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...]

Polling the Left Agenda — Finally

Click this link. Data For Progress decided to ask people about policy proposals which very serious centrists consider way too far left for America. American voters respond differently. As should already be clear from existing polls (click and search for “fair”), there is strong support for egalitarian populist … [Read More...]

Sanction Trump not Bourbon

This post “America’s allies should respond to steel tariffs with targeted sanctions on the Trump Organization” by Matthew Yglesias is brilliant (even though he is mainly agreeing with the prior brilliant article by Scott Gilmore “Trade sanctions against America won’t work. Sanctioning Trump himself might.” The proposal … [Read More...]

Candidate Specific Response Bias in Polls

Low response rates are a problem for pollsters. The worst problem is candidate specific response bias in which supporters of one candidate are more likely to respond than supporters of another. This can make polls worthless. It is interested to the other very hard problem of predicting who will actually … [Read More...]

Conner Lamb will represent PA-18

First I stress the great effort I put into avoiding all Lamb puns in the title. Second, I think the discussion of his recent extremely narrow voctory makes the discussion of the campaign seem almost sane. Before their humiliating loss, Republican operatives insisted that voters were coming around to support … [Read More...]