Category Archives: Setting Economic Priorities

Means Testing and Behavior Testing

When it comes to giving taxpayer aid to poor households, I think that people favor a combination of means testing and behavior testing. [UPDATE: between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Bryan Caplan expressed similar … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty, Setting Economic Priorities | 3 Comments

Ron Haskins on Work and Welfare

He writes, Significant advances against poverty in the coming years seem likely to depend on significant increases in paid work among the poor — and the reasons are not purely economic. Work means increased earnings, to be sure, which in … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty, Setting Economic Priorities | 12 Comments

Mike Munger and Russ Roberts on the Basic Income Grant

I found listening to this podcast very frustrating. I just have a very different conception of how a basic income grant works. You have two parameters to play with. One is the size of the grant, and the other is … Continue reading

Posted in income distribution-wealth-poverty, Setting Economic Priorities | 25 Comments

Disincentive to Work

Two chapters from a forthcoming NBER volume. 1. Alan J. Auerbach and others: We conclude by addressing the question posed in this paper’s title, Is Uncle Sam Inducing the Elderly to Retire? Based on the work disincentives Uncle Sam imposes … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities | 3 Comments

Tyler Cowen on the Universal Basic Income

He writes, If two able-bodied people live next door to each other, and one works and the other chooses to live off universal basic income checks, albeit at a lower standard of living, I wonder if this disparity can last. … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 12 Comments

A Modern Jubilee Year?

In an email exchange, I wrote “I have been reading War Peace and War by Peter Turchin, and I came across this: When land becomes a scarce commodity. . .Those who do not have enough land to feed themselves will … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, income distribution-wealth-poverty, Setting Economic Priorities | 12 Comments

James Surowiecke on the Universal Basic Income

He writes, One striking thing about guaranteeing a basic income is that it’s always had support both on the left and on the right—albeit for different reasons. Martin Luther King embraced the idea, but so did the right-wing economist Milton … Continue reading

Posted in Mark Thoma is Indispensable, Setting Economic Priorities | 10 Comments

Charles Murray on Universal Basic Income

He writes, A UBI will do the good things I claim only if it replaces all other transfer payments and the bureaucracies that oversee them. If the guaranteed income is an add-on to the existing system, it will be as … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities | 16 Comments

Libertarian Scandinavian Welfare State?

Olivia Goldhill writes, The Finnish government is currently drawing up plans to introduce a national basic income. A final proposal won’t be presented until November 2016, but if all goes to schedule, Finland will scrap all existing benefits and instead … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 14 Comments

Accrual Accounting for Government

Jeremy Liss writes, By using an accounting method known as cash-basis accounting, legislators project future spending without having to consider billions of dollars of long-term financial commitments, leaving many budgets balanced in name only. The Federal government also should have … Continue reading

Posted in Setting Economic Priorities | 6 Comments