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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    When Will China and India Catch Up?

    Dec 17, 10 • 252 Views • No Comments

    In one wonderful 4 minute animated video, Swedish professor Hans Rosling shows us how, during 200 years, 200 countries became healthier and wealthier. The turning point for one group of nations is 1810 with the industrial revolution. The next turning point,...  [read more]

  • Like the 3 Bears, the Middle Class is Not too Rich Not too...

    Are You Middle Class?

    Dec 16, 10 • 250 Views • No Comments

    What is the “middle class?” In a recent NPR interview, a painting contractor, an employee of Healthy Montana Kids, a man who runs a hi-tech robotic firm, and a hospice worker, all earning between $25,000 and $100,000 annually, said they were...  [read more]

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    Virginia and Germany

    Dec 1, 10 • 177 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 • 376 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 • 737 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]