Economics

"The Goldberg File, 1/15/16"

Jonah absolutely nails it:

I definitely think the system is designed in a way that benefits rich people (that’s a significant theme of the book I’m working on), but that has not much to do with the preferred policies of a bunch of  mustache-twirling fat cats. Indeed, the whole notion that rich people are ideologically homogenous is little more than the grimy, greasy, stain left behind from Marxism’s departure down the toilet bowl of history. There are rich people -- and some big corporations -- that are for limited government and there are rich people -- and far too many big corporations -- that want to expand the role of government.

My very short, partial, explanation for why the system seems rigged for the benefit of rich people has to do with the fact that complexity is a subsidy. The more rules and regulations the government creates, the more it creates a society where people with resources -- good educations, good lawyers, good lobbyists, and good connections -- can rise while those without such resources are left to climb hurdles on their own.

Divvying up goods via the market has its problems, no doubt. But avoiding the market has more. At least when the market is the primary allocator, people without money to compete can try to get more money by 1) working, 2) getting help from family and friends, and 3) asking for loans or charity. Political influence is much more difficult to get.


"Next Up for Connecticut Is Calling the Democrats To Account for Disaster"

I'd guess there'll be a loooong wait.

The next move after General Electric’s decision to quit Connecticut for Boston is to hold Governor Malloy and the Democrats accountable. That will require maintaining a clear distinction between GE’s reasons for leaving Connecticut and its reasons for heading to Boston. The reasons are different.

UPDATE: Link fixed now. Thanks, PJ.


"Oregon Wrestles with Public Pension Costs"

The American Interest:

. . . the process of divvying up resources to fund the pensions will not be pretty, pitting key Democratic constituencies—public employees (producers of services) and citizens who consume public services—against one another in a blue civil war. The reckoning can only be put off for so long.

But don't worry. As with other government programs that don't work well, a solution is readily available . . . make them bigger! See "Despite Poor Record, States Eye Private Pensions".