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

I’m Not Here

Nor is Cate Blachett playing me. (Nor, unfortunately, am I using this as an opportunity to post a picture of Ms. Blanchett in an attempt to troll for links. You want that, go to John Carney.) Taxes are always fun, and there’s a few other things going on. But, really, let me quote the Internet’s […]

The Hoover Institution

by cactus For the last few decades, a many prominent conservatives and libertarians have been associated with the Hoover Institution. The Hoover of the Hoover Institution is Herbert Hoover, the guy who was president during the Crash of 1929 and under whom the Great Depression unfolded. Now, I’ve been thinking about how conservatives and libertarians […]

What is competition?

rdan A reader commented that market share statistics do not reflect whether competition occurs in a health insurance market. To stress a point he stated competition occurs when companies >1, and many states have competition of >2 major players, which makes for a more competitive market than a monopoly allows. Competition to me means that […]

DeLong, Thoma, Rodrik et al. Do Good

To often, we talk about models as if they are reality, instead of reflecting a reality that was approximated. At least forty economists, including at least three ‘Nobel’ Prize winners, know that: A rising tide lifts all boats only when labor and management bargain on relatively equal terms.

A Response to Megan McArdle, Again (by cactus)

by cactus Megan McArdle responds to a post I wrote: So Obama doesn’t count because he’s not really a Democrat. But Bill Clinton was. But Richard Nixon–the chap who implemented price controls and massively expanded Social Security and Medicare–was definitely a Republican. Jimmy Carter, who deregulated like mad: definitely a Democrat. What are these policies […]

The Problem with Macro is Micro

John Quiggin makes the broad case (link fixed). If you are then stuck with trying to present a Grand Unified Field Theory, you will inevitably lose (or, at best, reduce) the importance of all the agglomerations that follow from the presumption that the Rational Actor is the mean performer—ignoring that no one, including the economists […]

Simple Answers to Simple Questions, CRA edition

Dear Barry: The need for posts such as this one recurs because the large majority of economists are idiots. (Multiple exceptions noted—but not enough to change the truth of the initial statement.) As the regulatory reform report notes (quoted by PK at the last link above): In fact, enforcement of CRA was weakened during the […]

A Short Note on Optimality

Via Eszter, there is one thing that is very clear from this graphic (duplicated below because I can’t figure out how to embed it): There is an excess of home-based internet capacity in the United States, for which people are definitionally paying too much. The question is whether this is a problem. If you argue […]

It Looks Like a Great House. Why Does the Basement Always Flood?

Come on, guys, somebody take it to the Next Step. Matt Y comes closer than anyone else to getting to the truth of the problem with Macroeconomics. Following Justin FoxSteven Levitt’s summary, Matt asks the next question: So why should it be that “in the current regime, if [macro models] are not meticulously constructed from […]