Omnibus blog post written at 5:30 CDT

Blogging will be light today, as I am wending my way west towards the Aspen Ideas Festival, where I'll be blogging, and moderating a few panels.  If I have time between flights, I will try to provide you with a couple of posts on intellectual property and other goodies.  Meanwhile, a few thoughts to tide you over:

Really moving article on black autoworkers in Detroit.  This seems mostly like a hook, because the core story is the same as that of white autoworkers in Detroit.  Liberals often accuse conservatives of hating union workers, and maybe some do, but I think it's great that people who maybe weren't cut out for college had a decent way of earning a good living, getting ahead a little.  I think it's really sad that era is over, especially for people who were encouraged to bet their whole futures on a deeply troubled industry.  It's just that I'm also aware that the reason people could have well-appointed jobs-for-life was an oligopolistic cartel which was able to cut rich side deals in order to buy labor and political peace.  The culmination of this was the hideous junk of the 1970s, which is the kind of place that oligopolistic cartels tend to end up.

But that doesn't make all this any less tragic for the workers.

Next tragedy:  Michael Jackson.  Oxycontin.  Discussion question for libertarians:  assume we all agree that drugs should be legal.  Is a doctor who enables an addicted patient to take fatal doses a good doctor, or should he be liable for malpractice?  Discussion question for non-libertarians:  how, pray tell, is this an argument in support of our current draconian drug laws?

Third tragedy: now we've lost Billy Mays too.  Whatever cosmic force is targeting celebreties, I think it's time to stop, 'kay?  I was really enjoying Pitchmen, though of course, I'm not sure there's really a wide market for business-and-economics themed reality shows.  (The Apprentice doesn't count as either, thank-you-very-much).

Off to Aspen, where Madras goes to die.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In