Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Debt and Taxes II

This is an extended post on the caveat to debt and taxes 1. It is joint work with Brad DeLong and Barbara Annicchiarico. The point is that, in his Presidential Address, Olivier Blanchard notes that the argument that higher debt causes increased welfare is weaker than the argument that it is feasible. The Treasury can […]

Debt and Taxes I

There might be such a thing as a free lunch. There will soon be a Democrat in the White House and Republicans will soon rediscover their hatred of deficits (which were no problem when they were cutting taxes on firms and rich individuals). We are going to read a lot of arguments about irresponsibly burdening […]

Desirable Incentive Effects of Income Taxation II

This is the second post in a series. I will discuss advantages of income taxation different from the obvious advantage that taking from people with high income hurts them less than taking from people with low income. Here again, I will assume that, in equilibrium, income tax is returned to the people who pay it […]

Desirable incentive effects of income taxation I

Cases in which income taxation is preferable to lump sum taxation with the same ex post net transfers. The main reason for progressive taxation is that the welfare cost of taking money from wealthy people is lower, because they have a lower marginal utility of consumption. I would like to discuss other advantages of income […]

Liveblogging the FDA hearing on the Moderna Covid 19 vaccine

So Far the efficacy data has been presented. As reported in the press earlier, the vaccine is roughly 95% effective, that is roughly 95% of people who got Covid 19 during the trial were participants who received the placebo. Importantly, the null hypothesis that just one dose is just as good as two was not […]