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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    More Education Matters

    Mar 12, 11 • 228 Views • No Comments

    15-year old U.S. students ranked #24 for math in an OECD assessment program (PISA). For reading, they placed #15. In a Teaching Company lecture called “Underperforming Schools” Wake Forest economist Robert Whaples suggests how we might raise our...  [read more]

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    Would You Use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

    Mar 10, 11 • 188 Views • No Comments

    I am not sure what a giant salt cave is and cannot quite imagine 727 million barrels of oil. But, put them together and you have our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Concerned with supply disruptions after an OPEC embargo during the 1970s, Congress...  [read more]

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    What is Best For Growth?

    Mar 3, 11 • 197 Views • No Comments

    What if the Congress decides to slash spending by $60 billion right now? Prominent economists are again disagreeing. According to Stanford economist John Taylor, we would have a resurgence of business confidence, renewed investment spending and new jobs....  [read more]

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    Smog-Eaters

    Mar 2, 11 • 401 Views • No Comments

    What if someone had invented “smog-eating” concrete roof tiles? And, what if these tiles consumed enough smog to offset one car’s nitrous oxide emissions during one year (10,800 miles of driving)? Telling us that a firm in California has...  [read more]

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    Part 1: The Basics of a Shutdown

    Feb 28, 11 • 273 Views • No Comments

    Our story begins on October 1, 2010. With a fiscal year that starts on October 1 and ends on September 30, the first day in October is crucial. Because the President and the Congress had not yet agreed on the 2011 budget, in some way, they had to approve...  [read more]