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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    Asteroids and the Wild West

    May 3, 12 • 342 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 • 419 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 • 344 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]

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    Size Inflation

    Apr 13, 12 • 453 Views • No Comments

    Inflation is not only at the cash register. Our story starts at H&M where an Esquire journalist tried on a size 36 pants that were too tight. He continued his search for pants with the 36″ waist label at Old Navy and they were too loose. After that,......  [read more]

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    Should We Keep the Penny?

    Apr 9, 12 • 579 Views • No Comments

    Because cost is up and use is down, the Royal Canadian Mint stopped producing pennies and, during the fall, will stop distributing those that exist. Should we also eliminate the penny? Pennies are expensive. At 2 1/2 cents a piece, making and distributing......  [read more]