Blog Profile / Kevin Drum

Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:11991
Posts / Week:33.1
Archived Since:February 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

California’s Bullet Train Gets Yet Another Price Hike

Buckle your seat belts for yet another big surprise. This one is for Californians: The estimated cost of building 119 miles of bullet train track in the Central Valley has jumped to $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the current budget….The new estimate was presented Tuesday by Roy Hill, who leads the main […]

It Looks Like Everyone Knew About Trump and Stormy Daniels

Prepare yourself to be shocked. You might want to be sitting down for the latest news about Donald Trump’s alleged affair with porn star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels: The allegation of a relationship was no secret to Fox News….One of the network’s reporters, Diana Falzone, had filed a story in October 2016 about an […]

White Racial Resentment Hasn’t Become More Politically Powerful Recently

“White racial resentment has been gaining political power for decades,” says the Washington Post. But I have some problems with this. For starters, the two authors¹ present a chart which, they say, “shows that racial resentment hasn’t fluctuated much over time.” I’ve redrawn it to make clear just how misleading this is: In fact, using […]

Immigration Has Gone Off the Deep End

Let’s talk immigration for a bit. It’s gone completely cuckoo. I realize that this is all due to politics of various stripes, but let’s stop for a minute and look just at the policy. It all started when President Trump killed DACA, the mini-DREAM executive order that allows individuals who were brought to the country […]

Lunchtime Photo

Different weather provides different opportunities for picture taking. I’ve been wanting to try some fog pictures for a while, but I’ve had no luck. First I went to Ireland. Gotta be fog there. No fog. So I went to London. No fog. In London! I came home as winter was settling in, but there was […]

The Stock Market Is on a Tear

Let’s just finish up with all the charts I have today, OK? Then I’ll go to lunch, and maybe I’ll come back with some ideas for less analytical posts. The stock market has gone crackers this month. Here’s the growth rate of the S&P 500 for the past year, with the first two weeks of […]

Renewable Energy Is Kicking Ass in Colorado

I’ve got nothing but charts for you today. Sorry about that. But I might as well get them out of my system. Here’s one that Dave Roberts is excited about. It shows the average bid response to a request for new power plants from Colorado’s biggest electricity supplier: Now, the bad news is that renewable […]

Black Incomes Have Fallen Further Behind Whites for the Entire 21st Century

Over at the mothership, Eli Day points out that blacks still earn a lot less than whites and have way less wealth. That’s bad enough, but it’s actually worse than that. Here are working-class black earnings since 1979 as a percent of white earnings: Black men have made essentially no progress in the past four […]

Uninsured Rates Holds Steady Through the Middle of 2017

I missed this during the holiday season, but the CDC released updated numbers for the number of uninsured in the US. These estimates go through June of 2017 and show that nothing much has changed: Since the beginning of 2015, the number of uninsured ages 0-65 has been flat at 10-11 percent. This varies from […]

Paul Romer Explains the “Doing Business” Ranking FUBAR

I don’t want to spend forever on this business of the World Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings, but Paul Romer put up a post today that shows what kind of effect the new ranking methodology had on Chile. Here it is: The new rankings (light orange) started in 2013 and showed Chile improving under its conservative […]

Why Trump Killed the Immigration Deal: Because Democrats Made Him Look Bad

I’ve long supported the idea of making a deal that would give President Trump a piece of his wall in return for legislative authorization of DACA. But it turns out that Democrats were prepared to offer him even more: not just some money to start the wall, but also an end to chain migration and […]

Lunchtime Photo

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 89 today. It’s striking to think that if he hadn’t been killed 50 years ago, he might still be alive today. Would the civil rights movement have progressed differently if he had been part of it for the past half century? King was already losing influence […]

The Population of Young Men Is Down, and So Is Crime

In the Daily Beast, criminologist Barry Latzer writes that murder is down in New York and is likely to stay down. Why? Because young men are responsible for most murders (true) and the population of young men has declined since the baby boom years (also true). Now that the baby boom is over for good, […]

Here’s the Latest Stupid Conservative Conspiracy Theory

It’s hard keeping up with conservative conspiracy theories. Did you know that for the past week the usual suspects (Hannity, Drudge, etc.) have been circulating the bombshell news that we now have PROOF the FBI was conspiring against Donald Trump during last year’s campaign? Naturally this involves Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI […]

Rising Opioid Deaths: Is the Cause Economic Despair Or Skyrocketing Supply?

How much has the opioid epidemic been a response to poor economic conditions? Eric Levitz points us today to a new paper from Christopher Ruhm of the University of Virginia. He examined changes in economic conditions at the county level to see how much this explained the change in death rates from opioids. In order […]

Lopez-Claros Replies to Charges of Gaming World Bank Rankings

Yesterday I linked to a Wall Street Journal article which reported that the World Bank had gamed its “Doing Business” rankings to make Chile look worse during the years it was governed by a socialist president. Paul Romer, the chief economist of the Bank, promised to review the rankings and republish them without the methodological […]

Yet More California Charts

Earlier today I posted a bunch of charts about California. This was in response to a Kerry Jackson piece in the LA Times arguing that California was screwed up six ways from Sunday, none of which was true. But one thing he mentioned was intrusive land-use regulations. I didn’t bother with that one because I […]

Bitcoin Makes Tulips Look Cheap

For all you bitcoin skeptics out there, here’s a lovely chart from Jeremy Grantham that compares bitcoin to other famous bubbles in history: In other bitcoin news, I’ve wondered aloud several times about how many bitcoin trades involve real money vs. other cryptocurrencies (tether, ethereum, etc.). I still don’t know, but Tyler Cowen points to […]

California Is Doing Fine, Thank You Very Much

Whenever I see an op-ed insisting that California is a total, um, shithole of a state, I always check the credit line at the bottom. Four times out of five it comes from City Journal, often by professional California scold Kerry Jackson. Sure enough, that’s where today’s piece in the LA Times is from: Guess […]

White House Denies Reality Yet Again

In his recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Trump said “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.” It was certainly a peculiar thing to say. Today, instead of explaining it, the ever shameless Sarah Huckabee Sanders simply insisted that the Journal was lying: — Sarah […]

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