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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Richard Head » Archives for Richard Head

By Richard Head on January 18, 2014

Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley executive and former editor of The American Conservative magazine, is among the most eloquent in his championing of a ballot initiative to increase the California Minimum Wage to $12/hour. His argument makes a great case for making $12/hour the Federal Minimum Wage.

A couple of pull quotes from the interview with an NPR reporter:

What we're talking about is a massive system of hidden government subsidies for these low-wage employers where they can shift the costs of the workforce over to the taxpayer. I think businesses should stand on their own two feet and have to pay their workers instead of forcing the taxpayers to make up the difference.

Wal-Mart is America's largest low-wage employer. Three hundred thousand Wal-Mart workers average about $9 an hour. All Wal-Mart would have to do to cover a $12 minimum wage is raise their prices by 1.1 percent one time. The average Wal-Mart shopper would pay only an extra $12.50 per year. People wouldn't even notice the price hike.

Full article here.

By Richard Head on October 1, 2011

Contrary to those on the right who decry "activist judges," the reality is just the opposite. In a new report from the Institute of Justice, the authors excoriate the judiciary for disengagement and abdication, rather than activism.

Consider the following:

The report finds:
• Congress passed 15,817 laws from 1954 to 2002. The Supreme Court struck down 103—or just two-thirds of one percent.
• State legislatures passed 1,006,649 laws over the same period but the Court only struck down 452—or less than one twentieth of one percent.
• The federal government adopted 21,462 regulations from 1986-2006. The Court struck down 121—or about a half of a percent.
• In any given year, the Court strikes down just three out of every 5,000 laws passed by Congress and state legislatures.
• The Supreme Court overturned precedents in just two percent of cases considered from 1954 to 2010.

Be sure to download the 20-page report (listed on the site above) if you want the details.

By Richard Head on October 1, 2011

The right-wing mud-slinging machine is running full tilt with the Solyndra story. Rather than me trying to write the other part of the story, take a look at the Southern California Public Radio story.

Here's a taste:

Solyndra had attracted significant private investment before the DOE came along, when it was a much higher risk than it was after it had demonstrated some interest in its unique, thin-film, non-silicon-based solar technology. The $535 million DOE guarantee was matched by a billion-plus in private money, so it's wrong to suggest that the taxpayers were the dominant investor in this case.

The more you look at the way that the DOE is investing in solar, there more you realize that the government strategy has been to incubate a very high-tech, commercial- and utility scale thin-solar sub-industry that will leverage innovation, rather than be exposed to the inexpensive solar-panel market that the the Chinese have developed. China's panels could be competitive with…other silicon-based solar panels. But the energy that's produced by silicon-based panels aren't competitive on price with non-renewable energy, especially coal, which I actually think is literally cheaper than dirt when you figure in the value of some tracts of real estate in the U.S.

Thin-film, on the other hand, promises a substantial over-the-horizon payoff. So the government isn't looking at the risk of losing money on some of the companies it dispenses loan guarantees to — it's looking at the risk of not supporting the alternative-energy industry through the middle of the decade.

By Richard Head on December 14, 2010

After watching a few minutes of the obligatory Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" this past Sunday evening on the local NBC station, I turned the TV off and didn't think much more of it. After all, like so many millions of others, I've seen it many, many times already. But an interesting thing happened on Monday morning.

Read more of this post here ...

By Richard Head on December 26, 2009

I've stumbled on what has become a valuable resource for me as a citizen journalist, particularly for those times when I'll want to talk with someone directly in an interview.

A recent book entitled, Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production, has a wealth of information, tips and techniques, and personal accounts about "getting the story" from the NPR reporters we hear on public radio every day. Author Jonathan Kern is the Executive Producer for Training at NPR, and he has worked in almost every position in radio news, including executive producer of NPR's All Things Considered.

Now, before you dismiss the book as something you don't want to bother with because it's about audio recordings and radio, keep in mind that the majority of the book deals with topics contained in chapters that Kern titles "Fairness," "Reporting," "Field Producing," "Story Editing," "The Reporter-Host Two-Way," "Hosting," and "Beyond Radio," among others. So the material has terrific value for those times when you want to venture into direct interviews, rather than reporting what others have already written.

Read more of this post here ...

By Richard Head on November 15, 2009

For a thought-provoking, multi-part series on justice, morality, and political and personal choice, take a look at a video course taught at Harvard University, which is free and open to the public.

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history. Now it’s your turn to take the same journey in moral reflection that has captivated more than 14,000 students, as Harvard opens its classroom to the world.

In this twelve part series, Professor Michael Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do. He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios. The results are often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white.

This course also addresses the hot topics of our day—affirmative action, same-sex marriage, patriotism and rights—and Sandel shows us that we can revisit familiar controversies with a fresh perspective.

Read more of this post here ...

By Richard Head on October 5, 2009

In his book, The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, Dean Baker pokes his thumb squarely in the eye of right-wing corporate monopolists. If you're looking for great points with which to restructure the sophistry of the right wing, below are some tidbits for consideration.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Richard Head:

Want to see more blog posts by Richard Head? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. Most of the entries that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published.

We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Richard Head. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

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This is an archive for Richard Head. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Richard Head here.

Just a few of most current posts by Richard Head are excerpted in the center of this page.

However, we do have links, below, to all of the entries ever published by this author.

To browse archived entries by Richard Head, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

Archives: Richard Head

This list shows all of the entries ever published at this site by Richard Head:

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