Friday, April 6, 2018

OPENING IN DC | Economic Policy Assistant

Vacancy: Economic Policy Assistant Position in Washington, DC

The position supports the work of an economic policy research and advocacy firm participating in the national economic policy making process, working with legislators, academics, public interest groups, and progressive organizations via engagement in economic policy legislative and political projects with a principal focus on fiscal and financial policy. 

The position involves working with a team of writers/researchers on policy products and projects relating to a range of domestic economic policy issues.  It includes various administrative responsibilities.  The work is a mix of legislative and political projects and offers hands-on experience collaborating with colleagues and partners and preparing deliverables for clients.  
Compensation:  Competitive, commensurate with experience and performance, $15-20/hr, plus expenses 
Schedule:   Flexible; 20-40 hrs/week
  • Research and writing on a range of domestic economic policy issues
  • Administrative tasks such as planning meetings, taking detailed notes, tracking timelines for projects and specific to-do lists
  • Assist in distribution of a regular newsletter
  • Occasional event planning and tech support (iPhone, printer, wireless networks) 
  • Proven experience as a policy researcher 
  • Knowledge of office management systems and procedures and office equipment
  • Proficiency in MS Office/Google Drive, and MailChimp programs
  • Excellent time management skills, the ability to prioritize work, pay attention to detail, and troubleshoot problems
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and organizational skills
  • Bachelor’s degree
Location:   Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Application Due Date: Friday, April 27, 2018
Target Start Date: Mid- to late-May, 2018

To apply, send a copy of your resume and a cover letter to: 

Dana Chasin

Thursday, April 5, 2018

TRUMP | Stealing America Blind

April 5, 2018 – If you are not in New York City, you may be missing seeing an empiggened Trump looking up at us from every newsstand.

The cover of the new (April 2-15, 2018) New York Magazine has a way of commanding our attention.

The stories inside do not disappoint.
1. Corruption Is Trump's Greatest Political Liability

“My whole life I've been greedy, greedy, greedy,” 
declared Donald duringthe 2016 campaign.

2. Trump & Co. Are Stealing America Blind: A Timeline

Donald Trump's love of money has no limits; his greediness rules all. Here's a timeline of 501 days of corruption within the Trump administration and the Trump Organization.

Video for New York Magazine Trump Corruption
New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait argues that it's not Russia or Stormy Daniels that can stop Trump.

New York magazine is taking a harsh swipe at President Trump with its new cover depicting the president as a pig.

5. New York Mag empiggens Trump | Media ...

The April 2, 2018 issue ofNew York Magazine depicts President Trump as a pig to illustrate a Jonathan Chait story about Trump Administration corruption.
And see also:

Corruption | The New Yorker

Read more about corruption from The New Yorker. ... “Mark Felt,” the Movie, and Donald Trump, the President. The deal in Georgia raises some of the same questions as many other deals the Trump Organization has done around the world. By Adam Davidson.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WOODY SCHNEIDER | His 100,000th racquet

Woody Schneider strings his 100,000th
tennis racquet, a Yonex.
I left my tennis racquet in Florida and needed to play yesterday.

So I got a new racquet from Woody Schneider at NYC Racquet Sports, at 157 West 35th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue, close to Penn Station.

This is now his main place of work although he has had three other retail stores until October last year. He is still located where he started, in Grand Central Terminal between tracks 38 and 39, and at the NTC Pro Shop at the National Tennis Center.
Woody Schneider (L) with Björn Borg.

When I walked in, Woody was about to start on another racquet. He said he would put that one aside and string another one while I went nearby for coffee. He had the racquet ready in 25 minutes.

I reminded him that last time he had recommended a smaller grip for me because I have a "meaty hand."

Woody focuses on his (now
my) racquet.
Last year I wrote about Woody's long career as a racquet stringer and store owner. He started his own retail store 26 years ago and 20 years ago he took over the 44th Street tennis store, familiar to anyone who walks 44th Street to Grand Central Terminal.

He gave up the 44th Street store in October because the construction work going on in the area hurt his sales and competition from the Internet meant that revenue was off.

Last year my wife Alice and I purchased Babolat racquets from him.

This time he did not have a suitable Babolat racquet and recommended a Yonex, which is made by a Tokyo-based company that first made its name half a century ago making badminton racquets.

The founder of Yonex, Minoru Yoneyama is now Honorary Chairman and has been named a Japanese Sacred Treasure. His son Ben Yoneyama is the current Chairman.

As Woody was stringing the racquet, I asked him if he was stringing his 50,000th racquet.

He paused briefly to consider. "Ten  racquets strung a day, average; 50 a week, average; 2,500 a year, average; over 40 years. So this would be personally my 100,000th racquet." 

We had a small celebration with his associate, who was working on another racquet. 
Woody Schneider (R) with Roger Federer.

I asked Woody how it was going these days, competing with the online sellers. He said that the quality of the stringing of these racquets left something to be desired, but it was hard to compete with these sellers on price.

He has a 2,000sf space at the Penn Station site and really uses only one-fourth of it. I suggested he reduce cost by sharing the space with another similar business, like sports clothing. He thought that was a great idea, but how would he find someone? I called a friend in the sub-leasing business but she only does office space, not retail.

Any ideas? Comment or email

Monday, March 26, 2018

HEIDI FISKE | Is Trump Seeking War?

John R. Bolton, President Trump's
National Security Advisor-Designate
(The following Guest Post was written by Heidi Fiske:)

Pundits right and left fear that John Bolton as National Security Advisor could cause us to stumble into war.

But what if it isn’t stumbling? What if Trump is actively seeking to take us into war?

There are three reasons why this is possible, if not likely. I number them below.

But let’s begin with the background. Before the Bolton appointment, Trump had been priming the war pump in several ways.

First, 60 percent of the top diplomats in the State Department left under Secretary Rex Tillerson, reducing our ability to negotiate, or gain support from allies. To this day there is no ambassador to South Korea. The top U.S. official there, since January 2017, is chargé d’affaires Mark Knapper.

Next, Trump fired Tillerson, who urged keeping the Iran nuclear deal in place and who advocated talking with North Korea, to be replaced by Mike Pompeo. As head of the CIA, Pompeo was the only Trump cabinet member to argue for decertifying the Iran nuclear deal. Not only could that in itself lead to war, but it should make North Korea discount any promise Trump might make in talks with Kim.

Finally, the cherry on the top, is Bolton. He has argued for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea (“The legal case for striking North Korea first,” The Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2018); bombing Iran (“To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran,” The New York Times, March 26, 2015), and to this day he supports our having started the Iraq War, which many others regard as the greatest strategic mistake in our recent history. Bolton will start his new job just as the final jockeying about conditions for the Trump/Kim talks are being worked out – talks whose only purpose, he has said, is to prove that talks don’t work, thus clearing the way for military action. He will also start just about the same time as the Iran nuclear deal needs to be recertified on May 12.

Could his new personnel choices herald that Trump is actively seeking to go to war? Consider these three things:
  1. Trump’s tactic throughout his campaign and Presidency has been to drive unpleasant news off the front pages by creating a new ruckus. When he was taking heat over his stance on the healthcare bill and response to the hurricanes, for instance, he started the stink over football players kneeling during the national anthem. Now multiple amatory scandals, and the Mueller investigation, dominate the news. Very few things could top these in importance or reader appeal. War, however, could drive both off the front pages.
  2. Trump has good reason to think he’s Teflon. The tax legislation, tariffs, and removal of financial protections could all hurt him with his base – but they haven’t much yet. While an exhaustive January poll by Morning Consult found his approval down among all voting blocs, his support is still well over 40 percent among whites, military personnel and households, private sector workers, all Christians, southerners, retirees, those earning over $50,000, men, all adults, and well over 70 percent among Republicans as a whole, and Republican men and women separately. And his approval is still 87 percent among those who voted for him in 2016.
  3. Trump surely remembers the record of another ever-less-popular President, George W. Bush. In May 2004, during the runup to his re-election, a CBS News poll found that Bush’s negative rating was 65 percent, and that, from January 2004, “majorities of the public have consistently said the U.S. is off on the wrong track.” Yet he was re-elected: Why? Here is a stunning statistic: No wartime President has ever failed to win re-election.
So let’s suppose for a moment that Trump wants to go to war. What’s to stop him? Congress, you might think. Not so fast: The 1973 War Powers Resolution gives the President 60 days to deploy troops before war must be declared by Congress. And obviously after those 60 days we could be in such a morass that there would be no turning back.

Anything else? Two other possible events might dial back the White House Bellicosity Meter:
Bolton doesn't need Senate approval, but he might not get a security clearance before he is scheduled to start work in April.

Pompeo might not be confirmed by the Senate – highly unlikely, while the President retains high ratings with his base. And who knows whom Trump would nominate next?

Thus this observer concludes that there is at least a 50-50 chance that we are on our way to a new war, or wars. The President’s personnel choices are not the cause. They are more likely the result of his desire for war.

Friday, March 23, 2018

WELLESLEY IN VERO | Professor Ann Witte

Wellesley College alumnae in Vero Beach, Fla. at a lunch featuring Wellesley
Professor Emerita Ann Witte (in blue, front row), an expert on early childhood
education and personal finance. Alice Tepper Marlin '66 is holding the "W"
end of the banner.
March 23, 2018 – Professor Ann Witte spoke earlier this month about early childhood education to a group of Wellesley Alumnae at Bay Colony, a community near Indian River Shores Town Hall on A1A in Vero Beach, Florida.

Her research has focused not only on early childhood care and education but also on  how to empower people to manage their finances and how memory affects and changes as time passes.

At Wellesley College, she was a tenured professor of economics who taught personal finance (ECON 223) in the 2006-2010 period, an interesting one! The Wellesley Economics Department web page includes the obituaries of two economic professors whom I knew quite well, Soviet-Russian expert Marshall Goldman and housing-value econometrician Chip Case. Professor Goldman was on the Executive Committee of Economists for Peace and Security with me, when I was serving as Treasurer.

She also worked on ways to improve financial education including development of a MOOC and flipped classrooms. She served as a consultant to research projects to help people manage their finances and co-authored two books in that arena with fellow Wellesley College instructor Saundra Gulley.

She uses statistics and microeconomics to analyze and affect public policies and was a principal investigator of the 2012 National Survey of Early Education and Care in the United States.

Other Wellesley College-related posts2014: Wellesley '66 Visits the LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton .