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.

  • Decisions Have An Opportunity Cost That Require Tradeoffs

    Guns or Yogurt?

    Aug 26, 12 • 671 Views • No Comments

    It appears that the New York State legislature will soon experience a clash between gun producers and gun control advocates. These quotes sum it all up: A Remington employee: “In my eyes, Remington goes away, Ilion goes away.” A gun control......  [read more]

  • Salary Secrecy

    Aug 23, 12 • 530 Views • No Comments

    What happens when everyone knows how much you earn? A Boulder, Colorado firm, has voluntarily decided to let workers check a spreadsheet and see what others take home. One employee said she likes it, even when she discovers someone earns more. “I am......  [read more]

  • Industries afflicted with Baumol's Disease have slower productivity growth.

    Election Economics: How Successful is the US Healthcare System?

    Aug 20, 12 • 746 Views • No Comments

    It might be tough to use statistics to judge US health care. Among OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), from 1980 to 1999, for life expectancy, the US ranked #19 and Canada was #5. However, the order flips–US #1 and......  [read more]

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    Plane Train Competition

    Aug 16, 12 • 560 Views • No Comments

    Should government subsidize a railroad? Our story starts during the 1970s when you could fly from New York to Washington, D.C. on the Eastern shuttle. Eastern left hourly (!) and guaranteed a seat to everyone who showed up for the flight. Imagine, coffee cup......  [read more]

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    Who Really Won the Olympics?

    Aug 15, 12 • 556 Views • No Comments

    Sometimes it is tough to decide who really is #1. Ask me who won the Olympics and I, as a former history teacher, might say the Mongol Empire. If you were to outline the Mongol Empire (1280AD) on a map, 15 contemporary countries would be totally or partially......  [read more]