EU: Creciente Crisis en Pensiones [The Growing Retirement Crisis in the United States]

La Jornada (Ciudad de México) 14 de octubre de 2017 Como en México, Chile y otros países latinoamericanos, en Estados Unidos existe una creciente crisis en los sistemas para el retiro. Ello porque las cuentas individuales han remplazado las pensiones seguras. Para planificar la jubilación, la analogía más recurrente alude al taburete de tres patas.Continue reading “EU: Creciente Crisis en Pensiones [The Growing Retirement Crisis in the United States]”

Are Congressional Districts Too Large?

Huffington Post June 3, 2017 With elections coming up to the U.K. House of Commons and the French National Assembly, Americans might be excused for assuming that they are like our House of Representatives elections. Both are, it is true, lower houses in bicameral systems, and both, unlike in other parts of Europe, are winner-take-allContinue reading “Are Congressional Districts Too Large?”

Trump and Le Pen, Take 2

Huffington Post May 6, 2017 Sunday’s runoff election in France will pit centrist Emmanuel Macron against the National Front’s Marine Le Pen for the presidency. On both sides of the Atlantic, people are holding their breaths. Will the French succumb to the same forces that produced Brexit and Trump? But is Le Pen a FrenchContinue reading “Trump and Le Pen, Take 2”