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.

  • Marijuana legalization is about demand, supply, market structure and cost benefit analysis.

    An Economic High?

    Nov 25, 12 • 975 Views • No Comments

    On November 6, Colorado voters resoundingly agreed that recreational use of marijuana would become legal. However, as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said, “…federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or......  [read more]

  • Tax Code Untouchables

    Nov 24, 12 • 448 Views • No Comments

    Just eliminate deductions and exclusions to cure our budget problems. Yes? Not so easy. Here is a list of the 20 largest “Tax Expenditures” for 2012 from Credit Suisse. As you can see, each provision connects to an incentive that makes it......  [read more]

  • Hoping to stimulate the economy, in 1939, FDR moved the date of Thanksgiving back a week.

    Thanksgiving Economics

    Nov 22, 12 • 676 Views • No Comments

    Reminding us of the economic significance of Thanksgiving, in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt rescheduled the holiday. In 1939, Thanksgiving would have fallen on the last day of the month. That meant Christmas shopping would have been fewer days than usual......  [read more]

  • Ranking Surveys Typically Are Subjective and Have Unintended Consequences.

    Ranking Schemes

    Nov 17, 12 • 436 Views • No Comments

    I just looked at the U.S. News and World Report ranking for business schools. Then, while I was there, I could not resist checking out the “best” colleges and their new best connected category. The top 3 colleges are Harvard amd Princeton tied......  [read more]

  • For most economists, historians, social scientists, it is tough to avoid research bias

    Making Presidential History

    Nov 13, 12 • 613 Views • No Comments

    President Obama has been having dinner with historians. Described by the NY Times as a “largely left tilting group,” the names I consistently discovered that attended the dinners were: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss, Robert Caro, Robert......  [read more]