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Why is democracy something people should strive for?
by Mike Kimel People always talk about the Laffer curve, but have you ever seen it estimated? Have you ever wondered why you don't?
The UN will announce the arrival of the 7 billionth human a week today. It seems not to regard the day as one to be celebrated. Why else declare what is, after all, only a guesstimate on 31 October, a solemn day of mourning in the Christian calendar and of ghoulish Halloween partying in the Anglo-Saxon world? Some demographers warn of catastrophic environmental degradation, most acute in the areas where the population grows fastest – the ecologically fragile sub-Saharan Africa – while policies to tackle poverty and disease stall. Others argue that population growth is not necessarily a bad thing: it is only 12 years since the birth of the six billionth person was announced and, for a majority of the world's population, more things have got better than worse.
We've known for some time that the degree of social mobility in the US is much less than people believe. But given how widespread the mobility myth is -- the false perception that there is equal (enough) opportunity allows us to be more accepting of unequal outcomes than we would be if we knew how stagnant social outcomes actually are -- the evidence that rebuts this belief is worth repeating: Is The American Dream A Myth?, by Ronald Brownstein, National Journal : One tenet that separates the United States from other countries is our belief in upward mobility. A study of attitudes in 27 countries found that Americans, more than people elsewhere, tend to believe that intelligence, skill, and effort will be rewarded with success.
This article, previously published in Re-public (and written in cooperation with Franz Nahrada and Gleb Tyurin ), takes at hypothesis that a new long wave of strong capitalist growth is still in the realm of possibilities. My own position is that this still can happen, provided strong structural reforms would be undertaken, which is not very likely at this very moment, but could still take place a few years down the road under stronger social pressure. I do not believe however, that humanity has the time for a full Kondratieff wave of 50-60 years, given present danger signs for the biopsphere, and energy and resource depletion generally.
Economics has been around for almost four hundred years as a field of study. For most of its existence, it was known as “ political economy .” Glasgow University was the last academic holdout, only changing the name of its department to “Economics” in 1998.
The past dozen years or so have witnessed the emergence of a distinctive approach to the social sciences that its practitioners refer to as "analytical sociology." Peter Hedström's Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology (2005) serves as a manifesto for the approach, and Pierre Demeulenaere, ed., Analytical Sociology and Social Mechanisms
Ricardo Caballero on the state of macroeconomics : ... Region: At the end of last year, you published a rather biting critique of the way both academic and central bank researchers practice macroeconomics. 18 You warned that what you called the “pretense-of-knowledge syndrome” is dangerous for both methodological and policy reasons.
Its a recent development that economists are turning to neuroscience to inform and enrich economic theory. One controversial aspect is the potential use of neuroscience data to draw conclusions about welfare that go beyond traditional revealed preference. It is nicely summarized by this quote from Camerer, Lowenstein, and Prelec. The foundations of economic theory were constructed assuming that details about the functioning of the brain’s black box would not be known. This pessimism was expressed by William Jevons in 1871: I hesitate to say that men will ever have the means of measuring directly the feelings of the human heart. It is from the quantitative effects of the feelings that we must estimate their comparative amounts.
In numerous past posts that focused on development, I have stressed that progress can seldom be made when a country is weighed down by corruption. Corruption is perhaps the single most corrosive factor that keeps developing countries mired in poverty. Corruption also affects developed countries since it unproductively siphons off resources. Each year Transparency International publishes a Corruption Perceptions Index in which it ranks how well or how poorly countries are doing when it comes to eliminating corruption.
Posted by Mark Thoma on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 12:03 AM in Economics , Links | Permalink Comments (0) Out and about today, so quickly: Do intellectual property rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation?
Simon Johnson , the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund , is the co-author of “ 13 Bankers .” Tami Chappell/Reuters Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. in a speech in Atlanta this week, said, “The U.S. banking system today is less concentrated than that of any other major country.” In a major speech earlier this week to the American Bankers Association’s international monetary conference, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner laid out his view of what went wrong in the financial sector before 2008, how the crisis was handled 2008-10 and what is needed to reform the system. As chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the only senior member of President Obama ’s original economic team remaining in place, Mr.
My esteemed co-blogger Deep T made the comment that too little attention is being paid on MacroBusiness to creative solutions to the problems that are documented in great detail on MacroBusiness. I would go a step further. Economic analysis generally suffers from a deep flaw. Because it is a quasi-science (although in no respect truly scientific) is does not concentrate on what is new and unique.
I just posted this at MoneyWatch: Does This Ease Your Worries?: US GDP from 1870-2008 : As you can see from this picture, historically we've always recovered from recessions. Eventually. But as you can also see from the Great Depression, recovery has not always been immediate -- the source of Keynes famous "In the long-run we're all dead."
Humanity’s impact has spread unevenly but everywhere as we have transformed land and sea to meet the demands of a population that has doubled to 7 billion in 40 years. This map of the human footprint on land shows the combined impact of population density, land transformation, accessibility, and electric-power infrastructure, using nine data sets that researchers scored in terms of estimated contribution to human influence. The corresponding map of the oceans shows the effects of 17 different human activities, such as commercial fishing and pollution from cargo shipping. Both sets of results factored in differences between Earth’s various ecosystems.
Abundance vs Scarcity