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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    Austerity and Harry Truman

    Dec 31, 10 • 276 Views • No Comments

    What are people saying about austerity, the 2010 word of the year? According to Dr. Econ at the San Francisco Federal Reserve, households are demonstrating austerity by saving more and borrowing less. On the one hand, living within our means is good. But on...  [read more]

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    Women and Competition

    Dec 30, 10 • 260 Views • No Comments

    Just a comment today on a study about females and competition. Comparing a matrilineal society in India to a patriarchal society in Tanzania, a 2007 study revealed a huge difference in how much women compete. These quotes are wonderfully representative: From...  [read more]

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    Different Kinds of Capitalism

    Dec 29, 10 • 311 Views • No Comments

    How much does Chinese capitalism resemble U.S. capitalism? In a New Yorker article, journalist John Cassidy suggests that China’s combination of authoritarianism and capitalism is somewhat similar to our own history. Reminding us of our...  [read more]

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    Grade Bubbles

    Dec 27, 10 • 285 Views • No Comments

    At the University of North Carolina (UNC), the average G.P.A. was 2.49 in 1967 and 3.21 in 2008. Are we 25% smarter? In a 2003 Washington Post article, one of the nation’s grade inflation experts, Stuart Rojstaczer, then a Duke professor, explained his...  [read more]

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    Sounds Like Pistachios

    Dec 25, 10 • 228 Views • No Comments

    “Remember the pistachios,” is a memorable line from a novel by economist Russ Roberts. In the first several pages of The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance, a teacher says you have been given a room filled 5 feet high with pistachio nuts. The...  [read more]