• The American Dream

    Oct 4 • Thinking Economically • 183 Views

    The precipitous current dip in housing is so explicit in the graphs at:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/10/impact-of-declining-homeownership-rate.html

    Translating the lines into people and numbers brings to mind John Maynard Keynes. As much as Keynesians believe that the stimulus will take us out of the recession and reverse these dips, they have not cited empirical research on such fiscal policy. According to Columbia economics professor, Ricardo Reis (stated during an Econtalk discussion with Russ Roberts), there is almost no research that proves the Keynesian position.

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  • Listening to Picasso

    Oct 1 • Thinking Economically • 173 Views

    Pablo Picasso is quoted for (maybe) saying “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” Perhaps, when pondering health care reform, Congress should do more “stealing”. Looking at Switzerland’s health care model, we might “steal” their attention to incentives. Insurers, patients, and physicians each have incentives that achieve the model’s goals. With a much larger and more diverse society, their system might not be transferrable to the United States. However, we can learn from it. Similarly, are we learning from the problems being experienced by Massachusetts and its universal health care initiative? The link to the NY Times article about the Swiss health care model has been posted in today’s “Notes”.

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  • The Impact of No Impact Man

    Sep 28 • Thinking Economically • 180 Views

    Knowing that every decision has an opportunity cost, we can become “no impact” men and women…IF…we identify and accept the trade offs. Is it okay to give Starbucks less business? Then, who will absorb that impact? The stockholders? The employees? The suppliers? Each of us can decide the most ethical, practical, desirable choice.

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  • Challenging the GDP

    Sep 27 • Thinking Economically • 213 Views

    Articles describing Dr. Stiglitz’s conclusions about the weaknesses of the GDP omit one key piece of information. Can an equally objective statistic replace it? When Simon Kuznets developed the GDP concept during the 1930s, he selected quantifiable variables that could be compared consistently. Maybe the GDP reflects what Winston Churchill said about democracy–flawed but better than any other system.

    The Economic Lesson

    The GDP can be defined as the money value of goods and services produced in one country during a specific time period.

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  • That $17,000.00 Flight

    Sep 26 • Thinking Economically • 178 Views

    The September 26th Daily Notes link is an article in the National Journal Magazine by Jonathan Rauch that describes what it would be like to book a flight if traveling resembled health care. Yes, just like health care, lack of computerized records, discriminatory pricing, and service are problems this imaginary flier experiences. But where are the incentives that would diminish these problems? They are not apparent in any proposed legislation.

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