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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    The Magic of 49

    May 6, 12 • 447 Views • No Comments

    Sometimes, one employee makes a huge difference. In France, one extra worker can mean that a firm needs to create worker councils, establish profit sharing, and report to employee representatives when firing people for economic reasons. BUT…that worker......  [read more]

  • Decisions Have An Opportunity Cost That Require Tradeoffs

    Now or Later?

    May 4, 12 • 375 Views • No Comments

    Reading about why people have a tough time delaying gratification, I started to think about countries. First people… A part of your brain–the insula–becomes more active when faced with an unpleasant task like dieting or seeing your team......  [read more]

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    Asteroids and the Wild West

    May 3, 12 • 317 Views • No Comments

    I’ve been wondering who should own an asteroid. This takes me back, for a moment, to colonial Massachusetts. When many of the first colonists arrived, they farmed communal fields where some got less and others got more. Soon though, unhappy sharing,......  [read more]

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    What Should Not Be Sold?

    Apr 28, 12 • 388 Views • No Comments

    Assume you just learned that your mother paid someone to write the (warm and loving) toast she expressed at your wedding. Is that okay? During Bloomberg radio’s On the Economy, referring to a purchased wedding toast, Harvard professor Michael Sandel......  [read more]

  • Decisions Have An Opportunity Cost That Require Tradeoffs

    Free or Fair Government?

    Apr 16, 12 • 312 Views • No Comments

    I live in a town where I have to pay for garbage pick-up and recycling or I can dispose of it myself. The fire department is voluntary. Because there is no local high school, the town pays other school districts to educate our teenagers. In our town,......  [read more]