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

Democratic Arithmetic vs Comparative Advantage: TAA, TPA, TPP

In reading around on reactions to the defeat of the TAA (Trade Adjustment Authority) component of the TAA/TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) Package needed to successfully pass TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) I get the usual incomprehension as to why Democrats can possible oppose Free Trade given the proven mathematical reality of Ricardian Comparative Advantage. And the […]

As Goes GE, so goes Management

Henry Paulson’s book On the Brink is getting pilloried all over the place. David Wessel raises a point I’ve been hammering for a while: Jeff Imment, CEO of General Electric, frightened Paulson in early September by calling to say GE, which Paulson describes as “an American business icon,” was having trouble borrowing money by selling […]

More on the Looming Structural Unemployment Crisis

Rdan Martin Ford continues his theme in the following post, on comparative advantage: More on the Looming Structural Unemployment Crisis, and on Comparative Advantage In my previous post, I suggested that job automation technology might someday advance to the point where most routine or repetitive jobs will be performed by machines or software, and that, […]

The Best and the Brightest Meme — Eight Years Too Late?

Ken Houghton CR beat me to commenting on this Mankiw whine post, partially because I couldn’t think of anything reasonable to say about it. (CR could. That’s why he gets the big bucks.) But now that CR has done the heavy lifting, let’s look at the other aspect: Mankiw’s standard: Based a standard ranking of […]

If not now, when? If now, why? Or, to quote the wrong holiday, Ma nishta…?

I posted this in comments at Lance’s place, but figure to run it up the flag here as well. Speaking as one who supported Monday’s bill and generally opposes today’s, here’s the high-level list of reasons: It wasn’t going to authorize the whole $700B, but about$250B, with renewal (or scrapping) to follow. (That Henry Paulson […]

Free Trade vs the World Bank

This concept of Comparative Advantage hits a big wall if we accept the World Bank’s study on what generates wealth. If comparative advantage is about what comes natural to a given nation, it has to include what the study referred to as natural capital. This is only 40% of the wealth generation for a poor […]