Rick Wilson, His Former Party and 1984

I really enjoy Rick Wilson’s thoughts on the Republican Party, his former party until 3 years ago. I don’t know which part of his latest Washington Post Op-ed I like most but here goes: As the saying goes, you had one job, Republicans. Now? Your job really isn’t … [Read More...]

Lucas, Jenner, Washington, Shaw

I am thinking about modern macroeconomic methodology again. I am also thinking about the fresh water school of thought. Also I am thinking about aspirin and smallpox. I am going to attempt a nickle summary of the Lucas critique (really a half penny summary or a 5 Turkish Lira summary). Lucas … [Read More...]

Angry Bair

Sheila Bair, who ran the FDIC during the crisis, argues against further bank bailouts. She earned great respect. One thing, which she doesn’t mention, is that she refused to let Geithner use the FDIC trust fund to bear the lower tail risk while leaving the upper tail profits to … [Read More...]

Fiscal Policy and GDP 2019 update

I think it might be time for an update on the crudest of tiny sample reduced form analysis of fiscal policy and the current recovery. One reason for my continued interest is that there was a rather large tax cut enacted in 2017. Trump critics tend to argue that it failed … [Read More...]

The Limits of Human Joy and Sorrow

In this post I will use revealed preference and assume people are rational. Sorry. I’m an economist and I can’t entirely resist. I will argue that our joy and suffering is bounded, that we can’t be infinitely happy or infinitely miserable. The first argument is standard, the … [Read More...]

Tax the Rich

Dylan Matthews has a typically excellent explainer about taxing the rich. Just click the link. I have one thought. Matthews is soft on capital income. Matthews wrote Saez and Diamond also argued that capital income — income from things like capital gains, corporate profits, dividends, etc. — should be taxed, … [Read More...]

Neoliberals Passing the Baton

Brad DeLong got a huge amount of attention by saying it was time for neoliberals such as Brad DeLong to pass the baton to those to their left. Alarmingly, he seems to have written this first on twitter. Zach Beuchamp rescued it from tawdry twitter to now very respectable blogosphere … [Read More...]

The Ethics of Clinical Trials

In a clinical trial the therapy is decided by a pseudo random number generator. How can this be ethical ? People are treated differently for no reason related to different interests different values and priorities or even different merit (assuming merit can differ). There is a utilitarian rational for clinical trials. … [Read More...]

Paul Krugman Declares Victory

Paul Krugman put many of his thoughts together here “What Do We Actually Know About the Economy? (Wonkish)” Basically he concludes that some economists are confused but Paul Krugman knows a lot (no one has ever accused him of being diplomatic). Of course I agree with him. However, I … [Read More...]