When you point out that other countries grow as fast (or faster) than the US does and innovate as much (or more) than the US does, all while having higher tax levels, lower poverty, and lower inequality, eventually partisans of laissez-faire capitalism come around to say those countries are all one-off exceptions owing to their [...]
Often, it’s said that welfare states are dizzyingly complicated. So many programs! Impossible to rationalize! But this isn’t necessarily true. You can make welfare systems that are bizarrely complicated, but laying out a basic welfare framework doesn’t have to be a byzantine affair. Consider the following four-part framework that captures the vast majority of what [...]
The meme on the fringes of web identity commentary (I, II, III, et al) has been that Bernie Sanders doesn’t speak to Black and Latino issues. This is remarkable because, of course, the economic issues Bernie talks about are consistently ranked in public opinion surveys as the most important [...]
Robert Solow once remarked:
Every discussion among economists of the relatively slow growth of the British economy compared with the Continental economies ends up in a blaze of amateur sociology.
This is the final move of right-wing economists whenever the assumptions of their ideologically-infused policy prescriptions end up contradicted by observed reality. After a few [...]
In a new piece in Democracy Journal, Nick Hanauer and David Rolf argue that, in response to the rise of the sharing economy, we need to transition away from our employer-provided welfare benefit system to a more public system. Jeff Spross had a nearly identical (though considerably shorter) argument in The Week earlier this [...]
When I am not reading economics-related material, one of the things I like to do is probe the strangest depths of Tumblr identity debates. Although I don’t write about it much (save one time before) and have no particular interest in their outcomes, I find these debates extremely fascinating on a purely argumentative [...]
The college financing debate has a lot of weird quirks in it. One of those weird quirks is what gets spoken of as the costs of attending college. Consider the following three costs:
Opportunity costs (i.e. foregone income in the years you are studying).
Direct costs of college itself (i.e. tuition, books, fees, etc.). [...]
Is this aggression?
I produce some source code and release it under the GPL, which requires that if you use the code in a program you create and distribute, you must release the source code of that program.
You download the source code and then use it in a piece of software you produce. [...]
In my prior post, I remarked about the amusing case of tech libertarians who fashion themselves self-made geniuses despite the fact that they rely heavily upon the communistically developed free open source software (Linux, GNU, PHP, MySQL, HTTP servers, etc.) that form the foundation of the entire modern web and app economy. I [...]
One of the remarkable things about tech libertarians and the culture that surrounds them is that the modern tech economy is only possible because of more socialistic endeavors. By this I don’t mean the by now hackneyed point that the internet was the fruit of public research while the world wide web was gifted to [...]