Friday, July 8, 2011

General Economics

WSJ | EPA to Require New Pollution Cuts
Power Plants Will Need to Sharply Curtail Soot and Smog; Rule Draws Fire From GOP, Businesses.
WSJ | France's Trade Deficit Sets Record
France's foreign-trade gap hit a new record in May for the third time this year, data showed Thursday, suggesting the country is losing its struggle to maintain its competitiveness on global markets.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Washington Post | The Elmendorf Rule
Here we go again. An approaching crisis. A looming deadline. Nervous markets. And then, from the miasma of gridlock, rises our president, calling upon those unruly congressional children to quit squabbling, stop kicking the can down the road and get serious about debt.
Bloomberg | Postrel: Public Works Built on Rosy Scenarios
“Infrastructure” may be one of the least glamorous words in the English language, but with the right touch the concrete and steel of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and railroads can look as alluring as a movie star.

Marginal Revolution | One of the very best articles on the AD shortfall
We are not as wealthy as we thought we were, and that’s especially true for the Irish.
EconLog | The Power of Folk Macroeconomics
In textbook macroeconomics, aggregate demand is aggregate demand. It does not matter whether nominal GDP goes up because of monetary expansion or fiscal expansion.
Marginal Revolution | Government size and economic growth
I thought the new paper by Andreas Bergh and Magnus Henrekson was both useful and wise...
Forbes: On the Cutting Edge | Fallacies Of Economic Equality That Promote Poverty
First, to achieve true and comprehensive equality would involve gross violations of personal liberty, as the talented and capable must be prevented from using their abilities and advantages to get ahead of others, or to make any feel inferior.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | The Connection Between Obesity and Poverty
A new report finds shows that Americans are getting fatter and notes worse rates among those with low incomes, but some states don’t exactly fit the pattern.

Health Care

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
WSJ | An ObamaCare Drug Preview in Germany
Do you want penny pinchers nixing safe medicines before they've had a chance in the marketplace?
Washington Times | VENABLE: Mojo building to blow another hole in Obamacare
President’s Medicaid scam will crater state budgets.

Atlantic: McArdle | How Much Does Medicaid Improve Well-Being?
Probably the most controversial thing I've ever written is that the evidence for the effect of health insurance on mortality is not really that strong.


Tax Foundation | California Has An On-Time, Balanced Budget; Sales Tax Drops
California has now done the improbable: they confronted their structural imbalance and solved it, passing an $85.9 billion general fund budget.


Econ Comments                                                                                                             
Forbes | 1971: Bretton Woods And The Four-Decade Trauma Of Its Collapse
Gold is the essential input for currency stability.

WSJ: Real Time Economics | Switching Government Inflation Measure Could Yield Big Savings
One proposal in the budget talks that is getting a serious look from all sides would switch the government’s way of measuring inflation and delivering a big impact on tax, spending, and entitlement programs.
Forbes: The Economic Imagination | Price Controls Make A Statement About Society
The cruel irony of this is that the entire difference between the legal maximum price and the price people are willing to pay for every gallon that is supplied will evaporate as people stand in line for gas.  Everyone is unambiguously worse off relative to where they would be without price controls.
WSJ: Real Time Economics | Fed’s Hoenig: Central Bank Should Have Raised Rates Some Time Ago
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig again on Thursday argued for the central bank to raise interest rates.


WSJ | Movement in Budget Impasse
Big Issues Under Discussion Include Social Security, Major Revamp of Tax Code.

Econ Comments                                                                                                             
NRO | Budget Danger Ahead
...the president wants to raise taxes without getting blamed for it. Hence the disingenuous cat-and-mouse games aimed at luring Republicans into accepting tax hikes behind closed doors so that the president never actually has to take ownership of them before they become law. Quite a trick if he can get away with it.
WSJ | California's Millionaire Windfall
Imagine: a balanced budget without a tax increase.
Washington Times | Democrats’ big budget lie
Poorest Americans pay no income tax, get refunds anyway.


Mercatus Center: Neighborhood Effects | Job creation or job protection in California?
The Mercury Sun News editorial provides a strong critique of several pieces of new Sacramento legislation, claiming the bills are simply jobs protection measures for unionized employees.
Calculated Risk | Employment Summary, Part Time Workers, and Unemployed over 26 Weeks
The only good news is that June is over.