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

PSA: D-Squared Rivals Quiggin

I recently mentioned D-Squared’s four-part review (evisceration?) of Freakonomics. I had forgotten he wasn’t finished. Part Five is now posted. And the conceit of the pieces—”that there is something terribly, horribly wrong with the state of modern economics”—that dates back to 2003(!) is all the more validated. John Quiggin should include all five parts as […]

When in Crisis, Insult Sociologists?

Via Brad DeLong, Eric Falkenstein praises Macroeconomics with faint damns: Macroeconomics is the triumph of hope over experience, and has been no more successful than sociology. Insulting our betters will not put economists in good stead. As Paul Krugman frequently notes, “Economics is…not quite as hard as sociology.”* But Falkenstein makes up for this lapse, […]

Verklaerte KristolNacht

Brad DeLong finds the quote that tells you everything you need to know about the origins of the Neoconservative Movement: Among the core social scientists around The Public Interest there were no economists….The task…was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority… […]

If You’re Marking a Curve, you need to identify an equilibrium point

Via the must-read Susan of Texas, Ezra Klein finally comes to some of his senses: couldn’t get an answer to a very simple question: What level of spending on health care was optimal for innovation? Should we double spending? Triple it? Cut it by 10 percent? Simply give a larger portion of it to drug […]

The Measured Version of My Screaming

John Quiggin finally makes explicit What Everyone Knows: that the clusterfuck that has been made of Macroeconomics is due largely to an attempt to leverage (insufficiently robust) Microeconomic Theory: the search for a macroeconomic theory founded on (roughly) neoclassical micro, which has been the main direction of macro research for 40 years or so, was […]

Norman Borlaug, Michael Jackson, and the Invisible Hand

by cactus Norman Borlaug, Michael Jackson, and the Invisible Hand When Adam Smith described the concept of laissez-faire capitalism, he argued that it was not just efficient but moral. As long as everyone acted in their own self-interest and the government did not interfere, the Invisible Hand would guide market forces toward the best possible […]

Coming Soon from Major Economists Near You

Ken Houghton is talkin’ about his generation. Pete Davis, Mark Thoma (who at least has the decency to phrase it in the form of a question), N. Gregory Mankiw, and Brad DeLong explain why there should not be any penalties against providers of West Virginia water (h/t Bitch). Because fungible is fungible, even if it […]

Mark Cuban Makes the Key Point

Ken Houghton remembers that Warren Buffett famously groused that he pays a lower percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary. Or the person who will come up with an actual cure for a cancer. Mark Cuban takes this one step further, pointing out the obvious: if we want to promote investment, “we should […]

A/l/a/n/ C/a/r/u/b/a/ Milt Shook Explains It All

Ken Houghton notes the obvious corollary to Bruce Webb’s post on the 1st: if you don’t “read the bill,” the obstructionists will lie about it. UPDATE: And now corrects his misreading (see Bruce’s update below, following on Mitt Shook’s comment). Milt Shook demonstrates in detail that, even if you do, people such as Alan Caruba […]