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

The Money Confusion

The always-brilliant J. W. Mason’s response to what in my opinion is a quite befuddled Mike Beggs review in Jacobin of David Graeber’s Debt: The First Five Thousand Years prompts me to tackle a subject that I’ve been worrying at for a long time: Money. I’ve been worrying at it despite (or because of) endless […]

Repeat After Me: Low Taxes (on Rich People) and Economic Growth Are Not Correlated

Jared Bernstein tells us yet again what the data has been telling us forever (my bold): I agree with Chye-Ching Huang, who agrees with the Congressional Research Service, Len Burman, and me: over the long, historical record of special tax treatment for investment incomes and tax cuts to the top marginal tax rates, one simply […]

Keynes: Pragmatist. Hayek: Utopian. Who Sez?

…if you read about the tussle between the two great economists, you are struck by two things. First, how pragmatic a man John Maynard Keynes was. And second, how utopian the ideals of Friedrich Hayek are. This is odd, as each man attached himself to a polar opposite political philosophy: Keynes’s ideas were adopted by […]

The Luddite Fallacy Fallacy

I’ve spent a lot of time considering (here, here, here, and here) the notions of technological unemployment and the Luddite Fallacy: the idea that technologically driven productivity — machines — will replace, are replacing, human labor. I’d like to revisit that here. My basic conclusion: the Luddites were obviously wrong at the time. But they’re […]

Laffer: Laughable As Always

R Davis spends a whole lot of words (and numbers) explaining why Arthur Laffer’s latest WSJ editorial is false and ridiculous, but those who think about data — at all — really only need to read one line. Laffer’s key error — which a high-school statistics student could spot — is to: compare growth in […]

No, Conservatives Aren’t Happier — Any More

My small effort to ameliorate the disparity in Andrew Gelman’s headline: 1.5 million people were told that extreme conservatives are happier than political moderates. Approximately .0001 million Americans learned that the opposite is true. Andrew is commenting on a Jay Livingston’s great takedown of David Arthur Brooks’ recent column asking “Who is happier about life […]

Red-Ink Republicans, Revisited and Reviled

The post-New Deal Republican party has delivered endless strings of deficits and debt. That is their historic legacy to America, the bare fact on the ground that unfortunately requires endless repetition to impart the reality, and counter the tea-party fantasy of fiscally irresponsible Democrats.Also required is a catchy moniker that encapsulates that reality: Red-Ink Republicans […]

Red-State Teat-Sucking Rendered Invisible. Conservatives Howl Tyranny.

In response to this graphic in my reprised post from yesterday: Commenter rjs points us to this depressing Economist post — the government data source for this graphic has gone dark, part of the Obama administration’s cost-cutting measures. The real irony I discover, though, is to find right-wingers at The Heritage Foundation screaming about the […]