Washington will pick up the check

Semiconductor firms are about to get showered with cash thanks to a new bill, The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022—CHIPS standing for, cleverly, The CREATING HELPFUL INCENTIVES TO PRODUCE SEMICONDUCTORS Act. Because it involved free money for capitalists, 17 Republicans (out of 50) voted for it despite their habit of voting against almost anything supported by Democrats except money for the Pentagon. Biden is scheduled to sign it on Tuesday, August 9. It’s a $280 billion package designed to encourage semiconductor manufacturing and research in the US. Pundits and generals have… Read More

America: the rot goes on

It’s been a while since I looked at one of the major reasons for the pervasive sense of rot about the US: the low level of investment—investment in real things, that is, not crypto. It’s barely keeping up with the forces of decay. If you’re wondering why nothing works and everything seems to be falling apart, here are some explanations. First a definition: investment is spending by businesses, governments, and individuals on long-lived physical assets like buildings and machinery. Gross investment is the dollar value of such spending; net is what remains… Read More