Economics Archive

The Delicate Rhetoric of World Government

I read Mark Thoma at Economist’s View as one of those correctives to spending too much time with people of similar ideas. I’m generally not on the same page. At all. I’m not this time either. He posts a long piece written by Barry Eichengreen and Brad deLong as an introduction to  Charles Kindleberger’s book […]

Now That’s A Wealth Effect

From NY Times via Marginal Revolution. The recent economic crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, the Federal Reserve said Monday [in its Survey of Consumer Finances].   Makes my equity losses a bit more bearable. Schadenfreude anyone? […]

Tacocopter Takeaway Drone: Regulation Fail, Theory Fail

 Tyler Cowen, and Ryan Avent at Free Exchange write on how difficult it would be for an entrepreneur to get up the idea of a drone takeaway delivery device: the tacocopter. And it wouldn’t be the technology that would stop it, it would be the regulatory, legal, liability, insurance, brand protection and other social and […]

Ban-Fest 2012: 10 More Things Bloomberg Can Ban

If we’re going to ban legal activities because they may have a personal or social cost for a minority who take them to an extreme (thanks, Mayor Bloomberg), then we need to expand the list. We really shouldn’t limit our ban-fest based on discriminatory prejudices about culture or class. My contribution to a more culturally-neutral […]

Bigger Impact: Public Sector Costs or Flexibility?

In the aftermath of the recall election in Wisconsin – driven by public sector unions opposing Governor Walker’s aggressive reforms – Reihan Salam discusses the lessons from that state and fellow-reforming state Indiana. The post discusses insights from Josh Barro and Stephen Smith  (on transport union rules, well worth reading), as well as Governor Daniels […]

Sunlight A Starting Point for Council And Public Sector Reform

When I asked Leichhardt Council (NSW) to respond to questions about performance and constantly received the answer “We do not collect that information”, it became obvious that the Sunlight Test applies to performance management as much as to unethical behaviour. The Sunlight Test (sometimes Sunshine Test), originally defined by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis in […]

France As Perfect Laboratory- More’s The Pity For Its People

Today I had the misfortune to read the French business daily, Les Echos. It was a stretch for my French, but oddly enough, the higher the language level, the easier it is. The misfortune was to discover, in detail, the first steps of the Hollande government. If you thought that the Rudd government’s hardening of […]

France As Perfect Laboratory – More’s The Pity For Its People

Today I had the misfortune to read the French business daily, Les Echos. It was a stretch for my French, but oddly enough, the higher the language level, the easier it is. The misfortune was to discover, in detail, the first steps of the Hollande government. If you thought that the Rudd government’s hardening of […]

Religious Subsidy? Try Handout to National Airlines

Passing through the United Arab Emirates and I picked up an interesting story on India’s Supreme Court ordering an end to subsidies for India’s Haj pilgrims. On the face, it is surprising the Indian Muslim community supported the order. Until you read that under regulations  the air route has been shared by national carriers Air […]

Departing on Budget Night is a Blessed Relief

Like watching Q&A, experiencing a Swannie budget night is necessary but painful beyond belief. But this time things are different. I have the good fortune to flying out of the country early tomorrow morning. I can tell myself that I’m not being slack for avoiding the speech and Budget Papers till after I take off; […]

More Regulation to Make Less Regulation

A quick post today before a seminar. Apologies for lack of links. I will add later today. Judith Sloan gets it right on regulatory overload for businesses – and on the tokenism of de-regulation and anti-red tape talk from our elected officials. Sadly, that seems to be true on both sides of politics. What is […]

The Problem Is Austerity For Thee, Not For Me

Much as David Uren talks sense, in his Anzac Day Oz piece I can’t help but feel there is a core point he doesn’t see. The thrust of his article is that the electorate won’t wear cutbacks, especially when the case for it is abstract and distant from their lives. Across the world, governments are […]

Hockey Kicks Over The Too-Hard Basket

Set aside the question of short term political impact. Joe Hockey’s speech  to the Institute for Economic Affairs is welcome and long overdue on the issues alone. And when I say overdue, I mean decades overdue for anyone with an historical eye and economic understanding. It is only now, after European and American financial failures […]

More Layers Of Accountability: Less Accountability

The kneejerk bureaucratic or authoritarian response to public failure is to add layers of supervision, direct control and oversight. Catallaxy raises this question about forensic experts in the US, but it speaks to all public sector activity. Indeed, dig a little deeper in conversation about service delivery, and with a very large percentage of people […]

Family Models: History and Future

This is a short extract from a long post by Reihan Salam. Whether you agree or not, it is a fascinating look at family structure, its history and the pressures driving its future. A mix of economics, history and sociology. He finishes on how family choices could drive regional political orientations. Interesting to consider how […]