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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    Virginia and Germany

    Dec 1, 10 • 174 Views • No Comments

    “Where…is the justice of compelling a State which has taxed her citizens for the sinking of her debt, to pay…the debts of other states, which have made no exertions whatever?” This quote, from John Steele Gordon’s,...  [read more]

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    An Economic Story From Plymouth Plantation

    Nov 25, 10 • 365 Views • No Comments

    In 1623, two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor William Bradford was worried about Plymouth’s food supply. The problem, he concluded, was that people shared whatever they produced. Because “able and fit” young men were expected to...  [read more]

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    What If A State Defaulted?

    Nov 21, 10 • 732 Views • 1 Comment

    What would happen if a state defaulted on its debt? It is unlikely. It has not happened since 1933. But…what if? In a fascinating simulation at The Economist’s Buttonwood Conference, an auspicious group of role players simulates a state debt...  [read more]

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    Yuan Opinions

    Nov 18, 10 • 239 Views • No Comments

    Can you imagine 43 million pairs of socks a year, 5,000 an hour, some saying Dora the Explorer, being produced by one Chinese manufacturer? When you pay $2.99 for a pair of those socks at Wal-Mart, they probably cost that Chinese manufacturer, Shuangjin...  [read more]

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    Well-Being Yardsticks

    Nov 17, 10 • 193 Views • No Comments

    Having just looked at the “Human Development Report 2010” from the UN, I thought of a former mayor of NYC, Ed Koch. Mayor Koch used to ask, “How am I doing?” Let’s assume that an economy can ask the same question. What yardstick...  [read more]