Assorted Links (3/29/2010)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Greg Mankiw’s Blog: David Brooks on the State of Economics

“In today’s NY Times, David Brooks has an interesting column on the field of economics. While the column is well worth reading, I think it is more wrong than right. Journalists are fond of writing articles…”

Should taxpayers subsidize underwater homeowners?|

“The Obama administration will announce a major new stock market initiative on Friday that will directly tackle the problem of the millions of Americans who lost money betting on stocks. The government …”

Gary Becker: ‘Basically an Optimist’—Still –

“In The Wall Street Journal, Nobel prize winning economist Gary Becker says ObamaCare will do serious damage, but the American people will vote for limited government in November.”

Charles Krauthammer – Obamacare’s next trick: the VAT –

“It won’t be long before we’ll be paying European levels of taxation. / Weekend columnists / Tim Harford – At last the con has been taken out of econometrics

“The ‘identification problem’ muddies any statistical analysis, says Tim Harford”.

Marginal Revolution: Is the mandate penalty large enough?

Tyler Cowen provides some compelling arguments to the effect that healthy individuals will opt out until they get sick. Both Professor Cowen and Megan McArdle argue that the so-called “mandate” probably is not all that enforceable anyway, so this seems to be a nearly ideal setup for adverse selection (cf. to occur on a rather massive scale. I doubt whether the CBO scoring of the Senate Bill which has been passed into law even considered this type of behavior as being within the realm of possibilities!

Can the Individual Mandate Be Enforced? – Business – The Atlantic

“Big Government has written a post suggesting that the individual health care mandate will not actually be enforced by the IRS.  It will be assessed, but if you refuse to pay it, the normal enforcement mechanisms under Subtitle F of the tax code–such as liens and garnishments–may not be employed.”


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