Monthly Archives: June 2014

Brink Lindsey on a Universal Benefit

He writes, I think a good case can be made that a UBI [universal basic income] would be more helpful to the disadvantaged than the patchwork of frequently intrusive, infantilizing, bureaucratic, and wasteful means-tested programs that presently constitutes the American … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities | 9 Comments

I, Too, Remember the 1970s

Robert Waldmann writes, There is a blog discussion among Keynesian to New Keynesian economists on the cause of the new Classical & Rational expectations revolutions. I have been typing my usual comments. I will now try a post. The question … Continue reading

Posted in PSST and Macro | 2 Comments

Do Short-Sales Costs Matter?

Noah Smith says that they do. So in the equity market, shorts face huge disincentives, and longs don’t. That means over-optimistic longs get to set the price. I am skeptical. Financial markets tend to find a way to work around … Continue reading

Posted in financial markets | 5 Comments

Corporate Profits and Stock Prices

Scott Sumner is suspicious. Here is the evolution of labor compensation and corporate after-tax profits over the past 9 quarters: Total labor compensation: $8315.3b. —-> $9049.5b. Up 8.8% After-tax corporate profits: $1184.6b. —-> $1099.5b. Down 7.2% …I know of no … Continue reading

Posted in financial markets | 4 Comments

Ralph Nader’s Worldview

From an interview with Tyler Cowen. If you look at the history of nations, major redirections for justice were brought about by never more than 1 percent of the active citizenry. Whether it was civil rights, the environment, or consumer … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 11 Comments

Larry Summers on SecStag

He writes, With very low real interest rates and with low inflation, this also means very low nominal interest rates, so one would expect increasing risk-seeking by investors. As such, one would expect greater reliance on Ponzi finance and increased … Continue reading

Posted in PSST and Macro, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 5 Comments

When to Kill the Export-Import Bank?

Paul Krugman writes, under current conditions mercantilism works – so this is exactly the moment when ending an export-support program really would cost jobs. Pointer from Mark Thoma. I say that the right time to kill it is any time … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, public choice | Comments Off

A Peevish Thought on Obamacare

Timothy Taylor writes, Setting up a health insurance system that offers the right incentives to patients and providers for cost-effectiveness and innovation is a fundamentally difficult task, and those practical challenges don’t disappear just by invoking talismanic phrases like “universal … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 17 Comments

A Peevish Thought on Immigration Reform

Art Carden points to a new Hoover project on immigration reform, a periodical called Peregrine. Tim Kane explains, Each issue of Peregrine will consider a handful of new ideas for pragmatic, incremental reform. I also heard Tim on a late-night … Continue reading

Posted in trade and immigration | 1 Comment

In Our Hands

Charles Murray’s book of that title is almost ten years old. It is relevant to the idea of a universal benefit. For a universal benefit, I propose something like $6000 for each adult in a household and $4000 for each … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Setting Economic Priorities | 6 Comments