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Linkage is Good For You

Lord GVChamp



Various links from the economics blogosphere and others



The graphs aren't great, but Megan McArdle and Scott Winship wonder what caused American income inequality to grow. In particular, Winship wonders whether America is really that different from the other Western nations, and suggests our higher income inequality at the high end might simply be the result of tax treatment. In that case, American-centric theories of income inequality growth (like "The Republicans") may not be valid.



Cowen makes a list of the common mistakes made by left- and right-wing economists, respectively. There is no real way to summarize them, but they are interesting nonetheless.


Charter schools may or may not increase test scores, but there are other ways to measure success. Modeled Behavior links to a study (which I have not read), which shows lower drop-out rates in students that attend charter schools. Similar effects have apparently been found for DC schools and Catholic schools in the past.


Where do economists and popular-folk diverge on Great Depression opinions? Kling takes a stab at the question based on some of his personal observations. He takes an anti-liberal stance, saying that the common narrative we have was designed to enhance FDR's prestige, but some of his points are non-controversial. The Great Depression was indeed not one long event, and was not caused by a singular Stock Market Crash.


Means-testing Social Security has been proposed. But the vast majority of Social Security dollars go to people who don't have much else to rely on. We probably won't be able to save much money on this front merely by cutting income to wealthier segments of society.


Speaking of Social Security solutions, Krugman adds in his voice to the chorus. Here he chastises Obama for considering benefit cuts, as it damages his party yet does almost nothing to solve long-term budget issues.


In the wake of the Japanese earthquake, many people have been hesitant to support renewed nuclear energy. Germany plans to shut down their plants. Ben Nolan on this blog shows that nuclear energy needn't be opposed on safety grounds, but can be opposed by the money-minded, too. A combination wind-solar offer to the Ontario government would add electricity at 1/4 the cost of nuclear energy. Even better, the Ontario government could incentivize people to CONSERVE energy, which is 1/13 the cost of more nuclear power plants.


Millionaires don't necessarily feel rich. Those who don't, say they would need about $7.5 million in investable assets (not real estate or retirement accounts) to feel wealthy. And then there are those who already feel rich, who say they would only need $1.75 million. Age differences between the group may make a difference: older people have less time to build assets and therefore need more money to feel rich, whereas young people can be satisfied with a lower current amount. They have a long time to get more cash.


The housing market still sucks, too.


And this definitely runs through my mind when I pick up girls.

Track of the Day:


Yeah, it's Glee. Deal with it. I enjoyed this song.

Till next time, I am still the Dark Lord Valconious, AKA GVChamp



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