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
For the past year or so, I have been working with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) to attempt to convince Wisconsin Congressmen to support The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763 of 2020) or other policies that employ significant carbon fees for those who produce and consume green house gases. In that spirit, … More Carbon Fees and Legislative Action
Previously (here and here), I have posted on the Fox Valley Health Care Transformation Initiative. In the past couple of months, Bill McLaughlin and I have done podcasts related to the character of medical care markets in general and the Fox Valley market place in particular. These podcast are now available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, … More Fox Valley Health Care Transformation Initiative Podcasts
In contrast with my typical postings that relate to some aspect of economic or health policy, this one aims much higher. In this piece, I cite the words of Orthodox Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, to illuminate a set of values … More In Memorium: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948-2020)
In “The Age of Magic Money: Can Endless Spending Prevent Economic Calamity?”, Sebastian Mallaby raises a variety of questions about the use of aggressive macroeconomic policy to achieve stable economic growth. He begins his July/August 2020 Foreign Affairs paper with an interesting claim: “Crises can drive change, but sometimes it takes two crises to cement a … More Does Macroeconomic Policy Offer a Free Lunch?
A Review of Kimberly Clausing recent book Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital In a recent article in Foreign Affairs (November / December 2019), Clausing clearly states why she has chosen to write this book now. It has almost become the new Washington consensus: decades of growing economic openness have … More Making the Global Economy Work for Everyone
America used to be known as the land of free markets. That may have been the case in the past, but for many sectors, it no longer holds true. In The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up On Free Markets, Thomas Philippon makes the case that since 2000, Europe and America have switched places. America … More America: The Land of the Not So Free Markets: A Review of The Great Reversal by Thomas Philippon
It’s time to replace employer sponsored health insurance (ESI) in the United States with a Federally funded payment system that is more efficient, more fair, and more stable. The Covid-19 pandemic driven instability in the US economy and illumination of the inadequacies of our health care system provide a unique policy window (see above figure … More Replace Employer Health Insurance: If Not Now, When?