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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    An Economic Story From Plymouth Plantation

    Nov 25, 10 • 421 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 • 751 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 • 266 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 • 212 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]

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    Deficit Denial

    Nov 16, 10 • 244 Views • No Comments

    According to 96% of the participants in a CBS News poll on the deficit, “We really don’t care.” Jobs were #1 and health care #2 with the deficit far behind. According to Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein, that is why “the...  [read more]