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Daily Bread for 10.1.21: The Truth About ‘Dollar’ Stores

Good morning. Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 88.  Sunrise is 6:53 AM and sunset 6:34 PM for 11h 41m 25s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 27.2% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1941, Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida. Whitewater may one…

Daily Bread for 9.30.21: Immunization Mandates Are Right and Effective

Good morning. Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 85.  Sunrise is 6:51 AM and sunset 6:36 PM for 11h 44m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 36.5% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1947,  1947 World Series (Yankees v. Brooklyn Dodgers, with Yankees in 7) begins.…

Daily Bread for 8.21.21: Hundreds of Wisconsin Police Officers Back on the Job after Being Fired or Forced Out

Good morning. Saturday in Whitewater will be variably cloudy with scattered thunderstorms and a high of 81. Sunrise is 6:08 AM and sunset 7:46 PM, for 13h 37m 26s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.9% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1911, the Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincenzo…

Daily Bread for 8.15.21: The ‘Personal Responsibility’ Crowd Wants a Handout

Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 81. Sunrise is 6:02 AM and sunset 7:55 PM, for 13h 53m 13s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 48.4% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1944, Allied forces land in southern France in Operation Dragoon. Molly Beck reports…

No Shirt, No Shoes? No Service

The conservative populists talk endlessly about the dangers of socialism (however poorly they grasp the term), but truthfully they’re happy with government mandates or prohibitions that advance their own preferences. Some private employers want to require masks, and others want to require vaccinations, but these right-wing interventionists now screech that private businesses should not be…

Competition: Good for Individuals and Society

Pres. Biden plans measures to increase market competition. David Leonhardt reports Biden’s New Push (‘The U.S. economy suffers from a lack of competition. President Biden wants to change that’): The U.S. economy has been less dynamic in the 21st century, by many measures, than it was in the late 20th century. Fewer new businesses are starting.…

The System Balks

For eight years, there has been a state-imposed price freeze for in-state UW System tuition.  (This restriction applied to UW-Whitewater as a System school.) The WISGOP wanted this freeze, and it has lingered since Walker’s defeat in 2018. During its imposition, administrators complained about the freeze, and rightly so: price freezes, even short-term ones, are a…

Businesses, Workers, Goods, and Services

Over at Dan Shafer’s Recombobulation Area, guest columnist Shawn Phetteplace reminds us that WMC Doesn’t Speak for All Businesses. Phetteplace, the state manager for the Main Street Alliance, writes that When former Gov. Scott Walker declared Wisconsin “Open for Business,” what he meant was it was open for deregulation, tax cuts, and special deals to…

Texas (But Not Only Texas): Regulatory Capture

Regulatory capture is a simple concept: it applies when regulatory agencies become dominated by the industries or interests they are by law required to regulate. These agencies begin to act to benefit particular incumbent firms or people in the industry they are supposed to be overseeing. The concept is also sometimes called agency capture or…

Buy Local Will Change

The pandemic has made takeout and delivery more valuable than ever, not only for convenience but also for reduced exposure. In larger cities, some changes to restaurant delivery (among other services) have been building for years, and are likely to be permanent. See Heated patios, QR code menus and pop-ups: Milwaukee restaurants got innovative during…

Markets and Markets

One reads that Whitewater now has an option, for most of the city, of grocery delivery from nearby cities. As it is, Whitewater has a Walmart, but no stand-alone, full-service grocery. Private delivery service is a benefit to the community. It’s better to have more grocery options than fewer. These are private enterprises providing private delivery…

The Price of Ignorance is Widely Paid

As nationwide chains take sensible measures to require masks, ordinary workers at those chains find themselves the underserving recipients of abuse. Kelli Weill reports Walmart Workers Are Terrified of Enforcing Mask Rules: Even in a time of record unemployment, some of Dan’s colleagues at an Indiana Walmart have walked off the job. They aren’t quitting over…

Consumer Sentiment

Much of the ‘reopening’ advocacy rests on the idea that after allowing a business to reopen, that business will see an adequate return of customers. While some businesses may see adequate customer demand, it’s almost certain that others will not. It has never been true that simply opening a business would assure its survival. If…

Public Policy Responses to the Coronavirus: ‘You have to address the health side’

Economist Austan Goolsbee offers three scenes, in his words, for addressing the coronavirus pandemic. All three, in the order he presents them, are sound. Most economic schools of thought – and all sound ones across the continuum – would consider something like his suggestions in response to a pandemic. One obvious note – or at…