• Paul Samuelson’s Nephew

    Dec 18 • Thinking Economically • 227 Views

    During a recent interview, Larry Summers, Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, (former economics professor, president of Harvard, Secretary of the Treasury) spoke about his family. His mother’s brother (Kenneth Arrow) and his father’s brother (Paul Samuelson) were Nobel laureates in economics. His parents taught economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Saying during the interview that economics permeated his life–even when deciding who would get to watch TV, he added that for years he did not realize that his childhood was atypical.
    (Interview from Bloomberg on the Economy 12/15/09)

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  • A Stimulating Idea From China

    Dec 17 • Thinking Economically • 181 Views

    The place is Inner Mongolia. The city is Ordos. Actually, within 18 miles, there are two Ordos. One looks like a normal city. Built with stimulus money, the second Ordos looks complete except for one detail; there are no people. The apartments are empty, the offices, and the streets are empty.
    The results? China’s GDP growth remains near 8%.

    Is this like the New Deal

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  • Freshwater or Saltwater?

    Dec 16 • Thinking Economically • 203 Views

    Smith or Keynes? Free market or government fine-tuning?
    If you are the latter, you can say you are a saltwater economist. A recent article from Paul Krugman (NY TIMES MAGAZINE; 9/06/09) characterizes the economists who reside along either coast as saltwater. By contrast, those near the Great Lakes (University of Chicago), near freshwater, can be called the classical/Adam Smith crowd.

    However, not everyone agrees:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/160300-thoughts-on-freshwater-and-saltwater-economists

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  • Are We All Keynesians?

    Dec 15 • Thinking Economically • 202 Views

    According to the Yardeni newsletter, in 1965, A Time Magazine cover story was titled, “The Economy, We Are All Keynesians Now”. Even Milton Friedman was quoted as saying, “We are all Keynesians now.” (which he later corrected as having been, “In one sense, we are all Keynesians now; in another, nobody is any longer a Keynesian.”) Lyndon Johnson’s Budget Director, Charles L. Schultze said, “We can’t prevent every little wiggle in the economic cycle, but we now can prevent a major slide.

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  • Crowding Out or In?

    Dec 9 • Thinking Economically • 189 Views

    In their textbooks, economists typically refer to

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