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

Information or propaganda? More Cowen on minimum wages

Today Tyler Cowen posted this: Remember the proposals for a $15 federal minimum wage? Employment would be reduced by 1.4 million workers, or 0.9 percent, according to CBO’s average estimate… That is from the new CBO report. Here is a bit more context: In an average week in 2025, the year when the minimum wage would […]

How the Pandemic could lead to a big USPS price hike

Angry Bear has been featuring the words of Steve Hutkins and Mark Jamison for a good bit of time now. They are the go-to people outside of the USPS on issues associated with it and the Congress which impacts it. We exchange emails and stories from time to time. Save the Post Office is edited and […]

Desirable incentive effects of income taxation V

Fifth and last. Not relevant to the USA. Back in the day when US unions weren’t totally feeble, MacDonald and Solow wrote a brilliant paper on collective bargaining and tax based incomes policy. Imagine a world in which firms must negotiation with unions (for example imagine Europe). The unions have two aims — they want […]

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 […]