Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author/historian of science, tech, & The New Deal. Read my blog The Economy Hub mhiltzik@latimes.com

State tax board members disingenuously defend a power grab

latimes.com — George Runner and Fiona Ma, two members of the state Board of Equalization, say I "unfairly" criticized a plan in the state legislature to give the board the power to assess commercial aircraft. They're right that I criticized the plan, in my column at the beginning of May. But "unfairly"?

The RadioShack bankruptcy shows you can't trust a company's privacy pledge

latimes.com — Millions of RadioShack customers--as many as 117 million--may have taken the gadget chain at its word when it pledged that it would safeguard their personal information forever "We will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone at any time," the chain stated on its website.

Football stadium follies: How the NFL will pick San Diegans' pockets

latimes.com — One must doff one's hat to the National Football League . Its talent for siphoning money from taxpayers into the pockets of its team-owning billionaires has never glistened as brightly.

State governments lament that citizens are actually getting health coverage

latimes.com — One of the more bizarre spectacles of U.S. government in the modern age is the sight of political leaders complaining that a public program is actually working. On Monday, Politico delivered a striking case in point. The subject was Obamacare, or more specifically the expansion of Medicaid through which millions of low-income families receive health coverage.

Despite Amtrak crash, infrastructure spending remains low priority

latimes.com — Last week's horrific Amtrak crash outside Philadelphia has inspired much talk about the need to shore up America's crumbling public infrastructure. But the prospect of action on infrastructure hasn't even notched upward as the Amtrak toll reached eight dead and more than 200 injured.

Exposed: the chemical industry's fake grassroots lobbying for fire retardants

latimes.com — Grant D. Gillham stepped to the microphone in a California State Senate hearing chamber on April 13 and spoke out in favor of a bill mandating the labeling of children's products containing flame retardant chemicals.

The toll of anti-Obamacare fanaticism: Two horrifying vignettes

latimes.com — Almost since the inception of the Affordable Care Act , the Southeast has been an epicenter of Obamacare Derangement Syndrome--the condition that makes individuals and elected officials so susceptible to the power of that single nine-letter word that they act in flagrant disregard of their own interests or those of their constituents.

An economist shows how an overgrown finance industry poisons society

latimes.com — Whether or when a financial sector can grow so big it interferes with society's health has been a burning question since the crash of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed. It's rare for a leading economist, especially one from deep inside the finance sector itself, to weigh in with a resounding "yes!"

Don't praise Starbucks for moving its water bottling out of California

latimes.com — Starbucks scored an enviable publicity coup last week by announcing that it was moving the bottling of its store brand of bottled water, Ethos, out of drought-stricken California and over to Pennsylvania. The company described the move as consonant with "our mission to be a globally responsible company" and a way of standing fast with the people of California in the teeth of "this unprecedented drought."

How a $1.4-billion scientific project ran into a cultural buzzsaw

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May 23, 2015

Query: Do Joe Buck and Harold Reynolds really get paid for their inane baseball repartee on Fox Sports? #makethemshutup

May 20, 2015

Most devastating review of new MacBook yet? "I love looking at it and picking it up. I just hate using it." marco.org/2015/05/19/mis…

May 20, 2015

RT @Emma_J_Hodson: #FTC allows customer data to be sold as a asset in #Radioshack's bk. Few pre-ptn promises honored. Thx @hiltzikm for goo.gl/RMt8bn.

May 20, 2015

Keep telling yourself it's a good deal--maybe eventually you'll believe it twitter.com/BrennyBreen/st…

May 19, 2015

Congress plots to pay for a trade deal by raiding Medicare fw.to/yffq6Vm

May 19, 2015

State governments lament that citizens are actually getting health coverage fw.to/ko9UTpD

May 19, 2015

The new plan for a San Diego Chargers stadium: make the taxpayers, not the billionaires, pay fw.to/m9X9sbg

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