Ten Second News

How Big Is the Multiplier?

by James Hanley This guest post is in response to a discussion with Clawback on the multiplier effect of government spending for fiscal stimulus. I argued there was no consensus about whether that multiplier was positive or not, and Clawback argued that there is solid evidence about what the multiplier is, and that the lack…

Bastiat and Stimulus

Matt Yglesias has a smart post up on Frederic Bastiat’s “What is Seen and What is Not Seen” essay, noting that ” the correct way to understand it is as precisely laying down the theoretical conditions in which stimulative policies do work.” He goes on: The bulk of his early cases proceed by referring to a number of…

The Jobless ‘Recovery’

It’s worth reading  Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery’s article at Mother Jones on the ‘great speed-up’. The looming possibility of a double-dip recession notwithstanding, the economic recovery so far has been decidedly lopsided. While corporate profits are up, the American workforce fared much worse. People on one end of the scale are working longer hours but aren’t seeing an increase in pay. On…

We Need Countercyclical Spending, Not Counterintuitive Spending Cuts

Matt Yglesias points out once again that since we can borrow money at basically negative real interest rates, we should do it. We should do it to stimulate the economy, put money into infrastructure like high-speed rail, and get the beast chugging along again. Given that lower-than-projected growth is actually leading to an increase in…

Hayekian Stimulus

If you watch this Hayek vs. Keynes rap again, you’ll notice that very rarely throughout are the two men actually disagreeing with one another. They’re largely talking past one another, with Keynes speaking directly to the issue of recession and recovery, and Hayek speaking more along the lines of central planning, decentralized knowledge and the importance…

The stimulus effect

How much unemployment can we blame on the Obama administration? Economist Rob Shapiro dug into some Bureau of Labor Statistics data and came back with the best numbers I’ve seen on the subject. He separated job losses into two buckets: Those that happened before the stimulus, which was Obama’s major effort to deal with joblessness,…

A Response to Paul Krugman

by Christopher Carr Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s existence in the popular consciousness largely rests on ideological antagonism.  Krugman’s infamous September 2009 New York Times Magazine editorial, “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?“, attacking University of Chicago’s John Cochrane and others, was the “Hit Em Up” of economic policy debate. “How Did Economists Get…

David Brooks and the Demand Siders

David Brooks is mostly making sense in his latest column. He’s absolutely correct that more and more indiscriminate stimulus spending is a dubious economic fix at best, and has long-term implications including new unfunded ‘temporary’ government programs and a bailout for public workers while the private sector continues to suffer. He’s right that more debt…

The Age of Ideological Uncertainty

Indulge me, if you will, in a little self-reflection. I would probably describe myself as a libertarian conservative. I’m pretty sympathetic to the ideas of limited, decentralized government, free markets, and a decent respect for history and the culture. One thing I can’t muster, however, is the righteous certitude that seems to characterize so many…

Conflicts of interest

James Joyner points us to this bit of union badness from Mickey Kaus: I knew they’d find a way to punish Ford: The new UAW contract with Ford apparently does not give America’s surviving non-bankrupt automaker parity with GM and Chrysler, reports Bloomberg: “The plan doesn’t include cuts to retiree benefits, such as vision coverage, that were granted to GM…

Beyond the Stimulus?

David Leonhardt writing in the NyTimes: But while Washington has been preoccupied with stimulus and bailouts, another, equally important issue has received far less attention — and the resolution of it is far more uncertain. What will happen once the paddles have been applied and the economy’s heart starts beating again? How should the new…

Sometimes the Quid Is Better than the Quo

There is much ado today about the fact that Obama, apparently in response to conservatives’ objections, has asked House Democrats to withdraw a provision in the stimulus package that would provide family planning money for low income families.   Some of the more partisan elements of the left are particularly upset about this, arguing that this…