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"Do the policies simply redistribute economic activity from one region to another, what economists call a "zero-sum game," or do they create a positive aggregate effect from easing tax burdens and other restrictions?" I'm sorry but "easing tax burdens and other restrictions" is not necessarily a benefit. In fact the whole language seems to me to miss the point that measuring benefits and costs in a single unit of account is a distortion. And where is Sandwichman to make this point more forcefully?
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P.S. I believe that one of the most pernicious waste products of nuclear power is heat pollution (which damages the ecology of rivers and lakes).
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"Of course, terawatts of energy are showered on the earth everyday and when not harvested, are lost. No energy shortage will exist on the earth for a million years." Energy is lost when it is radiated back into space. Energy not radiated back into space is retained, mostly as heat. We cannot increase our generation of energy without retaining some of the heat.
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"Mr. Autor ... added, “If we automate all the jobs, we’ll be rich—which means we’ll have a distribution problem, not an income problem.”" Who is the "we" he is referring to here. It really matters. And I can remember that although Mark Thoma argues: "I've been arguing for a long time that in coming decades the major question will be about distribution, not production." He still is lukewarm about direct redistribution (and the most direct is a basic income).
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OK I'm going to be really "evil" here. Efficiency isn't everything. Justice isn't everything. There I said it. For heaven's sake (well really for "our" sake) can we stop trying to optimize oversimplified goals. It has led to a great mess.
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pgl I always find it curious that the right thinks the following three things are compatible 1. Weeding the inferior teachers from the profession 2. Reducing the pay of teachers in general 3. Increasing the productivity of society as a whole Are they convinced that all the bad teachers must be absolutely brilliant at something else, and all the good teachers must be hopeless at everything else?
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I tend to be of another view. We should have as an aim (and we will have to discuss what policies with achieve this, but first we need to establish the aim) that it should be easier to become rich and harder to stay rich. And yes that does imply that the distance between rich and not rich has to be reduced.
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"Obama is pragmatic to an extreme." Interesting statement, but I'm not sure if it is true. Doesn't it rather conflict with the view from above that he is (in contrast to almost everybody else in politics) squeaky clean? But it is true some people have a problem with pragmatism (at least in the US). Maybe it is a sort of envy (they are slaves of their ideological identity perhaps). Not sure.
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I actually don't understand Simon's argument. Why can't they just sell bonds? I'm sure any MMT advocate would ask him the same question.
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Start a National Dividend. Stop employers having power over people's ability to subsist. It is the only thing that scales (it doesn't disappear when the business cycle turns sour, it doesn't result in massively expensive strikes, it doesn't falter to foreign competition, it isn't threatened by technological change, it even works against land rents as it has a decentralizing impact. If we want to keep a market economy there is no better way to distribute power - power in a market economy comes from money - so distribute money.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on 'Even Better Than a Tax Cut' at Economist's View
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I'm just wondering if there isn't a new Moore's Law in the offing. Something about the number of lies doubling every year of something.
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Paine "The destiny of social production is too important to be left to the private profiteers " Even more so if they are foreigners.
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Anne "Again, the recent recession cost relatively more in income for the richest but actually increased the relative wealth advantage of the richest. The recovery from the recession has favored the richest and allowed them to regain most of the share of income they had in 2007. However what the richest have gained is an increased share of wealth which will allow them to add to the share of income they have in future." Precisely, but the statement is also not true except in one very specific sense. Firstly, inequality HAS risen for three of the last four years according to data you present. Secondly, if present trends continue the high point from before the crash will soon (or has already been) passed. This really is the nittiest of nitpicking.
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P.S. I agree with this: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2015/02/animal-spirits-and-business-cycles.html#comment-6a00d83451b33869e201b8d0d871ff970c It not consumption that is the driver it is investment.
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Matt, you do realize that there is more than one buyer, and more than one seller.
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"(and we need to rediscover Ivan Illich and realize that testing (credentialisation) and teaching should be regarded as two separate things" If we can do it with drivers licenses why can't we do it with professional training?
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Student loans are the biggest or second biggest part of the great risk shift that is hollowing out the middle class. I agree with Larry (amazing) that education should be cheaper (and we need to rediscover Ivan Illich and realize that testing (credentialisation) and teaching should be regarded as two separate things).
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Peter K, yep - in the short term it amounts to the same thing.
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(oops) if people are not credit constrained then consumption goes to infinity.
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Robert, P.S. On another blog, I pointed out that if there really was a THE rate of time preference, then there is some magic interest rate above which people only save (consumption falls to zero) and below which people only spend (savings falls to zero).
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Robert There is no " THE rate of time preference ". There are lots of different ones and they keep changing.
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My preferred approach to drug research is that there are several independent non-profit research institutes whose funding is donations from the industry. Products from this research are then auctioned back to the industry using recorded donations as currency for the bids (on the patent basis of the previous post - several independent producers). That way the industry can influence but not control the research.
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I've said many times that I do not think owners of standards should be allowed to produce them (you get situations like this). A patent must not imply no competition (you could say if you own a patent you must auction 'n' licenses where n > 1 and the licensees are independent of you). The licensees then would not know their market share and so would adopt the practice of maximizing their sales not their price.
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One perhaps useful distinction, new science is not the same thing as innovation. Patents are good for encouraging innovation.
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P.S. There is "R & D" that is not new science based, for which patents are perfectly OK (e.g. producing a better TV or vacuum cleaner).
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