George H. Blackford, Ph.D.

 Economist at Large

 Email: george(at)


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.

It’s what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Attributed to Mark Twain (among others)


Economic Papers
Political Essays


Links Page


This page provides links to other websites that deal with the real world as it actually is:

Government is Good is a web project of Douglas J. Amy, Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College, that provides a comprehensive analysis of the essential role government plays in our daily lives.  If people understood the basic lessons in civics explained in the essays on this website we would have been able to avoid most of the problems we have today.

The Authoritarians is a website maintained by Bob Altemeyer from the University of Manitoba that explains the roll the authoritarian personality—those who blindly submit to authority without questioning the validity of that authority—plays in American politics today.  This website explains the reasons for the irrationally in the Conservative Movement today.

Who Rules America: Power, Politics, and Social Change is a website by G. William Domhoff, a Research Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, that provides "detailed original information on how power and politics operate in the United States."

American Society of Civil Engineers is an organization that provides frequent reports on the state of infrastructure facilities in the U.S. and the need for government to invest more in these important public resources. See "Report Card for America's Infrastructure Report."

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities conducts research to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families are considered in these debates. Particularly good at detailing efforts to restrict budgets and cut programs. See for example, “TABOR: A Threat to Education, Health Care, and Social Services.

Citizens for Sensible Safeguards is a coalition of public interest groups across the country concerned with our ability to protect the public with effective regulatory policy. See, for example, “Special Interest Takeover: The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards."

Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization that serves as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Partnership for Public Services is an organization that works to improve the performance of government at all levels; and government's place in the lives and esteem of American citizens.

Dēmos: A Network for Ideas & Action is one of the foremost organizations promoting a strong and effective public sector with the capacity to plan for the future and provide for the common good. Demos is the leading source of ideas and strategies for reviving public support for government. Particularly noteworthy is its program Public Works: The Demos Center for the Public Sector, which has a wide variety of extremely useful reports, articles, and briefing papers.

FairVote—the Center for Voting and Democracy is the leading organization promoting voting system reforms that would make government more representative of the electorate and more responsive the public. See their Program for Representative Government.

National Priorities Project is a research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Also, facilitates dialogue and action between national social justice and security policy groups. You can find out, for example, where your tax dollars go.

New America Foundation is a non-partisan policy institute that argues for more active government in a wide variety of policy areas, including education, retirement, environment, and health. See, for example, Ten Big Ideas for a New America.

OhMyGov! is an interesting new website that provides news, information, and online tools to those working in and with the U.S. Government. The aim is to improve government by inspiring and cultivating change through the spread of information and ideas, the use of innovative online tools, and the strategic deployment of satire and wit. See, for example, the section on innovation.

OMB Watch is a hardworking organization dedicated to increasing government transparency and accountability; to ensuring sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protecting and promoting active citizen participation in our democracy. The site has a particularly good analysis of how conservatives have tried to undermine the regulatory mission of many federal agencies: The Bush Regulatory Record: A Pattern of Failure.

On the is a project of the Tomales Bay Institute and is dedicated to spreading the idea that "some forms of wealth belong to all of us, and that these community resources must be actively protected and managed for the good of all." Also includes references to several valuable books and reports, including The State of the Commons.

Rockridge Institute, inspired by the work of George Lakoff, this organization seeks to promote progressive values by "reframing" the public debate over issues like taxes and government.

People for the American Way is an organization dedicated to battling right-wing threats to our rights and freedoms. They also chronicle some attacks on public institutions—see, for example, “The Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education."

Public Citizen is an organization that fights for openness and democratic accountability in government. Also pushes for better consumer, energy, environmental, and drug regulations. See especially, “Not Too Costly, After All: An Examination of the Inflated Cost Estimates Of Health, Safety and Environmental Protections.” is an organization that helps people and their families be healthy. The site has lots of information about how much harm tobacco and smoking can cause to people, their health and the health of their families.

U. S. Census Guide: How to Get the Most oft of CENSUS.GOV provides a guide to finding U. S. Census data.

Blizzard of 1977