Degrowth: A Flawed Strategy to Address Climate Change

This posting is largely a response to “Degrowth can work – Here’s how science can help,” authored by Jason Hickel and his colleagues. It relates to alternative strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and concentration. I agree with the authors’ notion that not all income growth has equivalent value, but that doesn’t mean that developed economies … More Degrowth: A Flawed Strategy to Address Climate Change

Will the US Follow Sweden’s Approach to Zero Carbon Emissions?

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?

The Power of Creative Destruction

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

The Fragility of Power

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

Climate Change and Its Economic Implications

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

A Fine (Taxation) Mess Gets Worse

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

Please, Not Another “Blue Ribbon” Committee

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