Economics and Business

Economics and Business

Fiscal policy is an exercise in applied moral philosophy...(and Open Thread)

Ed Kleinbard's book presents a challenge and a reproach....


Fiscal policy is an exercise in applied moral philosophy as well as economics," he says. "The economics of taxation is quite straightforward. What's difficult is figuring out what values we are trying to articulate; spending is how we articulate those shared values."

Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent

I've run into skepticism lately about systemic bank fraud and/or law enforcement looking the other way. Here's a short diary on the systemic mortgage fraud that contributed to the housing bubble/financial crisis and a likely side effect today of the "soft on financial crime" approach by the government - systemic auto loan fraud during the recovery. 


Why I'm Skeptical About Piketty

Like many of you, I am yet to read Capital in the 21st Century but have grazed a number of reviews and write-ups about it. Here’s why I’m approaching the book with some skepticism.


The book’s thesis is that returns to capital (r) have been greater than growth of the economy (g), and that this relationship will continue, causing wealth (and thus inequality) to continue to grow.


Enrollment around 80% and counting

It was previously suggested here that "you don't know how many of the 2.1 million have enrolled, but most likely well less than half" (emphasis mine) with the oft-repeated claim being that a majority of people who selected Obamacare plans would not make the necessary premium payment to complete the purchase of those plans. 


Who Wins the Internet TV Race?

There has been a lot of interesting speculation on blogs such a Fred Wilson's on who will win the race to provide TV over the internet. (Read the comments to get the full flavor.)


Tesla: How to Make Conservative Investors Lose Their Shirts

These past few weeks I've been quietly watching Tesla stock go up, and up.


And up.


And in good measure thanks to conservative investors; the kind who watch Fox News, pay attention to Sarah Palin, or believe Mitt Romney, or David Stockman for that matter, or Jim Cramer.


Obamacare Implementation, Part-Time Workers Edition

A major potential problem with Obama's healthcare bill is that it requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for every employee who works 30 hrs. or more.


Wealth Inequality in America (Can Youtube Lead the Revolution?)

...a simple clear explanation can lead to a revolution in previous unassailable thinking.


That's always been the premise in academic thought on Revolution as a reasonably common means of social change. And, it should go without saying to a subtle mind that a Revolution need not be bloody to be real and effective.


The below video has gone viral with over 4 Million Views.


It is things like this that may change our world.




Kids watching this.


Federal Spending on the elderly vs. young

I've noticed an uptick in the idea on the left that the federal government should shift its spending from seniors to kids. Some progressives friendly to the Obama admin have written on this, e.g. Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum. Some on this site have mentioned that they believe we should be willing to look at cuts to spending on the elderly to focus more dollars on, for example, funding universal preschool. 


How Private Equity Killed the Twinkie

HankP's picture

While Mitt Romney has (hopefully) moved off the national stage, despised by his erstwhile supporters, it's important not to forget what we learned during the campaign - specifically about how Bain Capital, and private equity in general, works. We have a great example of that in the bankruptcy and dissolution of Hostess (formerly known as Interstate Bakeries), maker of Twinkies and other snack foods.


Would This Be Utopia?

HankP's picture



Based on a discussion in my last diary, I have a little thought experiment.


I Am a Job Destroyer

HankP's picture


I know that job creators are all the rage these days, but I thought I'd just point out that my line of work consists of destroying jobs.




I help small businesses install and maintain computer systems. The reason people hire me is basically for two reasons: speed and cost savings. And the biggest cost savings are in personnel not needed because of automation.


Big Bill Haywood's Open Thread

Is there a man (or woman) among us with pluck enough to wear this hero of the workingman's pants?

Banksters: Give us more money! Treasury: Sure!

So this the second time I read about the Treasury moving towards making one of those historic "mistakes" that will come back to bite the American tax payer quite hard a few years from now.


The bad idea: floating rate bonds.


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