One of the most common fallacies in the economics blogosphere — and elsewhere — is what I call “devalue and dismiss.” That is, a writer will come up with some critique of another argument, let us call that argument X, and then dismiss that argument altogether. Afterwards, the thought processes of the dismisser run unencumbered by any consideration of X, which after all is what dismissal means. Sometimes “X” will be a person or a source rather than an argument, of course. The “devalue” part of this chain may well be justified. But it should lead to “devalue and downgrade,” rather than “devalue and dismiss.”
To divert attention from the disastrous rollout of his health reform, President Obama has decided to change the national conversation to discuss increasing inequality. This phenomenon is not new--the trend started about four decades ago--but it is real and important. In case you are a new reader of this blog, you can find my personal views on the matter in this paper.
Cornell University economist Robert Frank has become the Johnny One Note of economics. His one note: how bad wealth and income inequality (he often doesn't distinguish between the two although he should) are, along with his particular reasoning about why we have such inequality. His reasoning?
Integration seems one of the great political issues of our era. That is, people express great concern about factional favoritism based on race, ethnicity, religion, class, gender, age, etc., and push for laws and policies to prevent it, or to encourage mixing and ties across factional boundaries. I’ve tended to assume that such policies have been sufficient, and perhaps even excessive. But a student, Randall McElroy, wrote a paper for my grad law & econ class, that got me thinking. He wrote about how the Hopi indians dealt with mass immigration in part by defining newcomers as a new clan, and then forbidding within-clan marriage. Such “exogamy” has apparently been a common strategy in history: force mixing and friendly ties between factions by requiring all marriages to be between factions.
What's in a name? Quite a lot it seems Gregory Clark, 4 April 2014
LAC’s Growth Prospects: Made in China? | VOXLACEA Spring Meeting of Young Economists SMYE is an annual conference organized by young economists for young economists and provides a forum for the best young economists from all fields of economics where they can discuss their work and share experiences, knowledge, and ideas. Will take place in Vienna, at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria, on 24–26 April 2014.