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Milton's best contribution was to suggest a "negative income tax" as a micro-economically better alternative to welfare. It is a shame it is the only one of his ideas that was basically ignored, because all his other major ideas have proved wrong.
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The ability to save has little to do with the level of wages. Far more crucial are the level of land prices and economic security (at low wages one single large set back can undo years of savings and insecure income restricts or increases the price of access to lending). A basic income would help with both problems. (With land prices by encouraging some people to move to where they can afford to live - rather than staying where the jobs are - and so spreading both economic development and easing pressure on rents. With economic security and access to lending more directly.)
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It seems to me that the problem is simply one of inadequate competition. I wonder how it is that economists didn't notice.
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David Cay Johnson continuing to run exposes on the Trump clan. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/14/donald-trump-junior-and-ivanka-material-witnesses-in-huge-tax-scam-case.html And some people think Hillary is dishonest.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2016 on Links for 07-15-16 at Economist's View
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David, it is very hard to fight ignorance. If people are angry because they misunderstand something, then they tend to get even more angry when you try to correct their misunderstand (because "you are calling me stupid" - even if you are not - I know trump at one stage accused someone who accused him of being ignorant responded by saying "I'm not stupid"). Somehow you need to let them discover that they are wrong by themselves, or plant patient sources of knowledge in their peer environment. A physical world featuring strong political segmentation acts against this.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2016 on Cameron's Failure: Austerity at Economist's View
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Of course it is harder to move up the ladder. Firstly, demography plays a role (the top rungs have already been occupied a long time ago are still not being given free). Secondly, the ladders keep changing as technology changes so that many people are playing snakes and ladders and there are now more snakes.
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Once again I should point out that monopsony, oligopoly and oligopsony are just as bad: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect
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The real problem is that Linux shells are still not user friendly enough, and not enough software is written to run on them. Plus windows dominates via OEM control of hardware supply.
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David mmm... never got Vista (I'm a careful buyer) but Windows 8 was OK, 10 better.
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I sort of hate this thoughtless assumption: https://afinetheorem.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/the-gift-of-moving-intergenerational-consequences-of-a-mobility-shock-e-nakamura-j-sigurdsson-j-steinsson-2016/ "is that due to increasing land use regulation, local changes in total factor productivity increase housing costs" - no increasing land use regulation (is it in fact a reality) have little to do with it: http://www.fresheconomicthinking.com/2016/05/time-to-throw-out-standard-urban.html http://www.fresheconomicthinking.com/2015/09/doing-housing-supply-maths.html
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2016 on Links for 07-12-16 at Economist's View
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Yep - but you don't even need to borrow - you could just print money. More infrastructure investment (not just repairs but new infrastructure would encourage new profitable investment and raise real interest rates - not to mention that the deficit would probably shrink because of increased tax returns and reduced net transfers anyway).
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2016 on Paul Krugman: Cheap Money Talks at Economist's View
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I suppose regulation and redistribution both start with "R" (and besides I thought the market for lemons argument meant that regulation could also encourage markets) and everybody knows that words starting with "R" (like reading, writing and rithmetic - not to mention reasoning) are bad things, don't they.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2016 on Links for 07-08-16 at Economist's View
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pgl Besides which how does redistribution "stifle" free markets. If I create new spending capacity, they still need to spend it. So someone will need to produce to satisfy that demand. Isn't that encouraging free markets?
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2016 on Links for 07-08-16 at Economist's View
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P.S. That is borrowing from the canard that a Libertarian is someone who is born on third base and thought he hit a triple.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2016 on Links for 07-08-16 at Economist's View
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Sandwichman The problem is not that the game is rigged, the problem is that people are not playing the game that they thought they were. To use another metaphor, people are playing baseball but not starting from scratch but starting from 10 runs down in the last innings.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2016 on Links for 07-08-16 at Economist's View
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I know on a crooked timber somebody made the point, and I think it is a very good one, that part of the problem is generations of experience with mass media advertisements, have increased the ability of manipulators to expertly undermine the rational enquiry that is the basis of the enlightenment. We are now seeing the result. Democracy worked very well, for a considerable period of time, why has it ceased working so well. What has undermined it?
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2016 on Links for 07-07-16 at Economist's View
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oops - to continue: 1. People have adopted the attitude that they are consumers of government, whereas in fact there are responsible for government. Electing a good government is a duty, not a right and people should approach the job as giving the best vote for my fellow citizens, not giving the best vote for me. (Voting your own interests is irrational anyway because you only provide a very small fraction of the votes and you can only achieve anything in conjunction with others). People should see it also as a duty to inform themselves - best by listening to genuine experts. 2. Too many people don't vote. I am in favour of quasi-compulsory voting, like in Australia. Voting should be a duty that goes with the privilege of citizenship. 3. Many voting systems (especially first past the past in gerrymandered single member electorates) essentially disenfranchise large numbers of voters making point 2 worse.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2016 on Links for 07-07-16 at Economist's View
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http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-06/voters-are-making-a-mess-of-democracy Thought provoking piece. My first reaction is that making good policy is not the purpose of democracy. Conferring legitimacy on the government is. But it is true, the government will not be necessarily better than the electorate that elects is. But I think the problem really lies elsewhere, and these problems are not addressed:
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2016 on Links for 07-07-16 at Economist's View
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http://voxeu.org/article/globalisation-and-polarisation-wake-brexit "... the task for policymakers is to make these gains felt by the majority of voters." So why not just use a national dividend to ensure that everybody has a stake in the growth in the economy?
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2016 on Links for 07-06-16 at Economist's View
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Reform the electoral system. In the US it is a higher priority than almost anything else.
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ilsm Trump is almost certainly criminal (he has long associations with known criminals), whereas Clinton despite constant denunciation and investigation remains in the clear. Something is wrong with your connection to empiricism.
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No I disagree with this. The Democrats can't possibly adopt the same tactics as the Republicans and remain an alternative. The same tactics on the other side amount to soviet propaganda. It is simply not democratic. The real problem is that the Democrats can't call propaganda, propaganda. They should start calling Fox news Pravda.
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Wow! Such bitter sarcasm is indeed rare. I doubt if Glasner and Feldstein will ever share a beer.
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Sandwichman - quote from Karl William Kapp "I agree with those who have criticized the use of the concept of externalities as empty and incompatible with the logical structure of the static equilibrium theory." But my pet hate is exactly static equilibrium theory. The economy is FUNDAMENTALLY a dynamic system (since it involves one way exchanges and one way transformations of raw materials). Static equilibrium theory is completely and utterly inappropriate.
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I think Sandwichman is to a considerable extent correct, but perhaps rephrasing his message would make it clearer - the biggest problem we have in the present time is that we are pursuing the wrong targets.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2016 on Links for 07-05-16 at Economist's View
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