Columns

Column: America the Indebted: It’s Really Piling Up

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Washington Oh, the debt. Yawn. How passe. How 2009. Once, President Obama held a summit on fiscal responsibility (2009). Once, he gave an entire speech devoted to the subject (2011). Once, his State of the Union addresses (2010, 2011, 2013) were studded with double-digit references to the problem of sky-high deficits and lingering mountains of debt. Now, the topic receives just glancing mention, a clause (“shrinking deficits”) in a series …

Column: The Kochs Buy Into the 2016 Elections

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Koch brothers are done being shy. That’s the conclusion one would have to draw from their announcement that they hope to spend $889 million on the 2016 election, an unprecedented amount of outside money. It won’t all be theirs — they’re assembling a kind of plutocrat Politburo, a group of billionaires and …

Column: The Graying of America’s Corporate Boards

Thursday, January 29, 2015

These are tough times in the U.S. for workers older than 50. Buffeted by the Great Recession and big technological changes, many have been thrown out of the workforce and are finding it hard to get back in. They are the “new unemployables,” Boston College researchers declared a couple of years ago. There’s at least one group of over-50 workers that’s doing awesome, …

Column: Feds May Tighten Standards for Brokers

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What’s in a name? In the world of financial advice, plenty. That world is divided into two categories: brokers who work on commission and advisers who work for fees. For decades, they’ve been at war over who better serves retail investors. The Obama administration may soon come down …

Willem Lange: It’s All Quiet, Then the Weather Forecasters Sound the Alarm

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Montpelier I’m writing this by reflected sunlight through north-facing windows. The thermometer has climbed slowly up to 8 degrees above zero, and a high, thin haze has begun to dim the sun just a bit. A south wind ruffles the tops of the white pines. It’s a weather-breeder. …

Forum, Jan. 28: We Need Oil; Flatlanders from Vermont?; Require Background Checks; Too Close to Likud

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We Need Oil, We Need the Pipeline To the Editor: Roger D. Masters is dead wrong (“A Pipeline to Nowhere,” Jan. 20). We need to complete the Keystone XL pipeline forthwith. Petroleum — in many, many forms — is a necessity. Besides gasoline and diesel fuel, there’s home …

Column: The Insurance System Isn’t Healthy For All in Vermont

Monday, January 26, 2015

A 60-year-old man, who I’ll call C.C., recently walked into my family medical practice. The nurse handed me a thin chart record. His last visit was five years before for a skin infection. Written across the top in large block letters were the words, “NO INSURANCE.” C.C. and …

Column: Over 70 Years, Water Fluoridation Has Proven Its Value

Monday, January 26, 2015

Imagine most of your friends and family living with a chronic disease that is rarely life-threatening, but it’s painful and sometimes interferes with eating, sleeping and even speaking. Researchers who discovered how to reduce the rate of this disease by 25 percent would be honored as heroes, right? …

Column: Can-Do Spirit Brings Growth to New England

Monday, January 26, 2015

The woman in the cute fake fur coat got out of her car and immediately slipped on the ice in the parking lot. “Is this it?” she yelled, laughing and grabbing the car door to keep from falling. “Do they have it? Please tell me they have it!” …

Column: U.S. Fiddles While Iran Burns the Mideast

Monday, January 26, 2015

Washington While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in …

Column: Fill Up on Cheap Gasoline While You Can

Monday, January 26, 2015

Raise that thermostat and fire up the SUV: West Texas Intermediate crude is hovering around $45 a barrel, and the Costco near my house is currently vending gasoline for under $2 a gallon. But don’t start pricing Hummers just yet, because we don’t know how long this will …

City of Paris Might Have a Defamation Case Against Fox News

Monday, January 26, 2015

American commentators were quick to dismiss Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue Fox News over its false and mistaken claims that certain areas of the city were “no-go zones” for non-Muslims. It’s true that Fox News doesn’t broadcast in France, and also true that in the U.S. …

Column: Cheap Oil and SUVs are a Sucker’s Bet

Monday, January 26, 2015

Where is the logic in buying a gas-guzzling SUV just because gas prices are so low? As gas prices have tumbled, gas-hog sales have soared. November sales of the Cadillac Escalade SUV were up 91.5 percent over November …