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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    You’ve Got Mail?

    Mar 3, 12 • 415 Views • No Comments

    While the U.S. had postal services since the 1600s, Ben Franklin transformed the system. Appointed Deputy Postmaster for the Colonies by the British, he established our first home mail delivery system, diminished to a single day the letter delivery time...  [read more]

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    Just Like Yap Money

    Feb 25, 12 • 435 Views • No Comments

    To a Yap islander, in 1903, a 12-foot limestone wheel had considerable value. Described by NPR’s Planet Money, the wheels, as small as a foot in diameter and as large as twelve, composed the islanders’ monetary system. With smaller transactions,...  [read more]

  • 19th Century Urban Transport Was An Environmental Problem

    Green New Yorkers

    Feb 19, 12 • 375 Views • No Comments

    Think about life in the city. A one-bedroom apartment might have 1000 square feet located next to several other similar dwellings and all are heated and cooled by the same source. You walk nearby to get your groceries and take the subway or bus to work or...  [read more]

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    Is Obesity the Government’s Business?

    Feb 16, 12 • 843 Views • No Comments

    To fight obesity, do you support government funded weight loss education? Soda taxes? Mandatory menu calorie counts? Banned bake sales? A recent Intelligence Squared debate provided several answers. The evening focused on the proposition,  “Obesity...  [read more]

  • The Congress and the Fiscal Cliff

    A Clunker Stimulus?

    Feb 15, 12 • 445 Views • No Comments

    It would be so nice if we could say, “Yes, the 2009 stimulus was a good idea,” or “No, it was not.” Instead, the debate continues. Discussing his new book, journalist Michael Grabell tells us that we are unnecessarily dividing...  [read more]