econlife on ‘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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    Part 1: The Basics of a Shutdown

    Feb 28, 11 • 122 Views • Economic Debates, Government, RegulationNo 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...

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    Innovative Challenges

    Feb 25, 11 • 82 Views • Businesses, Economic Debates, Government, Innovation, Labor, Macroeconomic Measurement, Regulation, Thinking EconomicallyNo 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...

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    Paying Less For a House

    Feb 21, 11 • 120 Views • Demand, Supply, and Markets, Economic Debates, Government, Households, Money and Monetary Policy1 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...

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    Looking For A Reality Check

    Feb 15, 11 • 100 Views • Economic Debates, GovernmentNo 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...

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    A Budget Cut Mirage

    Feb 12, 11 • 121 Views • Economic Debates, Government, Macroeconomic MeasurementNo 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...