What's new

Our Billionaire is Richer Than Yours! Bloomberg vs Trump ’16

October 8th, 2015


Mario Cuomo once said anyone is electable as long as he’s not carrying a body bag over his shoulder. Could Michael Bloomberg mount a successful campaign for president? He certainly has the money, the ideas, and a record (not a criminal record, like some other Northeastern politicians). Is he electable? While earlier rumors focused on a third party run, Bloomberg would have a fair shot at deposing Hillary Clinton, et al in the Democratic primary. Though he won New York’s … Continue Reading →

Do Revolving Doors Kill?

September 16th, 2015


United Airlines fired CEO Jeff Smisek because he launched a money-losing route from Newark to South Carolina. Why fly a money-losing plane? Because the route was a gift to the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, making it easier for him to reach his vacation home in Columbia. I’m appalled for a few reasons. First, I grew up vacationing on the Jersey Shore. Why did the NY/NJ Port Authority chief need South Carolina? What’s wrong … Continue Reading →

South Korea: From Paper Umbrellas to Prosperity

September 9th, 2015


The Korean Broadcasting System invited me to Seoul to give a nationally televised speech on how South Korea can re-charge its economy.  Just forty years ago, South Korea was as poor as Haiti.  Now companies like Samsung lead the world.  They call it the “Miracle on the Han River.”  But can it continue?  Here’a quick clip of the speech, on an American Idol-like stage.  During my visit, the North was threatening nuclear war, so there was tension in the … Continue Reading →

The Russians Aren’t Coming!

July 27th, 2015


Nine o’clock in the evening. A rap at the hotel door, which I’d double-bolted (because in NYC they tell you to do so, even though the crime rate has dropped to Pawnee, Indiana levels).

I muttered, “Come back later,” through my toothbrush, but the knuckle rap got louder.

“Yes?” I cracked open the door and peeked through.


“No, Buchholz.”

“I have Pringles for you.”

“I didn’t ask for–”

“–but I have to take away the vodka.”

This was getting … Continue Reading →

A Fake Farm Crisis?

June 10th, 2015


“Just about everyone agrees that we need more farmers.”  Really?  That was the first sentence of a New York Times oped by Mark Bittman.  I love farmers, and I get teary at Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer.”  I recently gave a speech to the Soybean Expo in Fargo.  Farmers have done an extraordinary job driving down the price of food.  Back in 1950, the average American family spent almost one-third of its income on food.  By … Continue Reading →

What Can You Do To Help Kids?

June 2nd, 2015


If our leaders were better at math, would we have smaller deficits?  Stephen Harper of Canada (economist) and Germany’s Angela Merkel (chemist) are pretty good at numbers.  Both preside over roughly balanced budgets.  If you’re worried about budgets and worried about math education, here’s what you can do:  Support the kickstarter campaign to bring the Math Arrow into classrooms.  The Math Arrow is an amazing new matrix of numbers that I created.  Based on the Math Arrow, Sproglit, LLC has … Continue Reading →

Slick Oil or Oil Slick?

May 15th, 2015


I’m not surprised oil prices have popped up in the past few months. Europe is finally showing a pulse. Spain, France and even Italy have moved out of the intensive care unit, making it easier for them to sneer at feeble Greece’s plight. The U.S. benchmark crude now bobs at $60 a barrel, way up from its March low of $44. (Unfortunately, higher gasoline prices are starting to pinch U.S. consumers.)

So now, of course, fidgety and foaming speculators are … Continue Reading →

Paging Dr. Zhivago: Putin Should See You Now

April 23rd, 2015


Dr. Zhivago just premiered on Broadway.  I didn’t see Vladimir Putin at opening night.  He could learn much about Russia and himself.   TIME magazine published my argument:

After the Soviet Union splintered in 1991, I took a few days off from my job at the White House and visited St. Petersburg, Russia.   Strolling through the flaking walls of the Hermitage, I realized that communism’s problem was not failing to keep up with the rising standards of 1980s America. … Continue Reading →

Oil Makes for a Slippery Baton

April 16th, 2015


Why did so many economists wrongly forecast a quick boom from lower gas prices?  In today’s Investor’s Business Daily I explain why:

“Ping” is a terrible sound. In 2008 the U.S. Olympic men’s and women’s 100-meter relay teams fumbled their batons and heard pings as the dropped batons bounced around the track in Beijing. Economies have metaphorical batons, too, when certain sectors must transfer growth to others, say from trains and cement to consumer goods like socks and trousers. But … Continue Reading →

Skin in the Game and Healthcare Spending

March 23rd, 2015


“Skin in the game.” That’s a key to human behavior. If people don’t have skin in the game, they take extra risks. If you’re gambling in a casino with “House money,” you’ll roll the dice more recklessly. If you rent a car, you might stomp on the accelerator. Have you ever driven a rental car to a car wash or stood in the sun waxing it? Of course not. You don’t care how grimy it gets!

I’m a fan of … Continue Reading →