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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    The Story of a Candle Tax

    May 6, 11 • 839 Views • No Comments

    Our story begins with one 1986 tax, an “antidumping duty,” on Chinese candles. Responding to very low Chinese candle prices, the U.S. decided to protect domestic candle producers. By 2004, the tax was huge. More than 100%.  Also, candle...  [read more]

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    34 Million Different Pizzas

    May 5, 11 • 361 Views • No Comments

    Expressing concern about a proposed FDA calorie-posting rule, Domino’s says it would have to list 34 million different kinds of pizzas. Really. This Bloomberg video explains their position. Using Domino’s “Cal-O-Meter” as a source,...  [read more]

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    Sales Tax Decisions

    May 2, 11 • 317 Views • No Comments

    A buttered bagel is a sandwich but not an unsliced bagel–unless you eat it in the store. Subject to the New York State sandwich tax, so too are burritos, wraps, BLTs and buttered rolls.  Plan to buy fudge? You will pay a sales tax in New York....  [read more]

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    Medicare Math

    May 1, 11 • 351 Views • No Comments

    The ratio is 3 to 1. The “3” is how much Medicare recipients are receiving. The “1” is what they paid. Still though, you can see from this NPR report why most people call Medicare an entitlement. According to a study from the Urban...  [read more]

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    Health and GDP

    Apr 28, 11 • 354 Views • No Comments

    We are taller, healthier, heavier, and living longer. In 1790, a typical Frenchman weighed 110 pounds. Now, the scale says 170. That 60-pound difference relates to a lot more than food. According to a new book from Nobel prize winning economist Robert Fogel...  [read more]