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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    Should We Keep the Penny?

    Apr 9, 12 • 700 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]

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    African Developments

    Apr 8, 12 • 494 Views • No Comments

    In Malawi, when local newspapers referred to the president as “the big kahuna,” his office threatened a jail sentence if they did not stop. This threat and subsequent events take us straight to Why Nations Fail. Malawi is a small sliver shaped......  [read more]

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    Pasty Tax Issues

    Apr 3, 12 • 479 Views • No Comments

    The UK’s pasty (PASS-tee) tax battle is a good story. But, moving beyond the humor, it has considerable significance. First the story: Taxing the pasty has created a major flap in the UK. The pasty looks like meat in a pastry pouch, high in fat, maybe......  [read more]

  • The Congress and the Deficit

    A New Kind of Keynesian?

    Apr 2, 12 • 660 Views • No Comments

    Reading about John Maynard Keynes’s investing acumen in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, I wondered whether being a Keynesian could involve more than your attitude about the role of government. So, as a teacher, I created this “Am I a......  [read more]

  • Industries afflicted with Baumol's Disease have slower productivity growth.

    Should Supreme Court Justices Know Economics?

    Apr 1, 12 • 374 Views • No Comments

    Just some thoughts today about economics and the Supreme Court. Listening to Tuesday’s oral arguments,  I became concerned about some economic basics. Markets and insurance were key ideas. However, no one defined a market and insurance was initially......  [read more]