Economic Debates

Most economic decisions can be debated. We have to decide whether we want higher or lower taxes, where to cut government spending, whether the deficit matters, if a business should have more regulation, if marginal analysis should affect environmental regulation. Learning about economics involves defending policy alternatives.

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    Replacing Broken Windows

    Mar 24, 11 • 270 Views • No Comments

    During a CNBC interview, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said that Japan’s massive earthquake “…may lead to some temporary increments, ironically, to GDP, as a process of rebuilding takes place.” Commenting on the interview,...  [read more]

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    Energy Policy Decisions

    Mar 21, 11 • 310 Views • No Comments

    Comparing the safety of nuclear power, oil, and coal, Slate columnist William Saletan helps us make some energy policy decisions. His focus is fatalities. In the oil supply chain, from 1969-2000, he cites 20,000 deaths. For coal, the number is 15,000...  [read more]

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    A Budget Question

    Mar 14, 11 • 286 Views • No Comments

    Thought to have saved many lives, a Japanese early warning system sent a media alert seconds before the earthquake struck.  The system took 12 years to implement and cost close to $500 million. A similar warning system for the U.S. west coast is being...  [read more]

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    More Education Matters

    Mar 12, 11 • 244 Views • No Comments

    15-year old U.S. students ranked #24 for math in an OECD assessment program (PISA). For reading, they placed #15. In a Teaching Company lecture called “Underperforming Schools” Wake Forest economist Robert Whaples suggests how we might raise our...  [read more]

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    Would You Use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

    Mar 10, 11 • 204 Views • No Comments

    I am not sure what a giant salt cave is and cannot quite imagine 727 million barrels of oil. But, put them together and you have our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Concerned with supply disruptions after an OPEC embargo during the 1970s, Congress...  [read more]