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Fact Checking Hi and Lois on those Golden Gas Pumping Days of Yore

When I opened the paper on October 18, Chance Brown’s Hi and Lois comic strip struck me soundly. Poor Hi, we’re meant to conclude. But are the circumstances related in the strip accurate? I did a bit of fact checking:

Correction 1: Gas hasn’t had a price of $3.99 per gallon in the United […]

While Congress Did Nothing, Minimum Wage Fell Another 3 Cents in May 2014

When the U.S. Congress does nothing about the minimum wage, it cuts the minimum wage.

That statement may seem paradoxical, but it isn’t if you keep in mind the difference between nominal wages and real wages. The word “nominal” is just an adjective used to mean “the name of something,” and so a “nominal dollar” […]

Another Year of Dithering, Another Year of Real Minimum Wage Cuts

Last March, I wrote about two bills before the U.S. Congress — H.R. 1010 in the House and S. 460 in the Senate. Together, these bills are known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act, and if passed they would increase the minimum wage from its current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the next two years. After […]

While Congress Dithers, Minimum Wage Drops 8 Cents in Two Months

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1010 in the House and S. 460 in the Senate) is a bill that would increase the minimum wage from its current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour over the next two years. After that point, the minimum wage would automatically increase to keep pace with inflation — the tendency […]

Darrell Issa Inadvertently Points Out That Federal Worker Pay Has Been Cut

Republican Representative Darrell Issa has been making a big deal lately over the notion that federal worker pay has supposedly been rising from 2010 to 2012. His “infographic”:

I have no idea whether Issa’s claim is actually true, because he does not cite any source. However, even if this claim is true in the […]

Minimum Wage vs. CEO Pay Puts State of the Union in Context

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for a restoration in the minimum wage and a change to make it keep pace with inflation:

“We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns […]

Price Of Oil Continues To Rise Under Obama

Under Barack Obama, we have seen an increase of $23.75 cents per barrel of crude oil – a rise of 55.9 percent. […]

Price of Oil Goes Up Under Obama

Since Obama was inaugurated, the price of crude oil has increased over 23 percent. Is Barack Obama on his way to an explosion in crude oil prices of the sort we saw under Bush? […]

A Slick Benchmark for President Obama

The price of oil went up by nearly 500 percent under George W. Bush before the restraint of American citizens brought it back under control. What will happen to the price of oil under Barack Obama? […]

Speculation Drives Oil Down Too

I think that there’s a good argument to be made for the idea that, although the current financial crisis is founded broadly upon problems in credit markets, that the economic stress that provoked the breakdown in credit markets was the rapid inflation in gasoline and other oil-based energy products. […]

We've Been Drilled, Baby. Drilled.

What might have been different if Americans had been organized to reduce energy consumption at the beginning of this year, to get the price of oil back down to 80 dollars? How many people who have had to go into foreclosure would have been able to keep their homes? […]