Archives for George Bush



Freakonomics Quorum: Can Amtrak Ever Be Profitable?

Amtrak’s ridership and revenue has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years, and 2011 set a new ridership record with 30.2 million passengers, and $1.9 billion in ticket revenue. But, even though it took in $1.42 billion from Congress last year, it still manages to lose $1 billion annually. This is hardly a new development. Amtrak has a long and storied history of functioning at a loss despite government subsidies.

So, as we enter what appears to be a new era (maybe?) of government austerity, it seems worth asking if Amtrak can ever turn a profit without government help. We rounded up some people who pay attention to this issue and asked for their ideas to fix Amtrak, if it can be fixed at all. Read More »



Bush Congratulates Krugman

Yesterday, President Bush invited the most recent round of Nobel laureates to the White House to accept his congratulations. And yes, this included his trenchant critic and economics prize-winner, Paul Krugman. Photo from Economist.com This photo posted on Economist.com (from Agence France-Presse) makes me wish I were better at reading body language. I’m going to […] Read More »



How Much Does the President Really Matter?

Studies show that individual CEOs and baseball managers have less of an effect on their organization’s performance than conventional wisdom assumes. So couldn’t the same logic be applied to the President? Read More »



How Effective Are George Bush’s Tax Cuts? Don’t Ask the Economists

Here’s heartening news for all those who believe that economists not only can’t predict the economic future, but can’t even describe the economic past. Daniel Altman, for his Economic View column for the New York Times, e-mailed the 177 members of the National Bureau of Economic Research who concentrate on economic fluctuations and growth. He […] Read More »