We’ll have more on the economics of the Global Warming debate soon. In the meantime, these scientific questions are well worth the read.
Now it seems to be: “Vote for me and I’ll give you other people’s money.”
Count me among those Americans “struggling to return liberal ideas to our public discourse.”
1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God’s chosen people.
2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the
4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters.
HT: Wayne Unze
According to USA Today taxpayers nationwide “will soon get a surprise bill that could exceed $1 trillion for the cost of paying future medical benefits for state and local workers who retire.” I wonder what NM’s bill will be??? This will be fun to watch taxpayer reaction.
HT: Asymmetrical Information
Greg Mankiw is one of the more interesting economists around. He is known in the field as one of the leading exponents of “new-Kenysianism.” These are folks who believe that the macroeconomy occasionally suffers from large-scale failure and that government intervention is occasionally necessary to put the economy back on track. Unlike old-Keynsians, however, new-Kenysians are not single-mindedly fixed on aggregate demand shortfalls. Many largely accept the lessons of the “new classical” and “real business cycle” schools of thought and believe that fluctuations in both aggregate demand and aggregate supply determine the economy’s path.
In my mind, the single most important contribution of new-Keynsian analysis was to provide microeconomic theoretical and empirical justification for the notion that occasionally prices and wages do not move as fluidly as might be ideal. This seems far more realistic than the mathematically-precise but unrealistic assumptions which dominated the profession for so long.
One of the most interesting things to note about the new-Keynsians, though, is their ideological diversity. As one might expect, their ranks include a number of old-style Kenysians who prefer that government take an active role in the economy. These are folks like David Romer and Joseph Stiglitz. They also include a number of relatively free-market economists, however. And in this camp, one must surely put Greg Mankiw and the new fed chair Ben Bernanke.
Mankiw, of course, recently served a stint as President Bush’s economic advisor. He has a new blog here which is very readable and very interesting. He also has a forthcoming article with Weinzierl in the Journal of Political Economy. In it, he finds empirical justification for “dynamic scoring,” the old supply-side notion that when you estimate the impact of a tax cut on treasury revenues, you should account for whatever boost the cut will provide the economy. While tax cuts hardly pay for themselves (sorry conservatives), they do find that 17 percent of the revenue loss from a reduction in labor taxes is recouped by the treasury because of greater economic activity. Moreover, fully 50 percent of the revenue loss form a cut in capital taxes is recouped. Personally, I think tax cuts are good for their own-sake, irrespective of their impact on the treasury. Still, this is a powerful refutation for those who say that tax cuts will bankrupt the government.
Competition and freedom of choice are the institutions necessary to make us prosperous. They do so by compelling each of us to make decisions individually that result in coordination of our actions in a way that leads to improvements in our lives. In fact, the improvements resulting from the process of competition and choice are far superior to those resulting from the alternative institution of government control. We at RGF call it “liberty, opportunity, prosperity.”
Of course, this goes for education as well. The endless “reforms” that always manage to maintain government control of education will never result in improvement. Writing in today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Professor Boudreaux predicts that government run K-12 schools will continue to fail; and he explains why by contrast to the process of competition and choice:
Government K-12 schools, as now run everywhere in the U.S., will never excel at educating students. The reason is that each school gets its students and its budget without having to compete for them.
Imagine if, say, supermarkets were run the same way we run schools. Everyone in my county would pay taxes to fund the county supermarket system; each one of us would then be assigned one specific county supermarket at which we are allowed to shop.
Of course, once in our assigned store, all the groceries that each of us gets are “free” — meaning, we don’t have to pay for them on the spot. If the products and services supplied by the supermarket are of poor quality, we’re not allowed to switch to other county markets; we must, instead, complain to politicians.
The managers of the supermarkets will agree that their stores offer abysmal service and undesirable products; they will assert that this sad fact is caused by underfunding. We will be warned that only by paying higher taxes will we have any possibility of getting better supermarkets.
So our taxes will rise and funding for supermarkets will increase. But quality will remain poor — and the excuses offered by the government-employed managers of the supermarkets will remain that they need yet more funding.
Wake up, New Mexico!