Assorted Links (12/31/2010)

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

American Robot’s Job Outsourced To Overseas Robot

“CANTON, OH—QT2D-7, an 11-year-old electric assembly-operations robot, was laid off Monday when the Lawn-Boy plant that has employed him relocated its manufacturing headquarters to New Delhi, India.”

Yule Blog 2010: Meaning in Three Dimensions

“Now it gets tough. That little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying so cutely in the manger is the biggest trouble maker in world history, and the shocking claims that Christianity makes about who he is and what he means divide Christians not only from atheists and agnostics, but also splits Christians off from other religions.”

A New Year rolls in

“The world has already begun to welcome 2011, as the New Year has been entered by people living on some Pacific islands, Australia and Asia.”

The Best Economics Blogs – The Source – WSJ

“Dow Jones Newswires columnist Alen Mattich shares his favorite blogs.”

Charles Krauthammer – Government by regulation. Shhh.

“How to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation.”

RealClearMarkets – How to Reduce Unemployment to 4%

“In January 2001, at the start of this decade, America’s economy created 268,000 jobs, and the national unemployment rate stood at 4.2%. Five years later, after a so-called “jobless recovery,” the unemployment rate was 4.7%, with 193,000 new jobs created in January 2006. Now the rate is 9.8%, with a scant 39,000 jobs created last month.”

Yule Blog 2010: Personal Meaning

“Yesterday I blogged about how theists and atheists are the not all that different from each other; we are almost all transcendentalists in the sense that almost all of us find some kind of moral, ethical and even spiritual meaning in life. Human life amounts to more than eating and scratching our various itches, and whether or not we believe in God, we want to do something real with our lives. We have itches that scratching won’t fix.”

Optimism for Obama Should Come With Caution

“What have we learned about President Obama’s re-election chances since the midterm elections?”

The Holiday Stimulus Package, Continued

“In the holiday season, too, demand remains strongly linked to supply, an economist writes.”

Yule Blog 2010: The Meaning of Christmas

“Happy fifth day of Christmas, and welcome back to the 2010 Yule Blog, where we aim to keep the holiday fires burning right up through Twelfth Night on January 6.”

The Right Way to Balance the Budget

“In The Wall Street Journal, Andrew G. Biggs, Kevin Hassett and Matt Jensen of the American Enterprise Institute write that their research on the experience of 21 countries over 37 years yields a simple truth: Cutting spending works, and raising taxes doesn’t.”

Review & Outlook: A Deregulating Democrat

“The Wall Street Journal remembers Alfred Kahn, 1917-2010.”

Popes, Atheists and Freedom

“Daniel Henninger writes in The Wall Street Journal’s Wonder Land column that secularists should recognize that the pope’s fight is their fight.”

‘Death Panels’ Come Back to Life

“In The Wall Street Journal, David B. Rivkin Jr and Elizabeth Price Foley write that the FDA’s recent restrictions on the drug Avastin are the beginning of a long slide toward health-care rationing.”

The Mistaken Attack on Outsourcing

“In The Wall Street Journal, Mihir Desai of Harvard writes about his research showing that when American firms grow abroad, they also grow domestically.”

Why do firms exist?

“FOR philosophers the great existential question is: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” For management theorists the more mundane equivalent is: “Why do firms exist? Why isn’t everything done by the market?” Today most people live in a market economy, and central planning is remembered as the greatest economic disaster of the 20th century.”

Assorted Links (12/28/2010)

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

Yule Blog 2010: The Hinge of Fate

“Manger is the French word meaning “to eat”; a manger is a place where you put hay and similar things for the animals in a barn to eat. The swaddling clothes were used to wrap up the limbs of newborns so they wouldn’t injure themselves by moving too much.”

The Sidney Awards, Part II

“Here’s the second batch of winners of the 2010 Sidney Awards. It seems as though turbulent times produce good essays. “

Christianity and Health Care

“This week I’m writing from Waco, Texas where I just finished speaking at a symposium on “Human Dignity and the Future of Health Care.” The symposium was sponsored by Baylor University’s Institute for Faith and Learning. Here are some random snapshots.”

The High Price of Pets. But So Worth It. 

“When I was a kid, I had a Yorkshire terrier named Coco and a Siamese cat named Shan. I loved those animals and was devastated when they died. They remain leading characters in some of my fondest memories of youth.”

America’s Dangerous Rush to Shrink Its Military Power

“In The Wall Street Journal, Mark Helprin writes that defense spending has priority. As in the 1930s, the economy is the supposedly humanitarian excuse for reducing the military—although the endless miseries of the world will not be alleviated if due to an imbalance of power great and little wars rage across it.”

ObamaCare and the General Welfare Clause 

“In The Wall Street Journal, constitutional law professors Randy E. Barnett and David G. Oedel write that the individual mandate is not the only problem with the health law. Its draconian Medicaid mandates on states exceed Congress’s spending power.”

Fed’s Free Money Lures This Important Writer: Kevin Hassett

“If AIG was too important to fail, can’t I be, too?”

In a Tale That Wags Dog Owners, They Rent Flocks for Bored Collies – 

“Once upon a time, Americans got dogs for their sheep. Now they get sheep for their dogs.”

Yule Blog 2010: Born of a WHAT?!

It is not quite the most controversial verse in the Bible, but Luke 1:35 comes close. Mary has just replied to the angel Gabriel’s statement that she will be the mother of the Messiah with a question of her own: “How shall this be,” she says in the words of the King James Version, “seeing I know not a man?””

‘Random Walk’ author Malkiel bullish on international index funds

“IT’S ONLY MONEY interviews the author of “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” about why the book’s new edition shifts asset allocations from bonds to international stocks.”

Is Basic Health Care a ‘Right’?

“Ronald Pies, MD, asserts that every individual has a “right” to “basic health care” – meaning, a right to receive such care without paying for it (Letters, Dec. 26).”

What I love about Scrooge.

“Here’s what I like about Ebenezer Scrooge: His meager lodgings were dark because darkness is cheap, and barely heated because coal is not free. His dinner was gruel, which he prepared himself. Scrooge paid no man to wait on him.”

Op-Ed Columnist – The Roots Of White Anxiety

“To understand the country’s polarization, take a look at the admissions process at elite private colleges.”

The new young investor: Shunning stocks

“When 18-year-old Robert White decided to jumpstart his retirement plan, he invested his life savings of $25,000 into an aggressive mutual fund. Little did he know that just five years later, he would make a complete 180 and join the ranks of a new group of young investors who have become so risk averse by the wild market swings that they’d rather park their money in safety zones, like CDs or Treasurys.”

Assorted Links (12/24/2010)

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

RealClearMarkets – Where Unions Are, Americans Aren’t

“The American people have been voting with their feet, the Census Bureau announced on Tuesday, leaving states with heavy union influence and choosing to live in “right-to-work” states with higher job growth where they cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.”

RealClearMarkets – Elimination Of the FCC Is a Worthy Goal

“Regulatory State: Two days after the FCC voted to take over the Internet, it stands in the way of an agreement between private companies. This is an agency that should be targeted for elimination.”

The Holiday Stimulus Package

“The annual huge swell in retail sales each December brings with it many jobs but also demonstrates the inefficiency of spending as a tool to increase employment, an economist writes.”

Census: Fast Growth in States with No Income Tax

“The latest census data shows that growth occurs in states where taxes are lower. Seven of the nine states that do not levy an income tax grew faster than the national average.”

The Sidney Awards

“Drum roll, please. The annual awards for the best magazine essays of 2010 go to … “

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s new start

“Obama has leveled the playing the field for battles of the 112th Congress.”

Review & Outlook: PolitiFiction

“The Wall Street Journal on true ‘lies’ about ObamaCare.”

Congress’s Monstrous Legal Legacy

“In The Wall Street Journal, Potomac Watch columnist Kimberley A. Strassel writes that ObamaCare, put together like Frankenstein, risks coming apart at the seams.”

In Hoc Anno Domini

“The late Vermont Royster’s classic 1949 Christmas editorial.”

Tea Partiers and the Spirit of Giving

“In The Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks writes that charitable gifts are a cheerful protest vote against the growing state.”

Do Christians Overemphasize Christmas?

“In The Wall Street Journal, John Wilson writes that some theologians claim that Easter is more important, but that’s wrong—when we celebrate one, we celebrate the other.”

The Unbroken Window » Tidings of Comfort and Joy

“Did you know that the US Postal Service attempted to monopolize the e-mail industry when it was first created? Could you imagine having to send e-mails through them, and not through gmail, yahoo, hotmail, or whatever firm you currently use?”

Atheism Kills: Gallup Poll Reveals

“Here at Via Meadia we are preparing for the Christmas holidays, and will be firing up the traditional Yule Blog tomorrow for the 13 posts of Christmas in a hallowed holiday tradition dating all the way back to 2009.”

Very Religious Americans Lead Healthier Lives

“This is the third article in a special multipart series on religiosity and wellbeing in America. The first article explored the relationship between religiosity and wellbeing across the Well-Being Index and sub-indexes. The second article examined religiosity and emotional health. This piece explores specific components within the Healthy Behavior Index.”

Taxes and the Top Percentile Myth

“In The Wall Street Journal, the Cato Institute’s Alan Reynolds writes that a 2008 OECD study of leading economies found that ‘taxation is most progressively distributed in the United States.’ More so than Sweden or France.”

Does the Constitution Mean Anything?

“Obamacare unconstitutional? The denizens of Washington and their many friends who favor expansive and expensive government are worried. At least one judge has actually read the Constitution. Moreover, Tea Party activists are calling themselves constitutional conservatives and insisting that the Cons

Sebelius’s Price Controls

“The Wall Street Journal on the HHS rule that says states must order more health benefits but also lower rates.”

Assorted Links (12/22/2010)

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

How Government Failure Caused the Great Recession — The American, A Magazine of Idea

“The interaction of six government policies explains the timing, severity, and global impact of the financial crisis.”

Robert Bryce: A Wind Power Boonedoggle

“In The Wall Street Journal, Robert Bryce writes that Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens badly misjudged the supply and price of natural gas.”

Jenkins: Next, an Aircraft Bubble?

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman Jenkins writes that overexpansion by airplane makers may lead to collapse and consolidation.”

Review & Outlook: A Nation in Motion

“The Wall Street Journal writes that the Census reveals a people who are moving to pro-market red states.”

Economists are creating new methods for tracking prices.

“At some 23,000 retailers and businesses in 90 U.S. cities, hundreds of government workers find and mark down prices on very precise products. And I’m not kidding when I say “very precise.””

Christmas and Western Civilization

“The holiday season has many traditions, some ancient, some modern. Among the most recent is a paradoxical one: complaints, yearly renewed, about the public recognition of Christmas as a religious celebration. As these observances get underway (see here and here), we might do well to ask the following question: what, if anything, has Christmas contributed to Western Civilization that could earn the respect even of the secularist and hence win his acquiescence in its ongoing public acknowledgment?”

The Net Neutrality Coup

“In The Wall Street Journal, John Fund writes that the campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who’s who of left-liberal foundations.”

Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?

“This paper uses the theories of price discrimination and optimal taxation to investigate effects of underwater mortgages on foreclosures and the incentives to earn income, and the degree to which those effects are shaped by public policy. I find that the federal government’s means-tested mortgage modification plan creates a massive implicit tax that may be significant even from a macroeconomic perspective. An alternative of modifying mortgages to maximize lender collections would also feature means tests, but with less effort distortion and perhaps fewer foreclosures. The paper also considers the consequences of a public policy that left mortgage modification to lenders, subject to a requirement that modification would not be conditioned on borrower income.”

Futures Market Forecast of a Federal Funds Rate Increase Likely to be Appropriate

“According to the federal funds futures market, the Fed will begin raising rates sometime next year—with the federal funds rate reaching about ½ percent by December 2011. In fact, rising rates next year has been the implicit forecast of the futures market for the past year…”

The Dismal State of Long-Term State and Local Government Finance

“The disturbingly large present and prospective fiscal deficits of the federal government receive much attention, and deservedly so. Yet the financial situations of many state and local government finances are also in bad shape, and in many respects they are far more difficult to solve than are the federal fiscal problems.”

A Tough Season for Believers

“Christmas is hard for everyone. But it’s particularly hard for people who actually believe in it.”

Give The People What They Want

“In my last post I argued that Blue State Liberalism, the form of liberalism that dominated most of the twentieth century in American life, doesn’t work anymore as a political philosophy. That argument gets some powerful support from the latest Gallup polls: only 21% of Americans consider themselves liberals; 40% of Americans consider themselves ‘conservative’, and 35% call themselves ‘moderate’.  Another Gallup poll reports that 49% of Americans say that the Democrats are “too liberal”; 38% think they are just right; only 10% think Democrats aren’t liberal enough.”

On Palin’s Reading List, C.S. Lewis

“Micheal Flaherty writes in The Wall Street Journal that Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis wasn’t a children’s writer, as Sarah Palin’s critics proclaim—not by a long shot.”

The Coming Iraqi Business Boom

“In The Wall Street Journal, Bartle Bull writes that foreigners can own 100% of Iraqi companies, must pay only a 15% flat tax on profits, and may take 100% of those profits home when and how they please.”

Review & Outlook: Ducking Higher Taxes

“The Wall Street Journal on Oregon’s vanishing millionaires.”

The Joy Of Stats – OpenLearn – Open University

“Join me on a fascinating journey to discover how, from crime to health, from language learning to the way science itself is conducted, the answers, the insights and yes the beauty lie in the stats.”

All the devils are here

“Latest EconTalk is Joe Nocera talking about his book (with Bethany McClean, All the Devils are Here. I learned something very important in this podcast about motives and ideology and politics. I knew it already but sometimes, a moment happens that drives something home in a way it hadn’t been solid before.”

The FCC’s Threat to Internet Freedom

“In The Wall Street Journal, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert M. McDowell says that ‘net neutrality’ sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. New rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers.”

Review & Outlook: A Growth Watershed?

“The Wall Street Journal writes that On taxes, spending and ObamaCare, it was a landmark week.”

Time for Santa 2.0

“In The Wall Street Journal, Brian Campbell says that Mr. Claus is fat, uncool and technologically backward. He also has a spotty record on animal and labor rights.”

Reaganomics 2.0 in the Driver’s Seat

“On a historic night this past Thursday, a new Tea Party Republican Congress completely transformed U.S. economic policy. Elections matter, and so do their ideas. Smaller government, low taxes, and less spending were key election themes in the Republican landslide. And those themes triumphed this wee”

Assorted Links (12/17/2010)

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

The Coming College Education Bubble –

“Higher education’s price-earnings ratio looks like Nevada housing circa 2007.”

The Economics of Seinfeld

This website uses various Seinfeld episodes to help teach the principles of economics. My favorite is the rental car episode (cf. which provides a particularly vivid example of moral hazard (Hat tip to Greg Mankiw –

The Argument Against Gay Marriage: And Why it Doesn’t Fail « Public Discourse

“Last week we released our Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article, “What is Marriage?” It offers a robust defense of the conjugal view of marriage as the union of husband and wife, and issues specific intellectual challenges to those who propose to redefine civil marriage to accommodate same-sex partnerships.”

Charles Krauthammer – The new comeback kid

“Don’t be fooled by thin-skinned temperament; Obama is a very smart man.”

The Case for Adoption

“In The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s Scott Simon writes that the story of the baby boy who was floated into the bulrushes along the Nile reminds us that the instinct to care for castaway children is ancient and inborn.”

Republicans and the Spending Dope

“In The Wall Street Journal, Potomac Watch columnist Kimberley Strassel notes that the trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill is the first big test of GOP resolve.”

America’s best and worst commutes

Gulp… My hometown of Austin, TX, ranks only marginally better than Los Angeles and Houston. Are you kidding???

Depression era Americans were optimistic, pro-fascism

“PEW has published a write-up of Gallup survey results from 1936 and 1937 in an effort to determine whether Americans are reacting differently to economic hardship now than they did in the Great Depression. Somewhat, says Pew: [D]espite their far higher and longer-lasting record of unemployment, Depression-era Americans remained hopeful for the future. About half (50%) expected general business conditions to improve over the next six months, while only 29% expected a worsening. And fully 60% thought that opportunities for getting ahead were better (45%) or at least as good (15%) as in their father’s day. Today’s public is far gloomier about the economic outlook: Only 35% in an  October Pew Research Center survey expected better economic conditions by October 2011, while 16% expected a still weaker economy.”

“Surplus Population”? Sorry, Mr. Scrooge, But You’re Mistaken

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”—from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. These were very cold words from a very cold character that has come to epitomize callousness and indifference in the popular mind… Scrooge the critic of the “surplus population” was mistaken.  Nonetheless, if public debate about “overpopulation” is any indication, we condemn Scrooge for his virtues and agree with him (whether we acknowledge it or not) on population.”

Freakonomics Radio: Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?

“When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting? The grape? The tannins? The oak barrel? Or the price? Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed economists (yes, there is an American Association of Wine Economists), we are starting to gain a new understanding of the relationship between wine, critics and consumers.”

The Reality of the Tax Deal – Robert P. Murphy – Mises Daily

Mr. Murphy raises some interesting concerns, based upon basic price theory, that an unintended consequence of cutting the payroll tax may be to cause the headline unemployment rate to “stubbornly” refuse to fall – or possibly even increase.

How the West grew rich – Washington Times

“The idea that America and the West grew rich through oppression and exploitation is strongly held among many intellectuals and activists. In the West, the exploitation thesis is invoked, by Jesse Jackson and others, to demand the payment of hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for slavery and colonialism to African-Americans and natives of the Third World… Did the West enrich itself at the expense of minorities and the Third World through its distinctive crimes of slavery and colonialism?”

The GOP Charge Up Capitol Hill

“In The Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes writes that come January, House Republicans will mount a far-reaching assault on the Democratic policies of the last two years.”

Money Out the Fenêtre

“In The Wall Street Journal, Jim Sollisch writes that budget cuts are forcing colleges to end foreign-language requirements, and it’s about time.”

What Are Taxes For

“In The Wall Street Journal, Wonder Land columnist Daniel Henninger asks: Should the primary purpose of taxation be to support the government or to maximize economic growth?”

Assorted Links (12/15/2010)

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

How Economics Saved Christmas

“Reflect on good economics and property rights.”

The Dangerous Allure of Behavioral Economics: The Relationship between Physical and Financial Products

“Few academic publications have had as much direct public influence on the law as the 2008 article by my NYU colleague Oren Bar-Gill and then Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren. In “Making Credit Safer,” they seek to combine two strands of academic thought in support of one great cause—more regulation of financial markets.”

ObamaCare is Now on the Ropes

“The decision of Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia v. Sebelius is no bird of passage that will easily be pushed aside as the case winds its way up to its inevitable disposition in the United States Supreme Court. The United States gave the case its best shot, and it is not likely that it will come up with a new set of arguments that will strengthen its hand in subsequent litigation.”

Don’t Tweak ObamaCare; Repeal It

“U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson of Virginia has ruled on the individual mandate forcing individuals to purchase insurance products from a private (insurance) company. The mandate to purchase insurance “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power” by violating the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, he stated.”

Judicial Hellholes 2010/2011

“The ninth annual report names civil courts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; California’s Los Angeles and Humboldt counties; West Virginia; South Florida; Cook County, Illinois; and Clark County, Nevada as some of the worst in the nation.”

‘Temporary’ Tax Code Puts U.S. in a Lasting Bind

“The U.S. tax code is being slowly turned into a temporary patchwork of provisions that need to be dealt with every year or two, depriving individuals and businesses of the predictability needed to make long-range plans.” Quoting from – “The permanent income hypothesis… states that the choices made by consumers regarding their consumption patterns are determined not by current income but by their… longer-term income… expectations. The key conclusion of this theory is that transitory, short-term changes in income have little effect on consumer spending behavior.”

Why Investors Need China in Their Portfolios

“In The Wall Street Journal, Princeton University Economics Professor Burton G. Malkiel writes that China represents more than 10% of the world’s GDP, adjusted for purchasing power, but few investors have anywhere near a 10% China allocation.”

Charles Krauthammer – Swindle of the year

“Democrats are clueless if they don’t view Obama’s tax cut deal as a win.”

NY Times Warning: Blue State Armageddon On The Way

“The global financial crisis could be heading to a blue state near you: that is the latest grim news from the New York Times: “Mounting Debts by States Stoke Fears of Crisis.” Normally a cheerleader for the free spending (in bluespeak, compassionate) policies of the public sector union dominated, high tax, high cost states like California, Illinois and New York, the Times now warns that fiscal ruin could be at hand.”

The Crisis of the American Intellectual

“America has everything it needs for success in the twenty-first century with one exception: a critical mass of thinkers, analysts and policy entrepreneurs who can help unleash the creative potential of the American people and build the new government and policy structures that will facilitate a new wave of private-sector led growth.”

Government Unions vs. Taxpayers

“In The Wall Street Journal, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says that the moral case for unions—protecting working families from exploitation—does not apply to public employment.”

Early Studies of Wi-Fi’s Effects on Tree Health Aren’t Definitive

“Reports of the death of trees because of wireless networks have been greatly exaggerated.”

Against Overlordship

“In his lead essay, Daniel B. Klein introduces us to the idea of overlordship – the premise, implicit in modern social democracy, that the state is the ultimate owner of all property rights in society. Under this theory, the state provisionally delegates any rights that individuals may have.”

What’s Wrong with Keynes

“This is a very long post. It’s the latest version of my thoughts on Keynesian stimulus, the idea that spending creates prosperity or supports our economy or rescues it from the doldrums.”

Doctors Ration Health Care in Pursuit of High Reimbursements

“Doctors are already rationing health care and are likely to further discriminate based on whether a patient has private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.”

Socialism and Solidarity

“When the financial crisis began spreading chaos throughout the economies of North America and Europe in the last quarter of 2008, sales of Karl Marx’s Das Capital reportedly soared throughout Western Europe. It’s unlikely this reflected a revival of genuine interest in Communist alternatives to market economies, less than twenty years after totalitarian socialism’s collapse in Eastern Europe.”

The Bush Tax Cuts Never Went Far Enough

“Thomas F. Cooley and Lee E. Ohanian write in the The Wall Street Journal that a permanent reduction in capital taxes would increase productivity and wages. Postwar Britain shows how higher capital tax rates reduce investment and damage economic growth.”

WikiLeaks and the Cloud Wars

“In The Wall Street Journal, Business World columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes that the Chinese hacking on Google and the ongoing WikiLeaks episode might make companies think twice before trusting the cloud.”

The Grapes of Wrath Democrats

“Daniel Henninger writes in The Wall Street Journal that for Obama and the Democrats, the new economic royalists are anyone with a taxable income over $200,000.”

The Obama Stimulus Impact? Zero

“In The Wall Street Journal, John F. Cogan and John B. Taylor write that liberals are still arguing that the federal spending stimulus wasn’t large enough. How many multiples of nothing—its result according to new evidence—would they like?”

The Economic Incompetence Of The Political Class –

“If politicians don’t get serious about fiscal profligacy, markets will.”

Folding the Fed

“If you are building a fence and you try using a hammer rather than a shovel to dig the postholes, progress will be slow if not nonexistent. The Federal Reserve is supposed to maintain the value of the currency and keep the banking system sound and stable – which it has not done (more on that below).”

Social Science Palooza

“Humans are strange, complicated creatures. Just look at some of the recent reports on behavioral research.”

China Joins the Axis of Evil

“In The Wall Street Journal, Global View columnist Bret Stephens writes that Pyongyang’s nuclear program would have been impossible without Beijing.”

Tax Extension Deal A Promising Sign for Future Reform | e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century

“As the 111th Congress draws to a close, there are a number of pressing questions that remain unresolved. Without legislative action, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire, the AMT will raise taxes on as many as 28 million households, the tax provisions of the ARRA fiscal stimulus law will expire, including the increase in the EITC and the Child Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay tax credit targeted at low to moderate income households, as will the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.”

Finding a Post-Crash Economic Model

“In the wake of a financial crisis that economic models failed to capture, economists are beginning to question the intellectual foundations on which the models are built. Researchers, some of whom spent years on the academic margins, are offering up a barrage of ideas.”

On the Tax Burden

“E.J. Dionne laments the failure of what he describes as a “proposal [that] could have shifted the tax burden away from middle-income taxpayers toward the wealthy.” The reality is that E.J. Dionne’s shift in the tax burden regularly occurs due the progressive nature of marginal tax rates. According to, the top 0.1% of taxpayers by income pay 17.4% of federal income taxes (FIT), the top 1% (income of $328,049 or more) pay 36.9% of FIT, the top 5% (income of $1…37,056 or more) pay 57.1% of FIT, and the bottom 50% (income of $30,122 or less) pay 3.3% of FIT…