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Retired business editor Jack Markowitz writes Thursdays. Jack Markowitz can be reached via e-mail or at 412-380-8551

Markowitz: Appearances don’t always tell the story

By Jack Markowitz
Nobody dreamed Ronald Read was a rich man. In a long life he never let on. It could be said that Read, a New Englander who died last summer at age 92, lived frugally to a fault. A neighbor once ...

Markowitz: We pay a lot for ‘weaponized compassion’

By Jack Markowitz
Compassion doesn’t come cheap at the government store. Americans spend so much being good to fellow Americans — by way of government programs — that social programs now account for $2 of every $3 Uncle Sam spends. Everything else the government ...

Markowitz: ‘Ladies around the corner’ being pushed out under Obama

By Jack Markowitz
Aren’t there any “ladies who live around the corner” anymore? And would they be allowed to ply their natural trade if there were? About four decades ago, a 2-year-old girl was bundled up by her mother every school day of ...

Markowitz: Entitlement wheel just keeps on spinnin’

By Jack Markowitz
President Obama’s $4 trillion federal budget for next year ought to be so much better for business and jobs. First, it would slap a “one-time” tax — as if it wouldn’t happen again in a pinch — on foreign profits ...

Entitlements won’t save the middle class

By Jack Markowitz
There is no “middle-class economics,” the same as there’s no middle-class astronomy or biology. It’s a tricky business to raid a whole body of knowledge for one slice of pie. When President Obama coined the phrase in his State ...

Let’s just dump the IRS, adopt sales tax

By Jack Markowitz
Come let us sympathize together. A big federal agency is having to cope with a budget cut this year. And we’re supposed to worry if its usual tip-top service to the public will suffer. The department on short rations is ...

Markowitz: With awareness comes promise of better times

By Jack Markowitz
More People Realize — so better days are possible in this young year. But realize what? Sudden truths (or more exactly, familiar truths suddenly rediscovered). Families, investors, maybe even whole countries might avoid jumping the wrong way as a result. Here ...

Lower oil prices that crush terrorist wallets should be strategy

By Jack Markowitz
It looks as if a major gift of 2014 — lower oil prices — might keep right on giving through 2015. The stock market doesn’t like it, and there are other downsides. But in the main, let’s take it — ...

Markowitz: New Year’s wish? Jobs with impact

By Tribune-Review
A new year is beginning, and let’s hope it brings Big Jobs. Huge, exciting, useful building projects. The sort that ambitious kids dream about (grown-up kids, too). Part of the disenchantment with modern government is how it spends so ...

Markowitz: Economy was solid in 2014, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves

By Jack Markowitz
A year that ends with high stock prices and low oil prices can’t be all bad. The economy looks good going into 2015. But that’s also a danger sign. When stock watchers and economic prophets see everything looking up, watch ...

Jack Markowitz: College graduate finds success in oil field

By Jack Markowitz
Alec Rothman graduated from college with majors in economics and French, typically impractical “liberal arts.” No way he’d find a job in the real world, you might think. Wrong. It took a lot of looking, but Rothman landed on the ...

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