There Goes the Neighborhood

September 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Intangible Dividend in an Antipoverty Experiment – Happiness. This report is interesting because, like a lot of good research, it contradicts common sense. If you move the poor into affluent neighborhoods, there is no improvement in job or education outcomes – they just have more satisfying and happier lives.


And Canadian Indians?

April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

American Indians: Gambling on nation-building | The Economist. A reasonably balanced report.

Let Us Now Praise Stephen the Cautious

March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have a couple of favourite conservatives – David Frum is one. I can occasionally see a compassion inherited from his Mom – heck, more than occasionally. Frum praises Harper’s caution in the last Federal budget – don’t cut too much, gradually get to a balanced budget.

For the centre left to ignore the debt and deficit is dishonest. Maybe voters are tired of being lied to, that they can have supportive social programs and low taxes, which essentially means debt and deficit. We might, however, recommend modest tax increases and straightening out the tax code.

Can we return to the greatest political slogan of all time? “Corporate Welfare Bums”

My argument with Harper is that in addition to welcome gradualism, there does have to be some shift in emphasis so that we are doing better over a 5 to 20 year time line. This means an emphasis on research and development, infrastructure, and education for employment.

Almost all social problems get addressed by emphasizing those three things.

If you’re getting your underwear in a knot, just remember that Harper isn’t Ryan.

Shut Up Newt

March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

How Much Would You Pay For The Universe? – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast. I find it disheartening that Newt Gingrich should be the dreamer about space exploration. I also find the sarcasm in response disheartening. Economies are based on education and R & D – things that a space program are very efficient producing.

Why Won’t Supply Side Economics Be Killed?

March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Marginal Tax Rates and Wishful Thinking — Economic View –
This opinion piece is typical of what economists have been saying for a decade now. Again, demand is what increases supply. If there’s money to be made, companies will expand despite tax rates.

Rick Santorum’s Ugly Appeal to Rural Voters – The Daily Beast

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rick Santorum’s Ugly Appeal to Rural Voters – The Daily Beast. I’m not a big fan of the Daily Beast, but this is a nice analysis of why rural voters support conservative social agendas against their own economic self-interest. It certainly applies to some rural areas around Saskatoon. Rural residents in the last Federal election voted in favour of dismantling the Long Gun Registry at the expense of keeping the Canadian Wheat Board.

Challenging the Self-Made Myth

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Challenging the Self-Made Myth | The Nation.

This is a decent recap of the Elizabeth Warren argument about the supports that business receives because of tax dollars (roads, safety, educated workers, etc.). While the argument is useful, it’s not all myth. Accumulating investment capital, understanding markets, taking risks and all the other skills business people have are also important to economic success. It isn’t useful to recast it entirely as myth. Let’s be a little more nuanced.

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