The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States
); press coverage
) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change
—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts
of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences
for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
What's Going On In Japan?
"Really Japan is quite a remarkable case, since neither fiscal nor monetary policy seems to be working
to achieve the anticipated results. This year Japan will have a fiscal deficit of around 10% of GDP and gross government debt will hit 235% of GDP, yet the country is still struggling to find growth. Instead of reiterating old dogmas (whether they come from Keynes or from Hayek
) more people should be asking themselves what is happening here. This is not a simple repetition of something which was first time tragedy and is now second time tragedy, it is something new, and could well be a harbinger for more that is to come, elsewhere
. Oh, why oh why
are economists not more curious
?" [more inside]
The New York Times examines
how American taxes have changed since 1980
"Liberals have not always been very good at communicating why liberalism works. There’s many reasons for this, but part of it is that it can be hard to defend the obvious from an absurd and deceptive attack. For half a century you had to be a crank to oppose what Roosevelt accomplished; liberals got out of the habit of arguing for their beliefs.
I hope this page will help. Liberals don’t need to apologize for their vision of how American society should work. Liberalism saved American capitalism and democracy, defeated Naziism, created a prosperous middle class, and benefited every sector of society, from the back streets to Wall Street. " Mefi's own Zompist (previously
) on Why Liberalism Works.
There will be no big Federal bureaucracy set up for this crash program. Through the courtesy of such volunteers from the communication and media fields, a very simple enlistment form will appear in many of tomorrow's newspapers along with the symbol of this new mobilization, which I am wearing on my lapel. It bears the single word WIN. I think that tells it all. [more inside]
In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots
. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes.
Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure
, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners
. [more inside]
Peter Orszag (previously of Obama's OMB) argues that circumventing democracy is the best way to save it
, but Catherine Rampell isn't sold
, and Uwe Reinhardt points out that technocrats base "science" on moral values
Why Not a Negative Income Tax?
"What kind of program could help protect every citizen from destitution without granting excessive power to bureaucrats, creating disincentives to work, and clogging up the free-market economy, as the modern welfare state has done? [Nobel-prize winning economist Milton] Friedman’s answer was the negative income tax, or NIT."
: Steve Waldman on the interplay between policy decisions and public opinion, in response to Krugman
SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations
: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?" [more inside]
A detailed exposition of the roles of the White House economic team.
This isn't a discussion of Obama's team per se, but rather an explanation of the mechanics and relationships of the various economic advisers to the President.
Goodwill: Monetary policy for the 21st century Here's my proposal. We should try to arrange things so that the marginal unit of CPI is purchased with "helicopter drop" money. That is, rather than trying to fine-tune wages, asset prices, or credit, central banks should be in the business of fine tuning a rate of transfers from the bank to the public. [more inside]
Recently, Paul Krugman has been advocating
for US trade protectionism
to counter China's apparent undervaluation of renminbi. Peking University Economics professor Yiping Huang disagrees
Constitutional Showdowns. Eric Posner
and Adrian Vermeule
analyze constitutional showdowns, ask what rate and level of showdowns would be socially optimal, and ask whether socially optimal showdowns will be supplied by government institutions acting to promote their policy preferences and institutional interests.
The Happy Planet Index
presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release
claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree
. Full report in PDF here
. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here
, and here
. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
Fair Price Energy
. One persons idea for a free market solution to the fossil fuel problem.
Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
, has long posited
a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues
that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees
, of course.
Understanding what makes America tick
"The belief that America is exceptional, in the double sense that it is superior and that it is different...The United States had a mission, a manifest destiny, to change the world in its image. This conviction echoes down through American history....Other countries—France, Britain, Russia—have from time to time in their history felt a sense of mission, of carrying their civilisation to other peoples and territories. But in their cases it has been episodic and not deeply rooted—usually limited to when their power was at its zenith and usually clearly recognisable as a rationalisation for what they were doing for other reasons. In the case of the United States, it has been constant and central
." [Centre of Independent Studies
in Sydney via aldaily
] American Exceptionalism. Mix it with sole super power status and massive military might. Should make it quite an intoxicating ride these next few years.