Articles by Liam McGonagle

The question is:  If Americans wanted to retain compensation and employment gains between 1987 and 2009, how long would the average American be required to work each week?  Answer:  16 Hours.

I was a little reticent to publish this one at first, since it does rather smack of classical Libertarianism (i.e., in the sense of being concerned with “free” time, ergo “liberty”).

But then I thought, “What the Hell?”  It’s only a thought.  If I give the reader access to all the underlying data they could do whatever they wanted with it and make their own decisons.

Would you spend more time at Church?  The average employed American only seems to spend about 45 minutes per week on religious activities.  Imagine how many more God points you could rack up if you had another 23 to play with?…

Yeah, volatility is usually considered a “bad thing” in economics.  It’s basically the chance that the dollar you leave in your wallet tonight will be worth $0.50 or $1.50 when you wake up in the morning.  Makes decision making difficult.  Like living on a roulette table.

* Conversion of the U.S. dollar to silver and gold was suspended during the Civil War and discontinued entirely by 1972.  Covers the years for which full data are available (i.e., 1820 through 2009).

This analysis excludes, for what I hope are obvious reasons, the years covering America’s wars of existential crisis…

So that’s what’s so magic about Mormon underwear–it’s lined with $10’s and $20’s. I only hope that poor woman accepted it with a pair of boiled iron tongs. From CNN‘s Rachel Streitfeld:…

Well, no surprises in the Iowa caucus. Gingrich, Bachman and Perry beat themselves into irrelevance and the voters remain undecided whether their priority is to be impoverished by Wall Street wh*res like Mitt Romney or burned at the stake by puritanical simpletons like Rich Santorum. If the Democratic Party’s Achilles heel is a lack of conviction and willingness to fight for its stated beliefs, the Republican Party’s fatal flaw is its love of stupidity.

But that’s just us, the electorate. Supposedly the great education and ethical commitment of professional functionaries should mitigate against the creeping culture of mediocrity that’s overtaken American culture in the last 50 years. Does it really, though? For example, do the judges deciding the fate of Bradley Manning have clue # 1 that their nation’s very founding legal principle owes its existence to a state department leak in 1773? Do any of them remember the Hutchinson Letters Affair?

Benjamin Franklin
Bradley Manning

On the face of it, the late 18th century should, by all rights, have represented a gratifying period of peace and contentment within the British Empire.  The vicious civil wars that marked the 17th century had finally been resolved with the decisive defeat of the Jacobite rebellion in 1745.  A remarkably stable political settlement had been achieved which conclusively destroyed the arbitrary power of absolute monarchy…

For once the police are called to a Christmas brawl and none of my relatives are implicated. From Bernat Armangue at Huffington Post:

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday, as dozens of monks feuding over sacred space at the Church of the Nativity battled each other with brooms until police intervened.

The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, is shared…

Pope BenedictWait a second — does this make Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrich a couple o’ them “Cafeteria Catholics”? From Francis X. Rocca at the Huffington Post:

VATICAN CITY (RNS)— Noting a “rising sense of frustration” at the worldwide economic recession, Pope Benedict XVI said that a more just and peaceful world requires “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”

The pope’s words appeared in his message for the World Day of Peace 2012, released on Friday (Dec. 16) at the Vatican.

The message laments that “some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity.”

Authentic education, Benedict writes, teaches the proper use of freedom with “respect for oneself and others, including those whose way of being and living differs greatly from one’s own.”

Gar Alperovitz chimes in on the re-evolutionary convergence of capitalism and socialism into a hybrid paradigm in a recent article in the NY Times: The Occupy Wall Street protests have come and mostly…