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October 30, 2014

"Yes, the Deficit Is Smaller. But That Wasn’t the Main Problem."

Absolutely. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

What was needed then and is still needed now is a plan–not for short-term austerity but to address our medium- and long-term debt situation. Policies need to be phased in gradually and designed to support the country’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, we got the opposite: spending reductions that focused on the short term and cuts to discretionary spending instead of tax reforms and entitlement reforms to generate permanent and growing savings. 

See also Erskine Bowles:

I wish I could believe the recent decline in the deficit is sustainable. The temporary factors related to the recession — which caused the deficit to increase dramatically — are now receding, but the structural problems with our budget remain.

October 29, 2014

"Americans have no idea how the government spends money"

Americans, generally, apparently know the same amount about federal expenditures as my students did. Which is to say: not much.

See also Ilya Somin, "The persistence of public ignorance about federal spending".

October 28, 2014

"The Real Reason the Poor Go Without Bank Accounts"

Guess what? The "unbanked" are a heck of a lot more rational than Liberals assume.

"Her Wasserhood"

I like the label: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is promulgating a "domestic Brezhnev Doctrine". 

October 27, 2014

". . . Republicans might want to lose the governor's race in Illinois so it can go on illustrating the dangers of untrammeled Democratic rule"

I'd support that. As Shelley wrote:

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. 

"America's Missing Wealth"

The cost of U.S. regulation, compounded over 65 years, is quite large

(The paper referenced in the article is by one of my former colleagues and one of his Ph.D. students. A publicly accessible version of the paper is here.)

"The Real Story on How Much Obamacare Increased Coverage"

Bottom line: basically a huge amount of money and energy spent to expand Medicaid a little.

"Despite Obama's billionaire bashing, Democrats lay equal claim to 'party of rich'"

Tim Carney

While the people of Northern Virginia get rich off of stimulus, and the people of Greenwich bank their bailouts and government loan guarantees, they can sleep well at night knowing they contributed to Obama. They may still be rich, but they’re different rich.

This thought can comfort Obama, too.

See also Fred Barnes, "The Real Party of the Rich" and "The Hunter Biden Chronicles".

October 26, 2014

"Marauders of the Lost Sciences"

A blog presenting excerpts from great papers in economics, math, physics and statistics.

October 22, 2014

"Behind a NYT call to bust up Amazon"

Ira Stoll, in the New York Post, speculates on the reason for Krugman's call for antitrust action against Amazon:

It’s enough to make a cynic suspect that the Times’ panic over Amazon isn’t about online retailer’s market power or disparate treatment at all, but the fact that Amazon’s CEO owns The Washington Post, a newspaper that competes with The New York Times.

Or about the fact that the Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, reportedly has libertarian-oriented politics rather than Krugman’s statist views.

UPDATE: not to be missed is Marc Andreessen's annotation of Krugman's column.

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