In a February 16th posting on the Resources for the Future blog, Burtraw and Fischer summarize key aspects of the Mistra Carbon Exit Swedish research project. This posting emphasizes three key observations in the report and then indicates why the US is unlikely to adopt the Swedish approach. To put the Swedish project in context, … More Will the US Follow Sweden’s Approach to Zero Carbon Emissions?
In Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (1942), Joseph Schumpeter argued that economies grow through a process of creative destruction; that is, new ideas, products, and services drive out old versions since they offer better value. Schumpeter characterized capitalism as founded on such a process, but he concluded this book with the argument that eventually the process … More The Power of Creative Destruction
Recently, I posted an expanded version of my Fresh Take interview. In that piece, I focused on various facets of inflation, but did not address the role of monetary forces. On November 23rd, two prominent economists – Paul Krugman and Raghuram Rajan – provided contrasting views of how the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) should respond … More Inflation and Monetary Policy
Inflation, Government Spending and Modern Monetary Theory On Tuesday, November 16th, I was a guest on Josh Dukelow’s Fresh Take program . We discussed a variety of topics related to inflation including governmental spending and modern monetary theory. Since I put together a set of notes for the program, I decided to take this opportunity … More Inflation: Temporary or Sustained ?
In The End of Power (2014) Moises Naim addresses the history and sources of power from the observations of Machiavelli (1513) and Hobbes (1651) through Nietzsche (1885), Weber (1922), Schumpeter (1942) and Mills (1956) to contemporary visionaries/pundits/exploiters such as George Soros, Silvio Berlusconi, and Rupert Murdoch. Naim argues that the More, Mobility, and Mentality revolutions … More The Fragility of Power
In an August 5, 2021 posting, Diane Coyle makes the case for action on climate change. The UN Food Systems Summit in September and the UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November are obvious opportunities to move from incremental reform to significant progress…The challenge is really one of leadership: a small group of global … More Climate Change and Its Economic Implications
Previously, I reviewed Kimberly Clausing’s recent book Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital. She was recently appointed by the Biden administration to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Analysis. Yesterday, she testified before the Senate Committee on Finance. Her remarks highlight many of the points that she … More Global Corporate Tax Reform
A recent report from the British Institute for Fiscal Studies argues: “There is a large, unjustified and problematic bias against employment and labour incomes and in favour of business ownership and capital incomes.” FT opinion columnist Martin Wolf concludes that “the tax treatment of returns to investment is a mess: incentives depend on the asset … More A Fine (Taxation) Mess Gets Worse
Austin Frakt in a February 12, 2021 piece, posted both in Upshot and the Incidental Economist , argues that the Biden administration should establish a committee to determine appropriate prices for pharmaceuticals. This commentary contests both his economic and political arguments. Frakt’s argument seems to be based on the following claims: There exists a … More Please, Not Another “Blue Ribbon” Committee
In the January 31, 2021 issue of the Financial Times (FT), columnist Rana Foroohar titles her opinion piece “Joe Biden’s ‘Buy American’ isn’t bad, it’s necessary.” In this posting, I argue that the premise that “Buy American” will improve the standard of living of middle-income Americans – not to mention low income families – lacks … More “Buy American”: False Premises and False Promises