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

Is that a good economic development deal? A checklist

In my last post, I discussed one of the most important sets of questions regarding any proposed economic development subsidy: How much does it cost? Is that too much? The answer, assuming that we are not going to overhaul our broken subsidy system overnight, was that we see if we’re paying too much by looking […]

Has Tyler Cowen Updated His Priors on Wealth Concentration and Inequality?

Noah Smith has documented the “anti-Piketty crusade” by Tyler Cowen, Chairman and General Director of the Koch-brothers-funded Mercatus Center. (The post seems to have gone missing from Noah’s site [pourquoi?]; here’s Google’s cached version.) The latest from Cowen is here, joining in the right-wing chorus desperately trying to debunk the long and widely documented increase in wealth inequality (documented […]

Protesting Madame Lagarde (what is the IMF doing now?)

by Joseph Joyce   Protesting Madame Lagarde The protests at Smith College that led to the withdrawal of Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, as this year’s commencement speaker have been widely denounced as a manifestation of intolerance. They also demonstrate a lack of understanding of the IMF and the many changes […]

“The US Labor Market is Not Working;” Antonio Fatas “On the Global Front”

This particular post was first picked up at Economist’s View and fits with Sandwichman’s posts on Labor. I have been watching Participation Rate in conjunction with U3 since 2001 along with others such as Laurent Guerby and while the US has decreased in the numbers of people in the Civilian Labor Force, our counterparts in […]

Longevity and Long-Term Care: The Medical Crisis of the 21st Century : Part 2 Update: Maggie Mahar will be doing a radio interview at 12:30 PM The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen 94.7 FM WNHN Concord NH

Maggie Mahar at The Health Beat Blog discusses Alzheimer’s care and the alternatives. Throughout the 20th century, most Americans saw “longevity” as a goal. If we took care of our bodies, we reasoned, we could “live longer and better.” But in the 21st century, I suspect that some of us will learn to fear “longevity” […]

Social Security under ‘Sustainable Solvency’: Debt & Deficit Revisited

The current Chief Actuary of Social Security is Stephen Goss and on the occasion of the publication of the 75th Anniversary issue of the Social Security Bulletin he contributed what may be the most valuable single piece you will ever read on Social Security financials. The article carried the title The Future Financial Status of […]

Finally … a growing public awareness and concern about the ‘attitudinal model’ of Supreme Court votes. [Expanded repost]

Correction appended below. —- Scott Lemieux weighs in at The Week, writing that, although “Supreme Court voting is too complex to be explained by any single factor,” the “attitudinal model” – which posits that “Supreme Court votes are explained by what judges consider desirable policy” – “still contains a good deal of truth.” — Amy […]

Microfoundations of Inequality and Sabotage

by Sandwichman Microfoundations of Inequality and Sabotage “In sum, these models [efficiency wage] provide a new, consistent, and plausible microfoundation for a Keynesian model of the cycle.” — Janet Yellen (1984). Inequality and Sabotage, explored the relationship between Thomas Piketty’s “r > g” inequality and speculated, based on Veblen (1921) and Kalecki (1943), that businesses […]

Are Markets Better Described as Robust than Efficient?

by J Tzimeskes   Are Markets Better Described as Robust than Efficient? Something that I think all of us with private sector jobs experience in our day to day lives is just how incompetent a large number of private businesses are. These may be our customers, suppliers, or another division. Yet, somehow, these businesses thrive despite […]