Described by Andrew Samwick, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, as “the best WSJ Econoblog yet“, the Wall Street Journal has published another economic debate. This time it is between Nouriel Roubini and David Altig and the question is “Does Overseas Appetite for Bonds Put the U.S. Economy at Risk?”. The debate should be free only for the next
30 20 days, after that it will only be offered to paying customers. So please, those of you interested in this topic, rush over and read what you can.
Economists respond here and here.
Update: The Liberal Order has more.
Update: More on trade deficits here here and here.
The Wall Street Journal has posted another economics debate. This time it is between Max Sawicky and Tyler Cowen, on the topic of Tax Reform. It is a must read for those interested in the tax reform debate (No subscription needed for 30 days).
Discriminations, a blog by John Rosenberg, who is completing a dissertation at Stanford University on discrimination, has an interesting discussion in the comments section of one of his blogs relating to affirmative action.
In addition to John’s great contributions, an online friend of mine, El Blogero, is also contributing and in the process making very good points.
One of my favorite ones is this:
There may be entirely good reasons for AA today, such as to repair actual identified harms to individuals (as opposed to entire groups). King’s statement seems to be a recognition that blacks as a group at that time were substantially disadvantaged and unable to compete with whites (at the very least, this was almost universally true in the South).
Nonetheless, supporters of group AA, however well-intentioned they may be, have to acknowledge that the underpinning of their position is that blacks and latinos are unable to compete academically with whites and asians today. Set aside for now the debate on why; this is the essential underpinning (it is in fact the premise of Dr. King’s statement quoted above). It is not a remedy to address slavery because if it is, the inclusion of latinos is inexplicable. If it is a remedy to address past discrimination, then the exclusion of other minority groups that suffered past discrimination in the U.S., including asians and jews, is equally inexeplicable. Once this is acknowledged, the debate on why begins, but it still starts off with a rather odious premise.
Those who disagree with the concept of group AA, including this commenter, reject this premise today and instead believe that to the extent that the “why” debate points to factors such as poverty or lack of access, etc., then AA programs could be targetted to individuals for whome these factors apply without the reference to race. This would likely be acceptable to many persons opposed to AA, but likely not to those invested in the notion of AA as a group right.(emphasis added)
The whole discussion is worth your time and please remember to add El Blogero to your blogroll.
Does Bush’s budget proposal set right priorities on health care? Two economists set out to debate the issue, with John S. Irons Phd in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, representing the liberal side, and Russ Roberts Professor of Economics at George Mason University representing the conservative side.
Commentary can be found here and here.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d be guest blogging on a liberal friend’s blog, explaining and defending the conservative point of view of various topics to his viewers (mostly liberals).
Well, the first topic has (finally) come to an end. I’m very happy with the outcome since it seems both sides were fairly represented. The topic was abortion and the pro-life side (presented by yours truly) and pro-choice side (presented by my liberal friend) were presented and discussed.
Please make sure to go and check it out, paying special attention to the comments section at the end, since that is where most of the dialogue took place. There is more than enough there to guarantee that you will learn something new, and you’ll be able to see just how important and involved the abortion debate really is.
Highly respected economists Tyler Cowen and John Irons continue their dialogue on the Wall Street Journal(free to non-subscribers). Friday’s dialogue is on “Setting Priorities For the President“.
What I found interesting of this discussion is that Tyler Cowen put the question of vouchers to John Irons and John Irons wasn’t able to respond. Tyler Cowen writes,
We should extend those same competitive pressures to K-12 education. It is no accident that American universities are the best in the world but at lower levels our children often don’t learn how to read and write.
John, you often write of fairness. The relatively wealthy Bill Clinton had the choice to send his daughter to a private school in Washington, D.C. Why should the city’s poorer residents — who cannot afford private education — be restricted to low-quality, government-run schools? Spending more taxpayer money on government schools simply has not and will not do the trick.
And John had nothing to say. He writes,
I do indeed write of fairness, but to me fairness is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, and this means increasing school funding, improving federal education policy and thereby opening the American dream to everyone. Allowing the wealthy to buy good education, good health care and good retirement plans while leaving the middle class to struggle isn’t how I want to see our nation.
Uh, how does that address vouchers John? Inquiring minds want to know.
Regardless, it’s a good discussion. They even bring up immigration. Go and check it out.
Highly respected economists Tyler Cowen and John Irons continue their dialogue on the Wall Street Journal(free to non-subscribers). Today’s(or yesterday, since I am a day late) dialogue is on Tax Reform.
What I found most interesting about this discussion is the overwhelming importance placed on the growth rate. Liberals seem to place great importance on income inequality, when in fact it is the growth rate that is of higher importance.
Highly respected economists Tyler Cowen and John Irons continue their debate on the Wall Street Journal(free to non-subscribers). Today’s(or yesterday, since I am a day late) debate is on The Economic Fortunes Of Europe and Asia.
They do the normal back and forth on how China isn’t such a threat, and how it is economic policies that ultimately guide which direction a country is headed, long term. However, there was one point that caught my attention, John Irons makes a mistake when he says, speaking of Irelands vast economic transformation, “While you attribute the growth to lower taxes, I think much of the growth came as a result of a good deal of foreign aid from the EU — Ireland is one of the top recipients per capita.”
This isn’t the case at all, in fact, the Economists specifically rebukes this point . When it gives the reasons for Irelands success, it states,
•European Union subsidies. Countries such as Germany, the chief EU paymaster, like to argue that Ireland’s miracle was due to huge transfers from Brussels. Yet European money had been pouring into Ireland since 1973, at first to little obvious effect. The expansion of the EU’s structural funds after the Maastricht treaty of 1992 was helpful, but even then transfers never exceeded 5% of Irish GDP, a far smaller proportion than, say, west German transfers to east Germany. The most authoritative studies suggest that EU subsidies may have added around 0.5% a year to growth during the 1990s—useful, but modest in the context of average growth of 6.9%.
Had John been reading my blog, he would have known this, since I specifically blogged on Irelands economic turnaround.
Highly respected economists Tyler Cowen and John Irons continue their debate on the Wall Street Journal(free to non-subscribers). Today’s(or yesterday, since I am a day late) debate deals with outsourcing.
What I find interesting about the debate is that both economists, John Irons representing the liberal side, and Tyler Cowen representing the libertarian side, agreed with outsourcing.
Tyler Cowen even goes so far as to say, “To assert that poorer countries “take advantage of us” is to beg the question and deny the benefits of free trade, which are commonly accepted by virtually all economists. Even the left-wing Paul Krugman remains a free-trade advocate.”(emphasis added)
These are strong statements to make. Can somebody please pass this along to the democrat party? John Edwards, are you reading this?