Roland Stephen

Vision, ideas, and communication for effective public policy


  • Arts and Entertainment (4)
  • Economy (16)
  • Education (4)
  • Environments (5)
  • Food (2)
  • Health (4)
  • Politics (8)
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    Regular Reading

    Recent Posts


    Posted: September 27th, 2011 | 0 Comments

    Lack of blogging has been due to a busy period in which I accepted a job offer and completed some project work for IEI. But it was also due to the fact that Network Solutions crashed and lost all my content back to early August. There is really only one expectation you have from a web services provider, a simple one really, and that is DON”T LET YOUR SERVERS CRASH!! I am rethinking my blog posts anyway, they have been long and boring…

    Humanity at Risk!

    Posted: August 8th, 2011 | 0 Comments

    Karl draws out all the reasons why no other assets can be substituted for U.S. treasuries, but his conclusion is quite melodramatic!

    This is why a downgrade of the United States is a downgrade of humanity itself. Its also why alternative to the dollar and Treasuries need to be found.

    The reality is more prosaic, I think, and immediate prospects more stable.. Continue reading »

    On the Books

    Posted: July 14th, 2011 | 0 Comments

    Amazon has opened a major new offensive against the sales tax in California. It is using California’s lamentable process for passing ballot items directly into state law as a way to prevent sales tax being imposed on its customers who reside in the state. They couch this initiative as an effort to protect jobs, investment and the state’s economic future, but exempting one class of consumer from the tax (online shoppers) only shifts the burden to another class of consumer (main street shoppers). In other words, as is always the case for tax and spending decisions with very specific target populations, the most important consequence is the the impact of preferential treatment. Sometimes we wish to prefer one group through public policy–for example the poor or disabled–but is there any compelling reason to prefer Amazon over Target? Continue reading »