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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    Innovative Challenges

    Feb 25, 11 • 232 Views • No Comments

    Is it likely that, with each new discovery, innovation gets tougher? It might have been easier to identify an asteroid a century ago because the undiscovered ones were very big. It might have been simpler to find a new human organ; the last one, the...  [read more]

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    Paying Less For a House

    Feb 21, 11 • 266 Views • 1 Comment

    In an interesting Politico opinion column, journalist Michael Kinsley wonders why everyone seems to assume that climbing home prices are good. He points out that most people are happy when the prices of essentials like gas go down. So why the opposite for...  [read more]

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    Looking For A Reality Check

    Feb 15, 11 • 272 Views • No Comments

    Saying how the U.S. government spends our money, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein said, “It’s an insurance conglomerate…” His explanation? Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security expenses add up to 2/5 of federal spending. With...  [read more]

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    A Budget Cut Mirage

    Feb 12, 11 • 261 Views • No Comments

    Reacting to concern about the federal deficit, the Republican leadership seems to be targeting $100 billion in discretionary spending cuts. Similarly, for his fiscal 2012 budget, President Obama recommends a 5-year freeze on non-security discretionary...  [read more]

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    Who Needs a License?

    Feb 9, 11 • 287 Views • No Comments

    What does a hair salon “shampoo specialist” have in common with a private detective? In certain states, each needs a license to do business. But what might licensing involve? For a Texas shampooer, it includes 150 hours of classes while a...  [read more]